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Regolith Expression of Australian Ore Systems

A compilation of geochemical case histories and conceptual models

Compilers and Editors: C.R.M. Butt, M. Cornelius, K.M. Scott and I.D.M. Robertson

The geochemical expression of bedrock mineralization in the regolith is affected by geological, geomorphological and environmental conditions that are unique for every location. However, many similarities in dispersion characteristics may be present over extensive regions and it is possible to summarize these characteristics as conceptual dispersion, process and exploration models, based on evidence from suitable case histories. These models can then be used to anticipate the surface expression of mineralization in a given area, to design an effective exploration program and to evaluate any anomalies.

Two model schemes of this type have been produced: -

  • “Conceptual Models in Exploration Geochemistry, 4: Australia” by C.R.M. Butt and R.E. Smith, 1980, deals exclusively with Australian conditions and is supported by 52 case histories,
  • “Regolith Exploration Geochemistry in Tropical and Subtropical Terrains” by C.R.M. Butt and H. Zeegers, 1992 extends beyond Australia and is again illustrated by relevant case histories.

This monograph expands and updates the earlier compilations and models for Australia by including the outcomes of the last two decades of intensive exploration activity and regolith research.

Over 100 case histories are included, from a wide range of published and unpublished sources, and include hitherto unreleased exploration data. They are documented systematically, with authors from industry, universities, geological surveys and research organizations.

Case histories are released as PDF files on the CRC LEME website. Downloading of individual case histories is for personal use only and subject to copyright restrictions (see copyright statement below).

In addition to the basic data available in the case histories, the volume includes recommendations on exploration procedures including terrain analysis, sample type, sampling interval, analytical procedure, element selection and data interpretation, summarized and embedded in the models and described in the accompanying text. It is intended that the compilation will provide a substantially improved understanding of the impact of weathering and regolith cover on exploration methods, leading to reductions in the cost of exploration for concealed base metal, polymetallic and gold deposits in areas of residual and/or transported regolith.

Supporting Chapters

  1. Ore deposit types and their primary expressions (2.9 Mb)
  2. Weathering history and landscape evolution (5.7 Mb)
  3. Climate (0.8 Mb)
  4. Vegetation communities (12.9 Mb)
  5. Sample media (12.8 Mb)
  6. Geochemical dispersion, process and explroation models (4 Mb)

Case Histories

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