An integrated lithogeochemical approach to detecting and interpreting cryptic alteration around the Elura Zn-Pb-Ag deposit, New South Wales, Australia

Kenneth McQueen, Michael Whitbread

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Hydrothermal alteration around the sediment-hosted Elura Zn-Pb-Ag sulphide deposit has produced detectable and systematic chemical changes that are also reflected in subtle mineralogical features (cryptic alteration). Iron carbonate development accompanied by potassic alteration, the destruction of albite and the absence of chlorite are the dominant mineral alteration effects in the surrounding turbidites. Key elements enriched in the primary dispersion zone are Zn, Pb, Ag, As, Rb, Tl, and particularly Sb. Sodium is strongly depleted in the alteration system. Cryptic alteration and primary dispersion can be detected up to 350â¿¿m from the orebody below the weathering front. Pearce Element Ratio (PER) and General Element Ratio (GER) techniques more clearly identify and quantify this alteration and could assist in vectoring towards high intensity alteration adjacent to ore during exploration drilling. These data assessment techniques avoid the problems of closure when comparing element contents for altered and unaltered samples and allow modelling of the mineralogical controls on chemical variation. There are important differences in the alteration effects observed in the fine and coarse fractions of the enclosing turbidite units. For vectoring purposes, the best lithotype to sample is the shale component.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)233-246
    Number of pages14
    JournalGeochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis
    Volume11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Fingerprint

    integrated approach
    Deposits
    lithotype
    mineral alteration
    Carbonates
    Sulfides
    Weathering
    Shale
    turbidite
    hydrothermal alteration
    albite
    Ores
    chlorite
    Minerals
    Drilling
    shale
    Sediments
    weathering
    Iron
    Sodium

    Cite this

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    title = "An integrated lithogeochemical approach to detecting and interpreting cryptic alteration around the Elura Zn-Pb-Ag deposit, New South Wales, Australia",
    abstract = "Hydrothermal alteration around the sediment-hosted Elura Zn-Pb-Ag sulphide deposit has produced detectable and systematic chemical changes that are also reflected in subtle mineralogical features (cryptic alteration). Iron carbonate development accompanied by potassic alteration, the destruction of albite and the absence of chlorite are the dominant mineral alteration effects in the surrounding turbidites. Key elements enriched in the primary dispersion zone are Zn, Pb, Ag, As, Rb, Tl, and particularly Sb. Sodium is strongly depleted in the alteration system. Cryptic alteration and primary dispersion can be detected up to 350{\^a}¿¿m from the orebody below the weathering front. Pearce Element Ratio (PER) and General Element Ratio (GER) techniques more clearly identify and quantify this alteration and could assist in vectoring towards high intensity alteration adjacent to ore during exploration drilling. These data assessment techniques avoid the problems of closure when comparing element contents for altered and unaltered samples and allow modelling of the mineralogical controls on chemical variation. There are important differences in the alteration effects observed in the fine and coarse fractions of the enclosing turbidite units. For vectoring purposes, the best lithotype to sample is the shale component.",
    keywords = "lithogeochemistry, sediment-hosted sulphide deposits, hydrothermal alteration, mineral exploration, Elura, drilling",
    author = "Kenneth McQueen and Michael Whitbread",
    year = "2011",
    doi = "10.1144/1467-7873/09-011",
    language = "English",
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    AU - Whitbread, Michael

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    N2 - Hydrothermal alteration around the sediment-hosted Elura Zn-Pb-Ag sulphide deposit has produced detectable and systematic chemical changes that are also reflected in subtle mineralogical features (cryptic alteration). Iron carbonate development accompanied by potassic alteration, the destruction of albite and the absence of chlorite are the dominant mineral alteration effects in the surrounding turbidites. Key elements enriched in the primary dispersion zone are Zn, Pb, Ag, As, Rb, Tl, and particularly Sb. Sodium is strongly depleted in the alteration system. Cryptic alteration and primary dispersion can be detected up to 350â¿¿m from the orebody below the weathering front. Pearce Element Ratio (PER) and General Element Ratio (GER) techniques more clearly identify and quantify this alteration and could assist in vectoring towards high intensity alteration adjacent to ore during exploration drilling. These data assessment techniques avoid the problems of closure when comparing element contents for altered and unaltered samples and allow modelling of the mineralogical controls on chemical variation. There are important differences in the alteration effects observed in the fine and coarse fractions of the enclosing turbidite units. For vectoring purposes, the best lithotype to sample is the shale component.

    AB - Hydrothermal alteration around the sediment-hosted Elura Zn-Pb-Ag sulphide deposit has produced detectable and systematic chemical changes that are also reflected in subtle mineralogical features (cryptic alteration). Iron carbonate development accompanied by potassic alteration, the destruction of albite and the absence of chlorite are the dominant mineral alteration effects in the surrounding turbidites. Key elements enriched in the primary dispersion zone are Zn, Pb, Ag, As, Rb, Tl, and particularly Sb. Sodium is strongly depleted in the alteration system. Cryptic alteration and primary dispersion can be detected up to 350â¿¿m from the orebody below the weathering front. Pearce Element Ratio (PER) and General Element Ratio (GER) techniques more clearly identify and quantify this alteration and could assist in vectoring towards high intensity alteration adjacent to ore during exploration drilling. These data assessment techniques avoid the problems of closure when comparing element contents for altered and unaltered samples and allow modelling of the mineralogical controls on chemical variation. There are important differences in the alteration effects observed in the fine and coarse fractions of the enclosing turbidite units. For vectoring purposes, the best lithotype to sample is the shale component.

    KW - lithogeochemistry

    KW - sediment-hosted sulphide deposits

    KW - hydrothermal alteration

    KW - mineral exploration

    KW - Elura

    KW - drilling

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    DO - 10.1144/1467-7873/09-011

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    JO - Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis

    JF - Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis

    SN - 1467-7873

    ER -