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Open File Report 65

Study of the distribution of gold in soils at Mt Hope, Western Australia

Lintern, M.J.

The principal objective of the study at Mt Hope was to determine the location of gold in the surface environment and to determine the mechanism of its emplacement. Mt Hope provided a near ideal exploration case study area where sampling of soils and vegetation could take place in a relatively undisturbed site.

After an initial orientation survey where a traverse of RAB and RC drilled material was sampled, several small pits (3 x 10 x 2 m deep) were dug. These were situated over, adjacent to and away from mineralisation in order to expose various soil profiles. Following photography and description, the profiles were comprehensively sampled. The mineralogical and chemical composition of the samples show strong and highly significant associations especially between gold and the alkaline earth metals, the latter present as carbonates. The associations are widespread and therefore might be used as an exploration tool when looking for gold in areas similar to Mt Hope. The chemical analysis of samples of vegetation and organic litter indicate the occurrence of gold. Gold values in the vegetation and litter generally reflect those found within the soil profiles. Experimental work is being undertaken to examine these associations in further detail.

Last updated: Thursday, January 06, 2000 11:29 AM


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