Open File Report 29
Gold and associated elements in the regolith - dispersion processes
and implications for exploration. P241 Final Report
Butt, C.R.M., Gray, D.J., Lintern, M.J., Robertson, I.D.M., Taylor,
G.F. and Scott, K.M.
This report summarizes, integrates and discusses the results of
over three years of research. The research had the objectives of
(a) obtaining a better understanding of the nature and genesis of
the regolith and the lateritic and saprolitic gold deposits contained
within it, and (b) determining characteristics useful in exploration
for further such deposits and for primary mineralization. These
rather broad, strategic objectives have been met by some specific
lines of research carried out at 16 different sites, mostly in the
Yilgarn Block, and have been reported in about 40 Investigation
Reports. Some of the highlights of the research include:
- Data on multi-element dispersion in the regolith at nine mine
sites, demonstrating the geochemical expression of gold mineralization.
- Detailed mineralogical, petrographic and geochemical studies
of a range of different lithologies as an aid to bedrock identification
from weathered material.
- Petrographic studies of rock weathering and (in collaboration
with AMIRA Project 240), demonstration of the origins of the components
of ferruginous lag.
- A comparison of the morphologies and compositions of gold grains
in semi-arid and humid tropical regions, and the implications
for gold mobility and the genesis of supergene gold deposits.
- Demonstration of the significance of soil carbonate horizons
as sample media in gold exploration.
- Demonstration of the existence and characteristics of groundwaters
mobilizing gold under present conditions.
- Further investigations of the chemistry of gold in the weathering
environment and demonstration of the high solubility of gold in
- Mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of a continuous
section through primary gold mineralization (Mt Percy).
- Data on the biogeochemical expression of gold mineralization.
Last updated: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 03:51 PM