Abstract

Abra is a high-grade sedimentary-hosted Pb deposit located in the Paleoproterozoic Edmund Basin in Western Australia. Mineralization is blind, with the top of the deposit occurring 250 m beneath the land surface. The deposit consists of a stratiform apron of Pb-Ag-Ba mineralization in laminated iron-oxide- and barite-altered dolomite and siltstone, which overlies a feeder zone of chlorite-altered, brecciated, and veined carbonatic siltstone that contains Pb-Ag mineralization in the core that transitions to Pb-Cu and Cu-Au at depth. Abra is characterized by discrete geophysical anomaly responses in magnetic, gravity, time-domain electromagnetic (TDEM), and induced polarization survey data. A +450 nT magnetic anomaly is caused by magnetite in the lower stratiform zone. Dense galena, barite, dolomite, and iron-oxide mineralization in the apron and galena in the feeder zone is surrounded by lower-density sedimentary host rocks, which results in a +1 mGal gravity anomaly. Airborne, ground, and downhole TDEM surveying resolved known mineralization as weak electromagnetic conductor responses, and petrophysical testing on core samples shows that this is caused by galena. Pole-dipole-induced polarization surveying resolved a +20 ms chargeability anomaly on the southern flank of the deposit. This chargeable anomaly response is related to disseminated galena, pyrite, chalcopyrite, and alteration. Joint audiomagnetotelluric-magnetotelluric 2D inverted data sections resolved Abra as a broad weakly conductive anomaly. Weak conductor responses associated with Abra were also resolved in 2D and 3D inversion modeling of airborne Z-axis tipper electromagnetic data. 2D seismic reflection surveying resolved Abra as strong flat-lying seismic reflectors, which are bounded and offset by faults and surrounded by a seismically bland zone. The seismic reflections are related to significant density contrasts between high-density stratiform mineralization that is in contact with low-density sedimentary host rocks, as the mineralization and host rocks have similar seismic velocities. Passive seismic horizontal to vertical spectral ratio surveying resolved the top of the deposit as a subtle layer sitting below a flat impedance contrast horizon that is interpreted as weathered siltstone on top of diagenetically cemented siltstone.

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