Disparate tectonic settings for mineralisation in an active arc, Eastern Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands

Holm, R.J., Richards, S.W., Rosenbaum, G., and Spandler, C. (2015) Disparate tectonic settings for mineralisation in an active arc, Eastern Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. In: Proceedings of PACRIM 2015. pp. 165-170. From: PACRIM 2015 Congress, 18-21 March 2015, Hong Kong, China.

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The recent and active magmatic arcs of eastern Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Solomon Islands are well endowed with sulfide mineralisation and include deposits such as Ladolam, Panguna and Solwara 1. The majority of the mineral systems in this belt are younger than four million years old, with some deposits remaining active to the present day as exemplified by active hydrothermal systems on the island of Lihir. The geodynamic setting that led to the formation of these deposits is still unresolved, with, for example, both the Pacific and Solomon Sea plates considered responsible for the formation of the Ladolam deposit on the island of Lihir under different models. In order to understand and characterise the formation of southwest Pacific mineral deposits, we must first reconstruct the complex geodynamic evolution of the region. New kinematic reconstructions show that while mineral systems in eastern PNG and the Solomon Islands are hosted within a single arc related to subduction at the New Britain and San Cristobal trenches, variable and discrete geodynamic settings exist within both the upper and lower plates throughout this region, which give rise to distinct mineralised corridors. Most notably, this region is host to:

• the Solwara 1 deposit, which occurs within a major transtensional corridor in the eastern Bismarck Sea • the Ladolam deposit (Liliir), which is interpreted to have formed above but in relation to tearing of the subducting slab • the Panguna deposit, which is related to structure in the subducting slab marginal to the actively spreading Wood lark Basin.

An evaluation of the nature and variability of these diverse geodynamic settings through time can provide us with a better U1lderstanding of the relationship between the active southwest Pacific magmatic arcs and mineral deposit formation. It may also provide insights into the diverse array of deposit settings at ancient convergent margins, with applications in mineral prospectivity studies.

Item ID: 39171
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-925100-25-9
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 04:16
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040313 Tectonics @ 60%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040307 Ore Deposit Petrology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 70%
84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840199 Mineral Exploration not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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