Geology and Mineralogy of the Brolga Laterite Deposit, Central Queensland

Rivers CJ,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1996
The Brolga deposit is a Ni-Co enriched laterite, formed over intensly serpentinised peridotites of the Marlborough Block. Basement lithologies at Brolga consist predominantly of serpentinised dunite, with lesser massive serpentinite shear, gabbro and harzburgite. Investigation of the deposit has defined 17 different varieties of saprolite, ferralite (limonite), and ferricrete. Different combinations of these varieties form three distinct lateritic associations, the Hard, Soft and Dyke Associations. Recognition of key textural and mineralogical features in each association, an understanding of basement geology, and an awareness of current climatic conditions, suggest that: 1. both the Hard and Soft Associations have formed under relatively dry climatic conditions; 2. the Soft Association reflects much poorer groundwater drainage than the Hard Association; and 3. the Dyke Association has formed from a gabbroic basement, and has also been affected by restricted groundwater drainage, caused by poorly permeable marginal serpentinite shears.
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