The Dugald River-type, shear zone hosted, Zn-Pb-Ag mineralisation, Mount Isa Inlier, Australia

Creus, Pieter K., Sanislav, Ioan V., Dirks, Paul H.G.M., Jago, Corey M., and Davis, Brett K. (2023) The Dugald River-type, shear zone hosted, Zn-Pb-Ag mineralisation, Mount Isa Inlier, Australia. Ore Geology Reviews, 155. 105369.

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The Dugald River Zn-Pb-Ag mine is situated in the Mount Isa Inlier, a globally significant base metal province. Zn-Pb deposits in the Mount Isa Inlier are stratabound with four main genetic models, including SEDEX-style, remobilised SEDEX, epigenetic and Broken Hill-type mineralisation applied to interpret their formation. We propose that the Zn-Pb-Ag mineralisation at Dugald River represents a unique, shear zone hosted deposit type that formed through a series of successive deformation events during the Paleoproterozoic Isan Orogeny that concentrated the mineralisation within the Dugald River Shear Zone during two main mineralising phases. The first phase of mineralisation occurred during regional D2 shortening, which is associated with the formation of large-scale F2 folds and a regionally penetrative S2 fabric. During this phase, progressive tightening of upright F2 folds resulted in several sets of secondary space accommodating quartz-carbonate veins that were progressively rotated into parallelism with the pervasive, steep, W-dipping S2 cleavage. The quartz-carbonate veins were coevally replaced by sulphides, which migrated to extensional sites (boudin necks and fold hinges) in tight folds. Thereby creating a sulphide-rich horizon within a developing high strain zone, which during D4 developed into the Dugald River Shear Zone. The second phase of mineralisation occurred during the regional D4 transpressional deformation event and resulted in significant metal enrichment and the current geometry of the ore bodies. The significant enrichment of the mineralisation during D4 resulted from further fold tightening within the high strain zone, which resulted in the attenuation and dismembering of folds and produced a transposed fabric (S4). The sulphide veins were transposed into parallelism with S4 forming sulphide-rich planar ore textures. Strain partitioning at the contact between the ductile deforming sulphide horizon and the brittle deforming slates resulted in the development of an anastomosing shear zone, known as the Dugald River Shear Zone. A right-handed releasing bend in the shear zone produced a dilational jog and a thick, high-grade ore body. The mobilisation of sulphides within the dilational jog involved fragmentation of sulphides and wall rock, brecciation, rotation and rolling of fragments, and the formation of durchbewegung texture.

Item ID: 77875
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-7360
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2023 21:27
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370508 Resource geoscience @ 50%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370511 Structural geology and tectonics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280107 Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences @ 100%
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