New metamorphic constraints on the Nova-Bollinger Ni–Cu deposit, Fraser Zone, Western Australia

J. Chong, N. Tucker, L. Martin, P. Polito, M. Fiorentini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metamorphic investigations were conducted using mineral chemistry, phase equilibria modelling and conventional thermobarometry on four metamorphic country rock samples from the Nova-Bollinger Ni–Cu deposit, Western Australia. New P–T constraints obtained from phase equilibria modelling of garnet-bearing granulites and cordierite–sillimanite-bearing metasedimentary rocks indicate that the Nova-Bollinger deposit formed at mid-crustal depths (0.75–0.76 GPa and 880–920 °C), along high thermal gradients around 1200 °C/GPa. Peak metamorphic conditions are consistent with those obtained from the Nova-Bollinger intrusive rocks, and with metagabbros from the southern Fraser Zone, but are slightly elevated relative to metapelites examined in the southern Fraser Zone. The peak metamorphic conditions at Nova-Bollinger reflect the combined effects of regional-scale high-T conditions during orogenesis superimposed by contact metamorphism in a thermal aureole adjacent to the Nova-Bollinger mafic–ultramafic magmas. Thermal metamorphism may have been further enhanced by local heat transfer from intruding sulfide liquid, which pervasively infiltrated country rocks on scales of tens to hundreds of metres beneath the orebodies. This additional heat source may be locally significant, despite being volumetrically limited. Retrograde P–T conditions were determined by garnet–biotite conventional thermobarometry of garnet-core–matrix biotite pairs (0.29–0.45 GPa and 550–640 °C). These P–T conditions suggest that the Nova-Bollinger country rocks cooled along a near-isobaric cooling path and reflect the effects of thermal decay following emplacement of voluminous magmas into the Fraser Zone during Stage I Albany–Fraser Orogeny.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-698
Number of pages26
JournalAustralian Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number5
Early online date5 Jun 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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