Depositional history and mineralisation of tertiary channel iron deposits at Yandi, Eastern Pilbara, Australia

Michelle Stone

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    1052 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    [Truncated abstract] Detailed sedimentological, petrographical, geochemical and palynological studies have provided insight into the source rocks and the processes that operated during formation of the Tertiary Yandi channel iron deposit (CID) of the eastern Pilbara, Western Australia. Yandi is the largest and most valuable CID in the world, accounting for more than 2.5% of global iron production in 2003, and is the type-example of CID. The Yandi CID occupies the palaeo-Marillana Creek in the central Hamersley Ranges. It is near-coincident-with the modern Marillana Creek which incised Proterozoic bedrock of the Weeli Wolli Formation (Hamersley Group) and associated dolerite intrusions. Three lithostratigraphic units fill the palaeo-Marillana Creek and comprise the Marillana Formation. The units in stratigraphic order are the: (1) Munjina Member; (2) Barimunya Member, which hosts the majority of the iron resource; and (3) Iowa Eastern Member. Fossil pollen and spores in organic-rich claystones in the Munjina Member indicate that deposition of the Marillana Formation most likely commenced in the Early Oligocene in response to erratic seasonal flows with high energy flood events and intervening quiescent suspension settling of clays. The Marillana Formation consists of twelve facies. These conglomerate and clay facies form three facies associations. The basal facies association is composed of polymictic conglomerate, clay and interbedded CID that represents a lag deposit along the base of the palaeochannel. This facies association characterises the Munjina Member. The second facies association consists of iron-rich conglomerate sheets, bars and subordinate scour-fills and characterises the Barimunya Member. Channel iron deposits of the overlying Iowa Eastern member consist of reworked Barimunya Member iron conglomerates. The upper facies association is polymictic conglomerate with clay that characterises the remainder of the Iowa Eastern Member. Polymictic iron
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2005

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