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Open File Report 79
PIRSA Report Book 2000/00003

Regolith Studies related to the Birthday Gold Prospect, Gawler Craton, South Australia

M J Lintern, M J Sheard and G Gouthas

Our knowledge of geochemical dispersion of Au and Au pathfinders in the Gawler Craton (South Australia) is poor since there have been very few published research or orientation studies. In this study at the Birthday Gold Prospect, the applicability of geochemical dispersion models identified in Western Australia to sites in the Gawler Craton were investigated. The specific objectives of the study were to (I) undertake a detailed orientation survey in an area of known Au mineralisation, (ii) establish a regolith framework, (iii) identify potential sample media, and (iv) recommend the most appropriate ways to explore in this area. A 1.5 km line (the "regolith traverse") was chosen for the study of lateral and vertical geochemical dispersion and regolith stratigraphy.

The Birthday Gold Prospect (Minotaur Gold NL; EL 1900) occupies an area of low topographic relief in a semi-arid environment approximately 750 km north west of Adelaide, South Australia. Drill hole intercepts indicate a complex, deeply weathered regolith. The upper regolith (0-6 m) is characterised by the development of silcrete and calcrete on a thick (<2 m) horizon of locally transported materials, overlying Archaean rocks deeply weathered to clay-rich saprolite to about 30-40 m depth. Geochemical results confirmed anomalous Au concentrations in calcrete above mineralisation (maximum of 13 ppb) above 2 zones of bedrock mineralisation at about 30 m depth. However, concentrations were also high in a separate area (14 ppb) where no mineralisation has been identified. Anomalous concentration of Au above mineralisation also appear to persist in the upper regolith (beneath the calcrete) and it is this feature that distinguishes the false anomaly from the true.

Last updated: Tuesday, September 26, 2000 09:30 AM


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