Abstract

The global distribution of mineral deposits in cratons, belts and districts shows that they are not equally and uniformly endowed with metal. Some cratons are highly fertile (e.g. Yilgarn Craton for Archaean greenstone gold and nickel) and there are those which are almost barren (e.g. Archaen greenstone belts in the Pilbara Craton). Within belts the distribution is equally non-uniform. For instance more than 80% of gold resources in the Yilgarn are concentrated in the Kalgoorlie Terrane of the Eastern Goldfields. At a first level the total endowment can be used to compare mineralised belts and districts, however the distribution of deposit sizes in them can provide a second level constraint on their fertility, in particular the nature and intensity of metal accumulation versus metal dispersion. More enigmatic from this point of view are belts and districts in which the total metal endowment is contained in one or two giant and/or super-giant deposits, such as the Broken Hill in New South Wales, Norilsk-Talnakh in Western Siberia, and Olympic Dam in South Australia. These mjaor deposits represent single "bull elephants" in an "elephant country". Cumulative frequency distribution curves of metals of major mineralized cratons, belts and districts are used to compare the nature of their metal endowment. The analysis shows that the curves of "elephant-bearing" belts and districts are remarkably different from those of "average" belts and districts, and that regional and/or district scale geological factors could have played a significant role in controlling metal endowment. A comparison of curves for belts and districts with similar endowment can be used to assess potential for yet to be discovered deposits and to assess their relative size.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound East bound West bound South bound
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Product Type/Sub Type

nonGeographicDataset - External Publication

Constraints

license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2008

Product Type

nonGeographicDataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
mineral exploration
mineral deposits
metallogenesis
economic geology
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

DISTRIBUTION Format

pdf

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-d13a-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

Metadata Date Stamp

2007-12-05

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
Downloads
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays