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GEOREF RECORD

Integrated studies of soil, termites, vegetation and ground water to understand metal migration at the Kintyre U deposits, Western Australia

Ryan R. P. Noble, A. D. Stewart, G. T. Pinchand, T. C. Robson and R. R. Anand
Integrated studies of soil, termites, vegetation and ground water to understand metal migration at the Kintyre U deposits, Western Australia
Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis (February 2017) 17 (2): 143-158

Abstract

Transported cover is a persistent problem for mineral exploration in Australia and elsewhere in the world. Explorers are not confident in the current understanding of where, when, and how geochemical anomalies form (or don't form) in the cover and how to make the critical interpretive link to buried mineral deposits. Understanding how elements move through transported cover and their link to buried mineralization is increasingly important for exploration success in many regions of the world. At the Kintyre U deposits, groundwater, regolith, soil, Triodia basedowii (spinifex), Acacia ancistrocarpa foliage and litter, and termite (Nasutitermes triodiae) mound materials were sampled and analysed to test if near surface methods can detect mineralization through <1 to 80 m of cover. Near surface soil geochemistry, biogeochemistry and hydrogeochemistry weak anomalies did not correlate with primary mineralization through cover except in residual subcropping zones and the thin (<5 m) cover adjacent to these sites. Termite mounds, and to a lesser degree, A. ancistocarpa appear to reflect the mineralized signature in shallow cover (<10 m). A postulated metal migration model for this site links mechanical and chemical weathering and surface colluvial/alluvial down-slope dispersion, with U migration from the Kintyre Hill outcrop to the near surface environment. Plants, soils and groundwater are most likely cycling (near-background levels of) U in the cover at Kintyre. In shallow cover, plants and termite mounds are potential viable sample media. However, for exploration on sites with deep heterogeneous cover, geophysical responses or other new techniques will need to be developed to provide a traceable surface signature.


ISSN: 1467-7873
EISSN: 2041-4943
Serial Title: Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis
Serial Volume: 17
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Integrated studies of soil, termites, vegetation and ground water to understand metal migration at the Kintyre U deposits, Western Australia
Affiliation: CSIRO Mineral Resources, Bentley, West. Aust., Australia
Pages: 143-158
Published: 20170216
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House, London, United Kingdom
Number of pages: unpaginated
Accession Number: 2017-026022
Categories: General geochemistryEconomic geology, geology of ore deposits
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
S23°22'00" - S23°19'60", E120°46'00" - E120°47'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Edith Cowan University, AUS, Australia
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: 201716
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