Tennant Creek - Mt Isa Focus Area

The Tennant Creek to Mt Isa region hosts known mineral deposits in exposed Proterozoic rocks, most notably iron oxide copper-gold mineral systems in the Tennant Creek area, and basin-hosted base metals (Zinc, Lead) and Uranium in the McArthur Basin. However, despite the known presence of these mineral systems, the region remains under-explored beneath cover, which is also likely to host similarly-prospective rocks.

Integrated studies of the Tennant Creek-Mt Isa region aims to boost the exploration attractiveness of the region and facilitate future exploration success through improved understanding of the regional stratigraphic and events framework and through mineral potential assessments under cover.

Initial activities in the Tennant Creek-Mt Isa region are focused on improving data coverage in covered areas through sampling of existing boreholes, and producing mineral potential assessments for iron oxide copper-gold and basin-hosted mineral systems. Following these initial interpretations, several key regions of interest will be identified, which will be the focus of additional data acquisition and updating of geological and mineral system models. Ultimately, these interpretations will form the basis for a pre-competitive stratigraphic drilling program to test hypotheses and acquire new geological constraints in poorly-understood parts of the region. To do this, the integrated studies will draw on a range of other Exploring for the Future activities, including energy-focused studies in the South Nicholson Basin region.

Progress

  • Initial mineral potential assessments for iron oxide copper-gold and basin-hosted mineral systems are underway;
  • Sampling of boreholes and other existing rock samples has been undertaken to characterise regional stratigraphic packages and tectonic events;
  • Interpretation of basin structural architecture and geodynamics to support basin-hosted mineral potential studies is in progress.

Outputs

  • Compilation of geoscientific data from legacy boreholes in the Tennant Creek - Mt Isa region;
  • Mineral potential map for iron oxide copper-gold style mineralisation;
  • Assessments of basin-hosted Zn-Pb-Cu-U mineral system potential for selected basins in the Tennant Creek-Mt Isa region;
  • New stratigraphic borehole data in selected regions within the Tennant-Isa project area that characterise the nature and temporal evolution of cover, facilitate a new understanding of the geodynamic evolution of the hidden basement geology and provide a framework for the mineral systems analysis.

Collaborations

The Tennant Creek-Mt Isa region incorporates parts of the Northern Territory and Queensland, and work is undertaken in the region in collaboration with the Northern Territory Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Queensland.

Data and publications