The Zaaiplaats tin field is host to two of the historically most significant tin mines in South Africa. The geological maps of Zaaiplaats and Groenfontein have not been updated since the 1980s and 1950s respectively and warrant a renewed investigation. Cassiterite is hosted in the Bobbejaankop and Lease granites, of the Zaaiplaats and Groenfontein tin mines, which are part of the Lebowa Granite Suite of the Bushveld Complex. Tin mineralisation is primarily hosted as low-grade disseminations and within networks of high-grade hydrothermal pipes and lenticular ore-bodies. One difficulty in mapping such formations arises from the limited lithological variability between mineralised and unmineralised granitic facies. In order to map the granitic lithologies and discriminate alteration zones, an integrated approach is applied by combining remote sensing and in situ portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) mapping. The pXRF large ion lithophile (LIL) element distribution mapping, specifically correlating Rb, Sr and Ba with Sn, points to the concentration of late-stage magmatic-hydrothermal fluids, which are associated with endogranitic mineralisation. The use of the Rb/Ba ratio highlights regions of late-stage magmatic-hydrothermal alteration, effectively delineates granitic facies and identifies zones of potential tin mineralisation. Spectral image processing techniques were used as tools to support the mapping of these granites, their variable degrees of magmatic-hydrothermal alteration and regions of endogranitic disseminated mineralisation. We thus exemplify that an expert-based and synergic approach, combining inexpensive in situ pXRF and freely available satellite remote sensing data, supports the mapping and identification of endogranitic mineralisation in early exploration stages. Furthermore, due to its versatility, this approach can easily be applied to other styles of plutonic mineralisation.

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