Bauxitic Laterites of the South Western Part of Western Australia

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1973
In the Ora Banda area of the Eastern Gold- fields, the ultramafic rocks tend to be more deeply lateritized than most of the surrounding rock types, and lateritic nickel concentrations have been formed. Extensive drilling_has shown that, of the two intermixed suites be- neath the laterite - an extrusive peridotite- pyroxenite suite and an intrusive, highly magnetic dunite - the latter weathers to a more nickel enriched laterite. The top horizon I of the laterite consists of ferricrete. Horizon II consists mainly of bands of secondary silica in a clay matrix, formed in the reworking zone around the water table and stranded as the weathering profile migrated downwards. Horizon III ('Âșaprolite") is composed of serpentinite, magnesite, iron oxides and silica, and grades dowil to the fresh bock composed variously of olivine, ser- pentine, talc, amphibole-chlorite and iron oxides. The main locus of nickel deposition is the zone containing the bottom of horizon II and the top of horizon III. The water table is also at this general level. .
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