Reducing subjectivity in multi-commodity mineral prospectivity analyses: modelling the west Kimberley, Australia

Lindsay, Mark, Aitken, Alan, Ford, Arianne, Dentith, Mike, Hollis, Julie, and Tyler, Ian (2016) Reducing subjectivity in multi-commodity mineral prospectivity analyses: modelling the west Kimberley, Australia. Ore Geology Reviews, 76. pp. 395-416.

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Abstract

Predicting realistic targets in underexplored regions proves a challenge for mineral explorers. Knowledge-driven prospectivity techniques assist in target prediction, and can significantly reduce the geographic search space to a few locations. The mineral prospectivity of the underexplored west Kimberley region was investigated following interpretation of regional gravity and magnetic data. Emphasis was placed on identifying geological structures that may have importance for the mineral prospectivity of the region. Subsurface structure was constrained through combined gravity and magnetic modelling along three transects. Crustal-scale structures were interpreted and investigated to determine their depth extent. These interpretations and models were linked to tectonic events and mineralization episodes in order to map the distribution of minerally prospective regions using a knowledge-driven mineral systems approach. A suite of evidence layers was created to represent geological components that led to mineralization, and then applied to each mineral system where appropriate. This approach was taken to provide a more objective basis for prospectivity modelling. The mineral systems considered were 1) magmatic Ni-sulphide, 2) carbonate-hosted base metals, 3) orogenic Au, 4) stratiform-hosted base metals and 5) intrusion-related base metals (including Sn–W, Fe-oxide–Cu–Au and Cu–Au porphyry deposits). These analyses suggest that a geologically complex belt in the Kimberley Basin at the boundary to the King Leopold Orogen is prospective for magmatic-related hydrothermal mineral systems (including Ni, Au and Cu). The Lennard Shelf is prospective for carbonate-hosted base metals around a feature known as the 67-mile high, and parts of the King Leopold Orogen are prospective for stratiform-hosted base metals. These results show that knowledge-driven mineral system modelling is effective in identifying prospectivity in regional-scale studies of underexplored areas, as well as drastically reducing the search space for explorers working in the west Kimberley.

Item ID: 38199
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-7360
Keywords: fuzzy logic; Kimberley; King Leopold Orogen; prospectivity; multi-commodity; objectivity; mineral exploration
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2015 04:48
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040312 Structural Geology @ 40%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040313 Tectonics @ 40%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0404 Geophysics > 040402 Geodynamics @ 20%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840199 Mineral Exploration not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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