Gold and Base Metal Mineralisation in the Central Pine Creek Geosyncline

Nicholson P M, ; Butler I K,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 0
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
There are four main types of base metal and gold mineralisation recognised in the central Pine Creek Geosyncline. These are stratiform, polymetallic veins, stockwork/concordant gold-quartz veins and unconformity related uranium-gold-platinoid mineralisation. The stratigraphy of the central Palaeoproterozoic Pine Creek Geosyncline has been simplified into three groups comprising the Batchelor, Frances Creek and Finniss River Groups in ascending order. Stratiform mineralisation occurs within the Frances Creek Group. The earliest mineralisation is found adjacent to circular faults ringing basement highs. Higher in the stratigraphy, stratiform mineralisation is often associated with zones of high compression in the vicinity of basement highs. A synsedimentary-diagenetic origin for stratiform mineralisation is proposed. Polymetallic vein mineralisation occurs within the Frances Creek and Finniss River Groups. Its composition changes systematically through the stratigraphy similar to the stratiform mineralisation. The mineralisation is structurally controlled and usually occurs in the vicinity of basement highs. Stockwork-concordant gold-quartz vein mineralisation is hosted by the upper Frances Creek and Finniss River Groups. It occurs within compressional zones and along the Pine Creek Structure corridor around, above and particularly between basement highs. Mineable reserves occur in thick continuous semi concordant quartz-sulphide veins and/or stockworks. Unconformity related uranium-gold-platinoid mineralisation shows a close spatial relationship with the Palaeoproterozoic/Mesoproterozoic unconformity. The mineralisation is localised by structures formed during Mesoproterozoic deposition and is commonly adjacent to Archaean basement or its remobilised equivalents. The type of mineralisation (stratifom/polymetallic vein) is a reflection of local stress regimes, structure and physio-chemical conditions. An initial phase of stratiform mineralisation is postulated to have occurred with the first significant marine transgression in a tensional regime. A second phase occurred later during a compressive regime. "Ihermochemical sulphate reduction of mineralising fluids by hydrocarbons is invoked as the precipitation mechanism for the polymetallic vein type of mineralisation. Hydrocarbon generation is postulated to have occurred within the Frances Creek Group, in many places contemporaneously with the movement of mineralising fluids and basin compression. Polymetallic veins formed from the interaction of mineralising fluids and hydrocarbons which were trapped in suitable structures. An abundant, continuing supply of hydrocarbons was necessary to form significant deposits. Where these conditions were not net, the mineralising fluids largely continued their ascent to the near surface environment to form stratiform deposits. The stockwork/concordant gold-quartz vein mineralisation is a later event and occurred during the relaxation of compressional defonnation after deposition of the 1-inniss River Group.
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