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Research Program 2

Mineral exploration in areas of cover

The development of a laterite geochemical map of the western Yilgarn Craton

Project Leader: Matthias Cornelius, CSIRO Exploratin and Mining and Paul Morris, Geological Survey WA

Participants: CSIRO EM, Geological Survey WA, MERIWA

Brief project description:

The project delivers a geochemical atlas for the Yilgarn Craton, using lateritic residuum and lag derived from lateritic residuum. The objective of the geochemical atlas is to identify major geochemical trends and provinces that could assist exploration and lead to discovery of new mineral deposits. The project is in collaboration with Geological Survey of Western Australia and MERIWA.

To date, 1100 samples have been collected in the southwest quadrant of the Yilgarn Craton and an additional 800 samples retrieved from existing sample collections.

To test the application of laterite geochemistry in depositional terrains of the eastern Yilgarn Craton, geochemical and mineralogical orientation studies will be completed on lateritic detritus at the base of alluvium and colluvium from selected sites in the eastern and northeastern Goldfields. This work will build on studies that commenced as part of the Yilgarn Field Studies Project at McGrath and Jaguar in 2004.

Representative laterite samples from previous CSIRO and CRC LEME studies, representing different styles of mineralization (Golden Grove, Boddington, Mt Gibson, Lawlers, Ora Banda, Beasley Creek) will be analysed to build datasets for statistical evaluation using multivariate analysis.

Deliverables (outputs) and expected impacts of research (outcomes):

  • 1250 ICP-MS and XRF. analyses from the northwestern Yilgarn
  • Produce contoured concentration maps for 53 elements.
  • Correlate geochemistry with major structures and lithological units.
  • Identify major geochemical trends and provinces.
  • Calculate ICP-MS and XRF exploration indices,
  • Calculate summary statistics.
  • Provide quality control.
  • Link data to company data sets (e.g., Dominion Mining) and establish projects with industry partners to follow-up specific trends or anomalies

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CRC LEME is established and supported under the Australian Government's Cooperative Research Centres Program. The CRC Program is an Australian Government initiative which brings together research groups with common interests.

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