Tectonic setting of some mineral deposits of the New Guinea Region

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
Mineral deposits of the central New Guinea region (Gunung Bijih, Ok Tedi, Mount Kare, Porgera, Frieda River) and of southeastern New Guinea (Wau-Edie Creek, Wafi, Hamata, Hidden Valley, Tolukuma, Misima) are associated with hot, forceful intrusions of magma of mantle origin that penetrated thick Precambrian and Palaeozoic continental crust. The interaction of high- temperature melt with continental crust, and the differentiation of melt while in transit through thick crust, may be factors in generating ore. Mineralised intrusives in central New Guinea are a result of Neogene- Quaternary magmatism and were emplaced in a foreland thrust belt environment, a setting similar to the (mineralised) Laramide intrusions of southwestern USA. In both cases, central New Guinea and the Laramide, magmatism is not obviously subduction- related. Mineralised intrusives in south- eastern New Guinea (Wau-Edie Creek, etc.), also, are in a thrust belt setting, and are not obviously subduction-related. The association of. gold in southeastern New Guinea with a second (Pliocene) phase of igneous activity, rather than with earlier (Miocene) activity suggests that re-working by successive intrusions may be a factor in localising ore. This is seen, also, in the Bismarck-Solomon islands region where the richer deposits are associated with later (Pliocene) intrusives rather than with earlier (Eocene-Oligocene) intrusives. Unlike the mainland mineral deposits, those of the Bismarck-Solomon islands are clearly subduction-related.
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