Gold and pathfinder elements in ferricrete gold deposits of the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia: A review with new concepts

R. R. Anand, R. M. Hough, W. Salama, M. F. Aspandiar, C. R.M. Butt, I. González-Álvarez, V. Metelka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Secondary mineral deposits have played an important role in the global mineral resource economy for over 50 years, with lateritic Au, Al, Fe and Ni deposits having a significant input to global metal production and reserves. In the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia, a deeply weathered mantle is commonly capped with 2–10 m of lateritic residuum (residual lateritic gravels and duricrust) and/or ferricrete (Fe oxide-cemented sediment), which formed under seasonally humid tropical and sub-tropical climates during the Cenozoic. The principal constituents of these units are goethite, hematite, maghemite, kaolinite and quartz. They are commonly overlain by younger, 2–10 m thick transported cover, deposited under later semi-arid conditions. Both ferricrete and lateritic residuum may host exploitable secondary gold deposits, typically small (<500,000 ounces) and of low grade (<1–5 g/t Au). The lateritic residuum deposits overlie weathered and fresh primary mineralization, whereas ferricrete deposits overlie uneconomic primary mieralization or barren saprolite and bedrock. Despite numerous studies, many questions remain about the behaviour and evolution of Au in the complex polygenetic systems that form lateritic residuum and ferricrete. In particular, why is it difficult to locate significant primary mineralization associated with highly Au-anomalous ferricrete? Understanding the mechanisms of enrichment of Au and pathfinder elements in ferricrete will assist future discovery. Accordingly, to obtain conclusive evidence for processes of anomaly formation, a combination of detailed field observations with state-of-the-art microscopy have been conducted at three of the larger deposits (Moolart Well, Mt Gibson and Bulchina). The aim of this review is to integrate these recent results with the results of earlier studies to trace the path of Au and pathfinder elements and associated dispersion processes in the ferricrete environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-355
Number of pages62
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Volume104
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

ferricrete
Gold deposits
Mineral resources
Gold
craton
gold
Kaolin
Quartz
Gravel
Oxides
Large scale systems
Microscopic examination
Sediments
Metals
resource economy
duricrust
mineralization
maghemite
saprolite
secondary mineral

Cite this

@article{2ba29bfec75b49a186be8e7ceb70b1c9,
title = "Gold and pathfinder elements in ferricrete gold deposits of the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia: A review with new concepts",
abstract = "Secondary mineral deposits have played an important role in the global mineral resource economy for over 50 years, with lateritic Au, Al, Fe and Ni deposits having a significant input to global metal production and reserves. In the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia, a deeply weathered mantle is commonly capped with 2–10 m of lateritic residuum (residual lateritic gravels and duricrust) and/or ferricrete (Fe oxide-cemented sediment), which formed under seasonally humid tropical and sub-tropical climates during the Cenozoic. The principal constituents of these units are goethite, hematite, maghemite, kaolinite and quartz. They are commonly overlain by younger, 2–10 m thick transported cover, deposited under later semi-arid conditions. Both ferricrete and lateritic residuum may host exploitable secondary gold deposits, typically small (<500,000 ounces) and of low grade (<1–5 g/t Au). The lateritic residuum deposits overlie weathered and fresh primary mineralization, whereas ferricrete deposits overlie uneconomic primary mieralization or barren saprolite and bedrock. Despite numerous studies, many questions remain about the behaviour and evolution of Au in the complex polygenetic systems that form lateritic residuum and ferricrete. In particular, why is it difficult to locate significant primary mineralization associated with highly Au-anomalous ferricrete? Understanding the mechanisms of enrichment of Au and pathfinder elements in ferricrete will assist future discovery. Accordingly, to obtain conclusive evidence for processes of anomaly formation, a combination of detailed field observations with state-of-the-art microscopy have been conducted at three of the larger deposits (Moolart Well, Mt Gibson and Bulchina). The aim of this review is to integrate these recent results with the results of earlier studies to trace the path of Au and pathfinder elements and associated dispersion processes in the ferricrete environment.",
keywords = "Ferricrete, Lateritic residuum, Landscape evolution, Geochemical dispersion, Gold, Mechanisms of dispersion, Exploration, NANO-PARTICULATE GOLD, GEOCHEMICAL-EXPLORATION, LATERITIC PROFILE, DETRITAL ZIRCONS, DONDO-MOBI, PALEOGEOGRAPHIC EVOLUTION, MINERAL EXPLORATION, EASTERN GOLDFIELDS, PERTH BASIN, IRON",
author = "Anand, {R. R.} and Hough, {R. M.} and W. Salama and Aspandiar, {M. F.} and Butt, {C. R.M.} and I. Gonz{\'a}lez-{\'A}lvarez and V. Metelka",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.oregeorev.2018.11.003",
language = "English",
volume = "104",
pages = "294--355",
journal = "Ore Geology Reviews",
issn = "0169-1368",
publisher = "Pergamon",

}

Gold and pathfinder elements in ferricrete gold deposits of the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia : A review with new concepts. / Anand, R. R.; Hough, R. M.; Salama, W.; Aspandiar, M. F.; Butt, C. R.M.; González-Álvarez, I.; Metelka, V.

