Geology and Discovery of the Que River and Hellyer Polymetallic Sulphide Ore Bodies Tasmania

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 1
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
The Que River and Hellyer polymetallic massive sulphide ore bodies are located 3 kilometres apart in the Cambrian Mount Read volcanics of Western Tasmania. Both deposits are classic examples of the Kuroko volcanogenic style. Base and precious metal rich hydrothermal solutions rose through a deep fracture system and vented on the sea floor, causing sulphides to accumu- late in adjacent topographic lows. Together the preproduction geological resource is approximately 23 million tonnes at greater than 18% zinc plus lead, with economically significant silver and gold. Exploration by Aberfoyle in the Mount Read volcanics com- menced in 1970. Que River was discovered in 1973 following a comprehensive data review, a regional stream geochemical survey and a helicopter-borne electromagnetic survey. Production began in 1981, and the mine is currently producing 300,000 tonnes per year. The ore is sold to the Electrolytic Zinc Company of Aus- tralasia Ltd mill at Rosebery. Ten years of extensive geological mapping, soil geochemistry, and induced polarisation, combined with continual study of the Que River orebody and its host rocks, formed a strong frame- work for the discovery of the Hellyer deposit, which was found as a result of drilling .a subtle time domain electromagnetic anomaly in 1983. Hellyer is currently being mined at a rate of 250,000 tonnes per year, with the ore being concentrated at Aber- foyle's converted Cleveland tin mill. Treatment of 1 million tonnes per year will begin in early 1989 at a new mill located near the Hellyer site.
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