Lateritic Nickel Deposits at Ora Banda, Western Australia

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 1
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1973
Tertiary laterite is extensively developed in the Darling Range area, but there is doubt that. the high relief areas along the Darling Scarp have been peneplaned. Three distinct laterite types are distinguished which are termed transported, introduced and residual laterites to avoid ambiguity. Transported laterites are recemented (primarily) lateritic materials and introduced laterites are chemical deposits of bog iron type. Residual laterites are formed in situ from the host material which can be either decomposed bedrock or detrital' clay, and the two varieties formed from these sources are termed residual A and residual B laterites. The genetic requirements for residual laterite formation are (1) host material, (2) porosity and permeability, (3) rainfall, (4) temperature, (5) relief and drainage, (6) vege- tation and (7) time. Previous theories on the origin of laterite appear to be inadequate and incompatible with field observations. Field investigations and drilling in the Darling Range area disclosed lenticular section and thickest laterite development on slopes and thin or oc- casionally no laterite development on crests. Lateritisation is considered a surface feature and the end product of the chemical weathering cycle. The relief and rain-water acting on a kaolinitic host material are con- sidered the major contributing factors in the
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