Hydrothermal Ni: Doriri Creek, Papua New Guinea

Ignacio González-Álvarez, M. Sweetapple, I.D. Lindley, J. Kirakar

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    The Doriri Creek (DC) Ni-Pd-Pt prospect was discovered in 1966 in the Papuan Ultramafic Belt (PUB) in PNG. The DC was interpreted as a hydrothermal Ni accumulation. The DC is located in the southern proximity of Mt Suckling (~. 180. km SE of Port Moresby), where local intrusive rocks are intermediate to acid dykes and small stocks, within the tec tonized contact zone of the Australian and Woodlark Plates. The active volcanoes of Mount Victory and Waiowa indicate recent thermal activity in the area.The Doriri Creek prospect is the result of episodic hydrothermal fluid flow running through the Doriri prospect, that resulted in Ni concentration of up to 1.55. wt.%, formed by alteration of an ultramafic unit of peridotites/pyroxenites within a Mg-rich gabbronorite envelope. Ni was concentrated in chlorite and serpentine group minerals in addition to Fe oxides, with a minor amount in pentlandite in locally sulfidic samples. Ore mineralogy is also associated with a high phosphorous content as apatite, that concentrates LREE (light rare earth elements). Palladium concentrations are up to 0.37. ppm. Platinum is present in concentrations up to 0.06. ppm within the ore.The alteration halo associated with Doriri Creek mineralization is ~. 100. m in width. Primary mineralogy comprises pyroxene, olivine and plagioclase, which have been altered extensively to amphibole and chlorite-serpentine group minerals. This halo is characterized by enrichments of U, K and W over background values.Local magnetite concentration is up to ~. 35% of whole rock, which is very pronounced in the sulfide rich area of the system. The top part of the DC system is overprinted by tropical weathering at metric scale, which displays LREE enrichment and positive Ce anomalies.The Papuan Ultramafic Belt is described as a highly prospective ground for hydrothermal Ni systems based on its availability of Ni, active thermal flow engines, and the geologic regional context dominated by mafic rock suites and the presence of carbonate/siliciclastic units. © 2012.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37-57
    JournalOre Geology Reviews
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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