An airborne gravity gradiometer survey was recently flown over the Iron Range Fault in the Purcell anticlinorium, southern Canadian Cordillera. The fault is commonly associated with iron oxide mineralization having characteristics similar to those of iron oxide Au ± Cu deposits. Drilling near the fault has revealed Au ± Cu–Pb–Zn mineralization. Prominent positive vertical gravity gradient (VGG) anomalies defined by the survey were identified as targets for follow-up exploration. Possible sources of the target anomalies were investigated by modelling gravity, VGG, and magnetic data along several profiles. Modelling of regional-scale profiles of the vertical component of gravity crossing exploration targets provides a regional perspective on the regional geological setting, dominated by the broad Goat River anticline, whose axis closely follows the Iron Range Fault. Modelling indicates that several VGG anomalies are related to Moyie sills, although one anomaly is modelled as a narrow vertical body (120 m wide, 1000 m vertical extent, 40 m deep) just west of the Iron Range Fault. Its apparent high density of 3500 kg/m3 suggests metallic content, making it a choice candidate for follow-up investigation. Drilling at the southern end of this geophysical target intersected a Moyie intrusion, but untested geochemical anomalies in the vicinity encourage follow-up exploration. The densities of modelled units derived from VGG profiles across two other specific targets indicate that Moyie sills represent one target and iron oxide mineralization the other, as supported by magnetic modelling, which also delineated vertical zones of significantly magnetic material along the Iron Range Fault.
Evaluation of mineral exploration targets defined by airborne gravity gradiometry through gravity and magnetic modelling: vicinity of the Iron Range Fault, Purcell anticlinorium, southern Canadian Cordillera1
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Mike D. Thomas, Mark Pilkington, Mike McCuaig; Evaluation of mineral exploration targets defined by airborne gravity gradiometry through gravity and magnetic modelling: vicinity of the Iron Range Fault, Purcell anticlinorium, southern Canadian Cordillera. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences ; 56 (5): 452–470. doi: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2018-0047
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