Genesis of Archaean Ultramafic-Associated Nickel-Iron Sulphides at Nepean, Western Australia

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1973
Nickel-iron sulphide mineralization at Nepean, Western Australia occurs within a small Archaean greenstone outlier in granite south of the main Coolgardie greenstone belt. Individual sulphide ore bodies are situated near the foot- wall contact of simply-differentiated en echelon ultramafic sills that have intruded a sequence of sulphide-bearing metasediments and amphibo- lites. The paper describes a detailed section through the No. 2 ultramafic sill and its associated sulphide ore zone, which gave Metals Exploration N.L. the first significant nickel discovery in the Nepean area in 1968. The sill is variable in thickness up to 30 m along a strike length of 600 m, and is truncated to the north by pegmatite intrusion and pinches out to the south. The body has border zones of pyroxenetic composition, now represented by felted aggregates of chlorite and amphibole, and a central peridotitic core in which olivine and orthopyroxene are concentrated towards the base. Textures within the peridotite are dominated by large lath-shaped olivine grains and their serpentine pseudomorphs, which delineate triangular areas composed of talc, chlorite, and amphibole. Orthopyroxene occurs in large ovoid patches and is often replaced by Talc.
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