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Open File Report 44

The distribution of gold and other elements in soils and vegetation at Panglo, Western Australia

Lintern, M.J. and Scott, K.M.

Shallow auger, surface, profile, trench, grab and vegetation samples were taken along two traverses at the Panglo gold deposit about 30 kilometres NNW of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Landscape and soil features were photographed, described and used to interpret geochemical information. The relationship between the geochemistry of soils and vegetation was explored with particular reference to Au. Detailed examination of weathering surface material was performed using SEM (scanning electron microscopy) techniques. The results establish a widespread and strong association between Au and pedogenic carbonate. The most significant result was the presence of Au (up to several hundred ppb) in pedogenic carbonate occurring in transported overburden above mineralisation. There was also a weak association between Au found in vegetation and that found in the soils. Other results indicated the strong association between landscape features, geochemistry and vegetation type. SEM studies revealed the importance of calcite in near-surface weathering processes.

The study demonstrates the importance of locating and sampling the pedogenic carbonate horizon if present. Augering and near-surface sampling appear to be the most successful exploration techniques whereas trench sampling may falsely locate or overlook the soil anomaly altogether. Vegetation sampling alone cannot be used to locate mineralisation.

Last updated: Thursday, January 06, 2000 08:37 AM


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