Identifying mineral prospectivity using 3D magnetotelluric, potential field and geological data in the east Kimberley, Australia
M. D. Lindsay, J. Spratt, S. A. Occhipinti, A. R. A. Aitken, M. C. Dentith, J. A. Hollis, I. M. Tyler, 2018. "Identifying mineral prospectivity using 3D magnetotelluric, potential field and geological data in the east Kimberley, Australia", Characterization of Ore-Forming Systems from Geological, Geochemical and Geophysical Studies, K. Gessner, T.G. Blenkinsop, P. Sorjonen-Ward
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An integrated interpretation of the east Kimberley, northern Western Australia was completed to determine mineral prospectivity, and was centred on a portion of a magnetotelluric (MT) survey conducted across the entire Kimberley Craton and surrounding orogens. A structural geophysical interpretation used potential field data, and was constrained by geological field observations, petrophysics, remote sensing and understanding of the tectonic history of the region. Potential field forward modelling located along the same survey traverse as the MT data allowed comparison between the two datasets and their interpretations revealing interesting features suggesting the presence of large-scale structures, the presence of mineralization deep in the crust, and where mineralization may be at or near the surface. The King River Fault is shown from both the MT inversion and potential field modelling as a crustal-scale, west-dipping structure, the footwall of which bounds the western side of a large resistive body. A conductive anomaly is also located on the hanging wall of the King River Fault. Our assessment suggests that graphitic rocks, most likely with some sulphide content, contribute to the strength of this anomaly, and highlights the potential of the east Kimberley to host graphite and base metal deposits.
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Economically viable concentrations of mineral resources are uncommon in Earth’s crust. Most ore deposits that were mined in the past or are currently being extracted were found at or near Earth’s surface, often serendipitously. To meet the future demand for mineral resources, exploration success hinges on identifying targets at depth. Achieving this requires accurate and informed models of the Earth’s crust that are consistent with all available geological, geochemical and geophysical information, paired with an understanding of how ore-forming systems relate to Earth’s evolving structure. Contributions to this volume address the future resources challenge by (i) applying advanced microscale geochemical detection and characterization methods, (ii) introducing more rigorous 3D Earth models, (iii) exploring critical behaviour and coupled processes, (iv) evaluating the role of geodynamic and tectonic setting and (v) applying 3D structural models to characterize specific ore-forming systems.