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Open File Report 13

Mineralogical and geochemical studies of gossan and wall rocks, Bottle Creek, Western Australia

Taylor, G.F.

Samples of surface gossan from Emu, VB and Boags (VB South) prospects, and of subsurface gossan and mineralized weathered wall rocks from diamond drill core at Emu and VB prospects have been examined mineralogically and geochemically.

Mineralogy consists of quartz, muscovite, kaolinite, goethite, hematite in variable quantities with subordinate talc, rutile, tourmaline and manganese oxides. Secondary minerals of the jarosite and alunite supergroups are common in the gossans and wall rocks respectively. Pyrite is the predominant sulphide in protore with minor tetrahedrite, sphalerite, arsenopyrite, marcasite and magnetite.

Anomalous concentrations of Ag, As, Au, Cu, Pb, Sb and Zn in protore are reflected in gossan and mineralized wall rocks, although there is a marked depletion at the surface. These elements are therefore considered to be reliable pathfinder elements. Concentrations of Hg, Te and Tl are also considered anomalous, but because of low absolute values and difficulty of analysis, are not considered to be viable pathfinder elements. The nature of concentrations of Mn, Ti, B and Ba within the mineralized horizon is not yet established and analysis of both mineralized and unmineralized country rocks is necessary before they can be considered as pathfinder elements.

Lack of geochemical anomalies in soils supports previous observations (van der Heyde, 1988) that the regolith stratigraphy at VB is transported and represents colluvial-alluvial material on the floor of a drainage channel. Additional research relevant to present and longer-term exploration is indicated.

Last updated: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 12:26 PM


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