Understanding the Mt Weld Carbonatite mineral system – a Critical Minerals super-resource in Western Australia
Total Grant Value
Despite the rich concentrations of rare earths and other critical minerals mapped out at Western Australia’s Mt Weld deposit, drilling to define the mineralisation of this world-class super resource has to date been limited to the weathered regolith horizon. Geologists are yet to explore the volcanic system responsible for delivering Mt Weld’s mineral wealth from deep within the Earth
Co-funded under the Western Australian Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme, two new exploration holes have been drilled at Mt Weld, collecting continuous core penetrating over 1km beneath the weathered surface and sampling the ancient volcanic rock beneath.
Detailed chemical and mineralogical studies of these core samples will deliver new understanding of how the critical mineral wealth of Mt Weld was transported and captured by ancient volcanic processes, and how that primary resource has been modified and re-deposited over millions of years as these volcanic rocks have been eroded and broken down at the surface.
Proposed Benefits to WA
The knowledge gained through this research will support exploration for new rare earth and critical mineral resources in Western Australia, and help miners plan how to extract and process the mineral bounty of Mt Weld more efficiently to supply rapidly growing global demand for rare earths and other critical mineral resources.
Keywords: Carbonatite; rare earth elements; fractionation; alteration; regolith
Page was last reviewed 21 June 2022