Zonations, Mineralisation Paragenesis and Rock Types of the Nena High Sulphidation Copper-Gold Deposit, Papua New Guinea

Espi J,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1997
The Nena high sulphidation deposit, located in the Sandaun Province, PNG, contains a measured and indicated resource of 51 Mt of copper ore grading 0.5% Cu and 0.6 g/t Au at a 0.5% Cu cut-off. The copper orebody is overlain by an 18Mt oxide gold resource grading 0.1 % Cu and 1.4 g/t Au at a 0.6 g/t Au cut-off. The deposit is hosted in advanced argillic altered pyroclastics interstratified with lavas, volcanoclastics, epiclastics and sediments of the Debom Volcanics within the Frieda River Intrusive Complex. Foraminiferal sediments indicate the Debom Volcanics to be Early-Middle Miocene in age. Alteration is elongated along, and concentric about a northwest trending structure (Nena Structural Corridor) which is about 7km in length. The inner two alteration types, residual and massive silica-alunite are strongly brecciated and host the bulk of later hypogene Cu-Au mineralisation. Weakly mineralised weak silica- alunite and barren peripherally zoned clay alteration surround the inner mineralised alterations. The hypogene sulphide deposition was polyphasal, episodic and is zoned from north to south from covellite-enargite ¦ chalcocite (5600N to 5200N) to a mixed enargite-luzonite (5200N to 4700N) to luzonite-stibioluzonite (4700N to 4400N) in the south within a 1200m long by 300m diameter sub horizontal pipe like body. Paragenesis studies indicate that pyrite ¦ marcasite were introduced early with barite and black native sulphur before deposition of banded pyrite (melnicovite) with barite during a period of brecciation. Continued brecciation allowed bladed covellite ¦ chalcocite followed by enargite-luzonite-stibioluzonite ¦ pyrite (brassy) and minor acicular covellite deposition. Yellow native sulphur and trace amounts of galena were deposited in remaining pores. Pre-acid alteration intrusives domed the mainly volcanic stratigraphy in the southwest and post-mineralisation porphyries in the northeast truncate mineralisation. Supergene processes and erosion have modified the top of the deposit, creating a 45m thick goethitic-scoroditic-haematitic gold cap above a 40m thick (on average) chalcocite rich supergene blanket. Lesser amounts of digenite, covellite native copper and rarely seen malachite occur in the supergene copper zone.
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