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An integrated lithogeochemical approach to detecting and interpreting cryptic alteration around the Elura Zn-Pb-Ag deposit, New South Wales, Australia

Kenneth G. McQueen and Michael A. I. Whitbread
An integrated lithogeochemical approach to detecting and interpreting cryptic alteration around the Elura Zn-Pb-Ag deposit, New South Wales, Australia
Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis (August 2011) 11 (3): 233-246

Abstract

Hydrothermal alteration around the sediment-hosted Elura Zn-Pb-Ag sulphide deposit has produced detectable and systematic chemical changes that are also reflected in subtle mineralogical features (cryptic alteration). Iron carbonate development accompanied by potassic alteration, the destruction of albite and the absence of chlorite are the dominant mineral alteration effects in the surrounding turbidites. Key elements enriched in the primary dispersion zone are Zn, Pb, Ag, As, Rb, Tl, and particularly Sb. Sodium is strongly depleted in the alteration system. Cryptic alteration and primary dispersion can be detected up to 350 m from the orebody below the weathering front. Pearce Element Ratio (PER) and General Element Ratio (GER) techniques more clearly identify and quantify this alteration and could assist in vectoring towards high intensity alteration adjacent to ore during exploration drilling. These data assessment techniques avoid the problems of closure when comparing element contents for altered and unaltered samples and allow modelling of the mineralogical controls on chemical variation. There are important differences in the alteration effects observed in the fine and coarse fractions of the enclosing turbidite units. For vectoring purposes, the best lithotype to sample is the shale component.


ISSN: 1467-7873
EISSN: 2041-4943
Serial Title: Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis
Serial Volume: 11
Serial Issue: 3
Title: An integrated lithogeochemical approach to detecting and interpreting cryptic alteration around the Elura Zn-Pb-Ag deposit, New South Wales, Australia
Affiliation: University of Canberra, Faculty of Applied Science, Canberra, A.C.T., Australia
Pages: 233-246
Published: 201108
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House, London, United Kingdom
References: 17
Accession Number: 2011-097136
Categories: General geochemistryEconomic geology, geology of ore deposits
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables, geol. sketch map
S31°10'00" - S31°10'00", E145°39'00" - E145°39'00"
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201150
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