Abstract

Regolith and vegetation (spinifex) chemistry from transects across the Stansmore Fault in the Ngururrpa area of northeastern Western Australia have been used to detect any fault-controlled fluid, and whether the fluid has been in contact with concealed mineralization. On one transect, the fine-fraction of regolith on the fault trace has elevated concentrations of low field strength elements (LFSE), rare earth elements (REE), some chalcophile elements, Zn and Tl. On the second more structurally complex transect, elevated LFSE, REE and Zn concentrations are coincident with the position of one fault and indicate the location of a second. Both fault traces are indicated by spinifex REE, B, Zn, REE and HFSE chemistry, as well as being independently verified by passive seismic data. The wide range in ionic potential of elements on or close to fault traces indicates a high fluid flux, whereas high Zn, Tl, Re, Cd, and B are indicative of sediment-hosted Pb-Zn mineralization. Basin-bounding faults, such as the Stansmore Fault, are spatially related to Mississippi Valley (MVT)-style mineralization elsewhere in the Canning Basin, and rocks hosting sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX)-style mineralization in the adjacent west Arunta Orogen have been reported from the southeastern part of the Ngururrpa area.

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