Subordinate structures: considerations and benefits

Nugus, M.J., Blenkinsop, T.G., Doyle, M.G., and Nichols, S. (2011) Subordinate structures: considerations and benefits. In: Proceedings of Eighth International Mining Geology Conference. pp. 1-10. From: Eighth International Mining Geology Conference, 22-24 August 2011, Queenstown, New Zealand.

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The structural models developed by exploration and mining geologists are most commonly concerned with the ‘main structures’ or key constituents that pertain to the associated mineralisation. To this end, it is recognised that the geological and exploration models, which are developed, are essentially 'fit for task' and the scale-related variances are not always realised at an early stage. In fact, in many cases anomalous intercepts along different trends and of variable apparent continuity have often been neglected as 'back scatter' and not important.

Recognition of the importance of subordinate structures as mineralising hosts suggests that additional opportunities exist outside the primary and main structures. History shows that opportunities are often not realised where gold is hosted in orientations not parallel to the predominant trend of the schistosity, main fault or shear zone.

Another reason for the importance of subordinate structures can be understood from their roles in a percolation network. Subordinate structures can access the large fluid fluxes provided by backbone elements, but, as dangling elements, they provide greater opportunities for gold precipitation mechanisms and hence may constitute essential parts of the resource. Therefore, the role, understanding and consideration of the smaller-scale and orthogonal structures should be considered during all facets of exploration, resource development, delineation and mining.

Item ID: 21131
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-921522-46-8
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2012 00:03
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040312 Structural Geology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840105 Precious (Noble) Metal Ore Exploration @ 100%
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