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Open File Report 25

Electron microprobe studies of minerals from weathered profiles, Parkinson Pit and environs, Mt Magnet, WA

Scott, K.M.

Major and trace element data for more than 100 minerals from 24 separate samples reveal the host minerals for specific elements during weathering processes at Mt Magnet.

Resistant minerals like rutile, spinel, tourmaline and mica retain their component elements through the weathering profile with a low Fe* (i.e. Fe/(Fe + Mg + Mn) ratio for muscovite and tourmaline indicating proximity to mineralisation. Gold and talc are not so resistant to weathering, with gold losing its Ag content during weathering processes at Mt Magnet. Sulphides, chlorite, feldspars and carbonates are readily destroyed during weathering with their component elements either incorporated into Fe and Mn oxides, kaolinite and smectitic clay or lost to the profile by dispersal by groundwaters. The Fe oxides are particularly important hosts for Au-pathfinder elements (e.g. As, Sb and W). Chlorite, carbonate and sulphide compositions may reflect proximity to mineralisation and be useful in deep profiles but because of their susceptibility to weathering they are not as versatile as mica or tourmaline.

The Cr contents of each of chlorite, muscovite, rutile and perhaps spinel, indicate the lithology of their host samples by showing decreasing Cr contents from ultramafic to mafic to felsic rocks.

Last updated: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 03:23 PM


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