In: Ore Geology Reviews, Vol. 104, 01.01.2019, p. 294-355.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Gold and pathfinder elements in ferricrete gold deposits of the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia

T2 - A review with new concepts

AU - Anand, R. R.

AU - Hough, R. M.

AU - Salama, W.

AU - Aspandiar, M. F.

AU - Butt, C. R.M.

AU - González-Álvarez, I.

AU - Metelka, V.

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Secondary mineral deposits have played an important role in the global mineral resource economy for over 50 years, with lateritic Au, Al, Fe and Ni deposits having a significant input to global metal production and reserves. In the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia, a deeply weathered mantle is commonly capped with 2–10 m of lateritic residuum (residual lateritic gravels and duricrust) and/or ferricrete (Fe oxide-cemented sediment), which formed under seasonally humid tropical and sub-tropical climates during the Cenozoic. The principal constituents of these units are goethite, hematite, maghemite, kaolinite and quartz. They are commonly overlain by younger, 2–10 m thick transported cover, deposited under later semi-arid conditions. Both ferricrete and lateritic residuum may host exploitable secondary gold deposits, typically small (<500,000 ounces) and of low grade (<1–5 g/t Au). The lateritic residuum deposits overlie weathered and fresh primary mineralization, whereas ferricrete deposits overlie uneconomic primary mieralization or barren saprolite and bedrock. Despite numerous studies, many questions remain about the behaviour and evolution of Au in the complex polygenetic systems that form lateritic residuum and ferricrete. In particular, why is it difficult to locate significant primary mineralization associated with highly Au-anomalous ferricrete? Understanding the mechanisms of enrichment of Au and pathfinder elements in ferricrete will assist future discovery. Accordingly, to obtain conclusive evidence for processes of anomaly formation, a combination of detailed field observations with state-of-the-art microscopy have been conducted at three of the larger deposits (Moolart Well, Mt Gibson and Bulchina). The aim of this review is to integrate these recent results with the results of earlier studies to trace the path of Au and pathfinder elements and associated dispersion processes in the ferricrete environment.

AB - Secondary mineral deposits have played an important role in the global mineral resource economy for over 50 years, with lateritic Au, Al, Fe and Ni deposits having a significant input to global metal production and reserves. In the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia, a deeply weathered mantle is commonly capped with 2–10 m of lateritic residuum (residual lateritic gravels and duricrust) and/or ferricrete (Fe oxide-cemented sediment), which formed under seasonally humid tropical and sub-tropical climates during the Cenozoic. The principal constituents of these units are goethite, hematite, maghemite, kaolinite and quartz. They are commonly overlain by younger, 2–10 m thick transported cover, deposited under later semi-arid conditions. Both ferricrete and lateritic residuum may host exploitable secondary gold deposits, typically small (<500,000 ounces) and of low grade (<1–5 g/t Au). The lateritic residuum deposits overlie weathered and fresh primary mineralization, whereas ferricrete deposits overlie uneconomic primary mieralization or barren saprolite and bedrock. Despite numerous studies, many questions remain about the behaviour and evolution of Au in the complex polygenetic systems that form lateritic residuum and ferricrete. In particular, why is it difficult to locate significant primary mineralization associated with highly Au-anomalous ferricrete? Understanding the mechanisms of enrichment of Au and pathfinder elements in ferricrete will assist future discovery. Accordingly, to obtain conclusive evidence for processes of anomaly formation, a combination of detailed field observations with state-of-the-art microscopy have been conducted at three of the larger deposits (Moolart Well, Mt Gibson and Bulchina). The aim of this review is to integrate these recent results with the results of earlier studies to trace the path of Au and pathfinder elements and associated dispersion processes in the ferricrete environment.

KW - Ferricrete

KW - Lateritic residuum

KW - Landscape evolution

KW - Geochemical dispersion

KW - Gold

KW - Mechanisms of dispersion

KW - Exploration

KW - NANO-PARTICULATE GOLD

KW - GEOCHEMICAL-EXPLORATION

KW - LATERITIC PROFILE

KW - DETRITAL ZIRCONS

KW - DONDO-MOBI

KW - PALEOGEOGRAPHIC EVOLUTION

KW - MINERAL EXPLORATION

KW - EASTERN GOLDFIELDS

KW - PERTH BASIN

KW - IRON

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85056855543&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2018.11.003

DO - 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2018.11.003

M3 - Review article

VL - 104

SP - 294

EP - 355

JO - Ore Geology Reviews

JF - Ore Geology Reviews

SN - 0169-1368

ER -