Abstract

Predictive mineral discovery is concerned with the application of a whole of system process understanding to mineral exploration as opposed to an empirical deposit type approach. A mineral system process understanding can be derived from a consideration of five key questions, namely what is/are the: 1) geodynamic setting; 2) architecture; 3) sources and reservoirs; 4) drivers and pathways, and; 5) depositional mechanisms. The answers to these questions result in the identification of critical processes necessary for the function of a mineral system within a particular terrane, and permit the development of a targeting model. In this contribution we identify district scale critical orogenic gold mineral system processes for the late Archaean eastern Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia. During the geodynamic history of a terrane the critical processes which result in mineralisation change with time resulting in variations in mineralisation style. Proxies for critical processes have been mapped in an integrated GIS and are termed mappable mineral system process proxies (or MMSPP). In recognition of this, three separate time slices and a geochemical theme were analysed. Each MMSPP is given a weighting factor (WF) which reflects the spatial accuracy/coverage of the data and process criticality. For each theme/time-slice, a separate prospectivity map was created by summing the overlay or union of the spatial extent of each MMSPP, and adding the WF. A final target or prospectivity map was generated by a union of the four theme/time-slice prospectivity maps, and is tested against the known major deposits. The map 'discovered' the main gold camps and accounts for over 75% of the known gold in 5% of the area. This test verifies the process-based understanding and the appropriate mapping of the critical proxies. A further outcome from the map was the identification of a number of new target areas not known for significant gold mineralisation in what otherwise is thought to represent a mature terrane for gold exploration. The approach taken here has been to consider the Late Archaean gold deposits as a holistic system. Despite the recurring areas of uncertainty, this systems view has resulted in new findings that have generic applications to other mineral systems.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -26.0 East bound 126.0 West bound 120.0 South bound -34.0
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Product Type/Sub Type

dataset - External Publication

Constraints

license
Non-Exclusive licence to publish copyright (please provide TRIM link)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2010

Product Type

dataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
pmd*CRC
mineral exploration
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-26.0
East bound
126.0
West bound
120.0
South bound
-34.0

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

Distributor

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

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-eafd-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

2009-04-20

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
This product is not available for download due to licence restrictions.

For more information, 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