Mineral mapping Queensland: iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) mineral system case history, Starra, Mount Isa Inlier

Cudahy, T., Jones, M., Thomas, M., Laukamp, C., Caccetta, M., Hewson, R., Verrall, M., Hacket, A., and Rodger, A. (2008) Mineral mapping Queensland: iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) mineral system case history, Starra, Mount Isa Inlier. In: Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (11), pp. 153-160. From: PACRIM Congress 2008 , 24 - 26 November 2008, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

A mineral systems approach was used to interpret precompetitive airborne mineral mapping geoscience data for iron oxide copper gold (lOCC) exploration in the Starra area, Eastern Succession, Mount Isa Inlier. Selected minerals were chosen to map possible source rocks/fluids as well as intersecting structural/fluid pathways that could have transported mineralising fluids into domains of contrasting rocks/fluids where there was potential for physicochemical gradients to precipitate metals. Ferric and ferrous iron contents and white mica abundance were useful mineral criteria to identify the Mount Dore Granite of the Williams-Naraku Batholith as a potential source of 'oxidised' fluids rich in Fe, K and potentially Cu-Au. The Mount Dore Shear Zone (MDSZ) intersects the western margin of this granite with the highest contents and changes in composition of the white mica are peripheral to this contact within the granite. This together, with the fact that the entire N-S length of the MDSZ in the study area (~16 km) is abundant in white mica are evidence of K-rich fluids had preferentially moved along this pathway. To the south, the MDSZ intersects a domain comprising massive ironstone bodies as well as numerous graphitic horizons. This interpreted 'reduced' domain is well mapped using the 'opaque' mineral products, as well as by white mica, which is pervasively developed and extends 2 km either side of the MDSZ fault into the meta-sedimentary sequences. The chemistry of this white mica also changes progressively away from the MDSZ, becoming more Si-rich (longer wavelength) towards the contact with massive ironstone bodies in the west and the graphitic units in the east, both of which represent sites of known Cu-Au mineralisation. Beyond these contact zones of interpreted 'oxidised fluids' with reduced rocks/fluids, there is either a rapid change to Si-poor white mica and/or no white mica developed, ie major 'chemical ' gradient change. These mineral mapping results provide evidence for a direct link between possible source rocks and sites of IOCG metal deposition as well as extending the associated alteration zonation which had previously been mapped/published at the metre-scale to the kilometre-scale.

Item ID: 24556
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
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ISBN: 978-1-920806-93-4
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2013 04:32
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040201 Exploration Geochemistry @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040399 Geology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840102 Copper Ore Exploration @ 50%
84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840105 Precious (Noble) Metal Ore Exploration @ 50%
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