Rift structures and magmatism focus VMS and gold mineralisation in the Paleoproterozoic Bryah Rift Basin, Australia

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The interaction of structure development and magmatism in rift-settings provides systemic controls on the emplacement of ore deposits both during rifting and subsequently, and a knowledge of these may help to predict better the likely locations of major deposits. The Paleoproterozoic Bryah Rift Basin includes substantial mafic magmatism and deep-crust penetrating structures and possesses syn-rift volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) and later gold mineralisation, providing a good opportunity to study interactions between magmatism, structures, and mineralisation. The volcano-sedimentary Bryah Group was deposited in a continental rift developed within the broader Yerrida Basin on the northern margin of the Yilgarn Craton at ca. 2030 Ma. Multi-scale interpretation and forward modelling of gravity and magnetic data were applied to characterise the magmatic and structural patterns of the Bryah Group, enabling a better understanding of its tectono-magmatic development and controls on VMS and gold mineralisation. The interpretation highlights the bounding extensional faults and the inward-deepening structural pattern of the Bryah Rift Basin that reflects the initial rift geometry. Deep-rooted gravity sources show magmatism focused in the southern-central part of the basin, where mafic rocks' thickness can reach more than 10 km. At shallower levels, the rift magmatism extends in three east to east-northeast trending magmatic corridors with an en-echelon arrangement along the rift, oblique to major structures. These magmatic corridors have an intrinsic relationship with the internal structure of the rift. VMS mineralisation associated with mafic magmatism shows a spatial connection with magmatic corridors and major syn-rift faults, whereas VMS mineralisation associated with felsic volcanic rocks is related with off-axis volcanism and regional pre-rift faults. Later orogenic gold mineralisation is also spatially associated with the borders of the magmatic centres and rift faults, despite occurring ~200 Ma later. These associations suggest that primary rift architecture has substantially focused syn-rift VMS mineralisation and also later gold mineralisation, as a consequence of rheological and compositional contrasts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104192
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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