Olympic Dam Project

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 1
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
The Olympic Dam copper-uranium-gold-silver deposit, located 520 km NNW of Adelaide, S.A. was discovered by Western Mining Corporation Ltd in 1975, and is now being developed as a joint venture between WMC (5107o) and the BP Group (4907o). The discovery of this deposit resulted from the application of a conceptual model for the formation of sediment-hosted copper deposits. This model postulated that the oxidation of basaltic rocks could release significant amounts of copper into solution and that, under favourable conditions, these solutions might pass upwards along faults, and the copper be precipitated in reduced- facies sediments higher in the sequence. The Stuart Shelf province was chosen for exploration because geological interpretation suggested the presence of suitable basal- tic source rocks at depth, and favourable host sedimentary rocks in the overlying sequence. The Olympic Dam site was selected for drill-testing because of the presence of coincident gravity and aeromagnetic anomalies suggesting the presence of basalts and/or mineralisation at depth. This site also had a favourable tectonic signature, indicating the presence of deep crustal structures which might have allowed fluid migration.
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