The Nickel Sulphide Deposits of Kambalda, Western Australia

Hopkins G M F,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1973
Intensive exploration of the Archaean ultra mafic sequence bordering the Kambalda dome has resulted in the discovery of at least ten dis- tinct areas of nickel sulphide mineralisation subsequent to the initial drill intersection in January, 1966. Sulphide ore reserves to June 30, 1972 were 19.36 million tonnes at 3.3% nickel after mining of 3.0 million tonnes at 3:7%,nickel since production commenced in March, 1967. About 75% of contained nickel metal reserves occur in sulphide concentrations located at the base of the-ultramafic sequence, in contact with underlying meta-tholeiitic basalt. The remaining reserve occurs in concentrations of sulphides within the ultramafic sequence, usually within 100 metres of the underlying contact and typically in proximity to contact mineralisation. These hanging wall orebodies are smaller, contain significantly lower con- centrations of sulphide, and generally exhibit higher Ni:S ratios than underlying contact ore- bodies. The majority of contact sulphides concentr- ations form narrow, elongate, north north-west trending bodies, closely coincident with fault bounded depressions in the contact. Detailed study of the Lunnon Shoot ore environment in- dicates that it was a locus of crustal failure during, and subsequent to, emplacement of ultra- mafic rocks. Resultant structures parallel and
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