Delineating alteration footprints from field and ASTER SWIR spectra, geochemistry, and gamma-ray spectrometry above regolith-covered base metal deposits-An example from Abra, Western Australia

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Abstract

Shortwave infrared (SWIR) field and laboratory reflectance spectra were used to identify and characterize mineral assemblages in regolith within a study area around the Abra base metal deposit. The Abra deposit is situated at 300-m depth from surface and hosted by weathered sedimentary rocks of the Mesoproterozoic Edmund Group of the Capricorn Orogen of Western Australia. The deposit contains a chlorite-siderite (±white mica) alteration halo delineated from drill core, surrounded with host rocks that are modally poor in detrital and metamorphic chlorite and white mica. Mineral assemblages identified from the regolith SWIR data, which were verified through XRD analysis and preexisting geochemistry data, were used to identify three schematic SWIR mineral domains in the regolith. These domains are (1) poorly crystalline kaolinite in an extremely weathered transported regolith, (2) well-crystalline kaolinite and muscovite in regolith overlying unaltered bedrock, and (3) phengite ± chlorite ± well-crystalline kaolinite mineral footprint in regolith overlying the Abra deposit and nearby base metal prospects. Furthermore, we identified that the mineral footprint detected from regolith samples can be traced in a combined potassium gamma-ray spectrometry and ASTER AlOH group composition map. The combined use of mineralogical and geophysical remote sensing data, and the strategically planned ground validation through mineralogical and geochemical sampling, proved to be a powerful and cost-effective exploration method for regional mapping of mineral footprints potentially related to sedimentary rock-hosted base metal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1977-2003
Number of pages27
JournalEconomic Geology
Volume112
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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gamma ray spectrometry
Geochemistry
regolith
ASTER
footprints
geochemistry
base metal
footprint
Gamma rays
Spectrometry
Minerals
infrared spectra
Deposits
Metals
deposits
gamma rays
Infrared radiation
Kaolin
minerals
kaolinite

Cite this

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title = "Delineating alteration footprints from field and ASTER SWIR spectra, geochemistry, and gamma-ray spectrometry above regolith-covered base metal deposits-An example from Abra, Western Australia",
abstract = "Shortwave infrared (SWIR) field and laboratory reflectance spectra were used to identify and characterize mineral assemblages in regolith within a study area around the Abra base metal deposit. The Abra deposit is situated at 300-m depth from surface and hosted by weathered sedimentary rocks of the Mesoproterozoic Edmund Group of the Capricorn Orogen of Western Australia. The deposit contains a chlorite-siderite (±white mica) alteration halo delineated from drill core, surrounded with host rocks that are modally poor in detrital and metamorphic chlorite and white mica. Mineral assemblages identified from the regolith SWIR data, which were verified through XRD analysis and preexisting geochemistry data, were used to identify three schematic SWIR mineral domains in the regolith. These domains are (1) poorly crystalline kaolinite in an extremely weathered transported regolith, (2) well-crystalline kaolinite and muscovite in regolith overlying unaltered bedrock, and (3) phengite ± chlorite ± well-crystalline kaolinite mineral footprint in regolith overlying the Abra deposit and nearby base metal prospects. Furthermore, we identified that the mineral footprint detected from regolith samples can be traced in a combined potassium gamma-ray spectrometry and ASTER AlOH group composition map. The combined use of mineralogical and geophysical remote sensing data, and the strategically planned ground validation through mineralogical and geochemical sampling, proved to be a powerful and cost-effective exploration method for regional mapping of mineral footprints potentially related to sedimentary rock-hosted base metal.",
author = "Lampinen, {Heta M.} and Carsten Laukamp and Occhipinti, {Sandra A.} and V{\'a}clav Metelka and Spinks, {Samuel C.}",
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AU - Lampinen, Heta M.

AU - Laukamp, Carsten

AU - Occhipinti, Sandra A.

AU - Metelka, Václav

AU - Spinks, Samuel C.

PY - 2017/12/1

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N2 - Shortwave infrared (SWIR) field and laboratory reflectance spectra were used to identify and characterize mineral assemblages in regolith within a study area around the Abra base metal deposit. The Abra deposit is situated at 300-m depth from surface and hosted by weathered sedimentary rocks of the Mesoproterozoic Edmund Group of the Capricorn Orogen of Western Australia. The deposit contains a chlorite-siderite (±white mica) alteration halo delineated from drill core, surrounded with host rocks that are modally poor in detrital and metamorphic chlorite and white mica. Mineral assemblages identified from the regolith SWIR data, which were verified through XRD analysis and preexisting geochemistry data, were used to identify three schematic SWIR mineral domains in the regolith. These domains are (1) poorly crystalline kaolinite in an extremely weathered transported regolith, (2) well-crystalline kaolinite and muscovite in regolith overlying unaltered bedrock, and (3) phengite ± chlorite ± well-crystalline kaolinite mineral footprint in regolith overlying the Abra deposit and nearby base metal prospects. Furthermore, we identified that the mineral footprint detected from regolith samples can be traced in a combined potassium gamma-ray spectrometry and ASTER AlOH group composition map. The combined use of mineralogical and geophysical remote sensing data, and the strategically planned ground validation through mineralogical and geochemical sampling, proved to be a powerful and cost-effective exploration method for regional mapping of mineral footprints potentially related to sedimentary rock-hosted base metal.

AB - Shortwave infrared (SWIR) field and laboratory reflectance spectra were used to identify and characterize mineral assemblages in regolith within a study area around the Abra base metal deposit. The Abra deposit is situated at 300-m depth from surface and hosted by weathered sedimentary rocks of the Mesoproterozoic Edmund Group of the Capricorn Orogen of Western Australia. The deposit contains a chlorite-siderite (±white mica) alteration halo delineated from drill core, surrounded with host rocks that are modally poor in detrital and metamorphic chlorite and white mica. Mineral assemblages identified from the regolith SWIR data, which were verified through XRD analysis and preexisting geochemistry data, were used to identify three schematic SWIR mineral domains in the regolith. These domains are (1) poorly crystalline kaolinite in an extremely weathered transported regolith, (2) well-crystalline kaolinite and muscovite in regolith overlying unaltered bedrock, and (3) phengite ± chlorite ± well-crystalline kaolinite mineral footprint in regolith overlying the Abra deposit and nearby base metal prospects. Furthermore, we identified that the mineral footprint detected from regolith samples can be traced in a combined potassium gamma-ray spectrometry and ASTER AlOH group composition map. The combined use of mineralogical and geophysical remote sensing data, and the strategically planned ground validation through mineralogical and geochemical sampling, proved to be a powerful and cost-effective exploration method for regional mapping of mineral footprints potentially related to sedimentary rock-hosted base metal.

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