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

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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

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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",
volume = "11",
pages = "233--246",
journal = "Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis",
issn = "1467-7873",
publisher = "Geological Society of London",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - An integrated lithogeochemical approach to detecting and interpreting cryptic alteration around the Elura Zn-Pb-Ag deposit, New South Wales, Australia

AU - McQueen, Kenneth

AU - Whitbread, Michael

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

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

U2 - 10.1144/1467-7873/09-011

DO - 10.1144/1467-7873/09-011

M3 - Article

VL - 11

SP - 233

EP - 246

JO - Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis

JF - Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis

SN - 1467-7873

ER -