Mineral systems approach applied to GIS-based 2D-prospectivity modelling of geological regions: Insights from Western Australia

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    Abstract

    © 2015 Elsevier B.V.. GIS-based 2D prospectivity modelling of three greenfield geological regions of Western Australia, namely, the West Arunta Orogen, West Musgrave Orogen and Gascoyne Province, was implemented for a range of deposit types including orogenic and intrusion-related gold, volcanic sediment-hosted base-metal sulfides, magmatic nickel-copper and magmatic platinum group element sulfides, iron-oxide copper gold, tin-tungsten, igneous and metamorphic related rare earth elements, surficial uranium and unconformity-related uranium.Conceptual mineral systems models were generated to identify the targeting criteria. The inputs to the models were the spatial proxies derived from 1:100,000 to 1:500,000 scale public domain data. The results showed similar prospectivity patterns for all of the targeted deposit types except sediment-hosted uranium and surficial uranium deposit types. Once a favourable geodynamic architecture is established, it can sustain different mineral systems and produce diverse deposit types depending on the nature of ligands in the source regions and physical-chemical environment in the trap regions through repeated reactivation in the subsequent geological history. A model is proposed to explain the formation of different deposit types at different stages of tectonic evolution of a province. The implication for GIS-based 2D prospectivity modelling at the scale of geological region is that the prospectivity model may not be deposit type specific. Further, prospectivity modelling should be carried out sequentially at progressively finer scales (regional- to district- to camp-scale), using only the targeting criteria that are relevant at the specific scale to delineate targets for specific deposit types.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)673-702
    JournalOre Geology Reviews
    Volume71
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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