Geodynamic modelling as an exploration tool

B. E. Hobbs, A. Ord, N. J. Archibald, J. L. Walshe, Y. Zhang, M. Brown, C. Zhao

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the concept of Geodynamic Modelling as an exploration tool and to provide a specific example, namely, the Century Zinc deposit in Northern Queensland. Geodynamic Modelling is an attempt to become more quantitative in the way we develop exploration models. It is a systems approach to ore genesis which examines the complete four-dimensional mineralising system of interest, rather than individual site specific ore deposits. The goal is to establish a predictive capability that enables the explorer to predict grade, tonnage, mineralogy, alteration patterns and precise location of a potential orebody given a particular exploration model. The process consists of two well-defined stages: firstly, a 'soft' modelling stage where all available data on lithospheric architecture, geodynamic history, fluid chemistries, fluid flow mechanisms and mechanisms of metal transport and deposition are collected; and secondly, a 'hard' modelling stage where the system is modelled using fully coupled deformation-fluid flow-thermal transport-chemical reaction computer codes. In the case of the Century Zinc Deposit we point to its existence on the boundary between two fundamental blocks of Proterozoic mantle lithosphere. This boundary has controlled Pb/Zn mineralisation in Northern Australia from the Proterozoic through into the Paleozoic. Detailed thermal, chemical, fluid flow, deformation modelling of the Century System points to an origin involving mixing of crustal oxidised fluids bearing zinc, with reduced fluids bearing H2 S and CO2 from the lower crust or mantle. We use this modelling to define critical exploration criteria for another Century type of deposit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages34-49
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes
EventAfter 2000 the Future of Mining teh Impact of New Technology and Changing Demands on the Mining Industry - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: 10 Apr 200012 Apr 2000

Conference

ConferenceAfter 2000 the Future of Mining teh Impact of New Technology and Changing Demands on the Mining Industry
CountryAustralia
CitySydney, NSW
Period10/04/0012/04/00

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