Epithermal Mineralisation and Alteration in the Triassic North Arm Volcanics, Southeast Queensland

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Precious metal mineralization at the North Arm goldfield in SE Queensland occurs in the Triassic North Arm Volcanics, a sequence of andesite to rhyolite, pyroclastic and epi- clastic rocks deposited in a continental envir- onment. This unit displays a well-defined fracture system on Landsat imagery, including several arcuate structures which may represent former calderas. Two of the latter are associ- ated with zones of hydrothermal alteration, breccias and anomalous precious and volatile metal values. At the North Arm prospect, alter- ation is zoned from outer propylitic into exten- sive sericitic, although K-feldspar alteration is prevalent in the rhyolite. A zone of advanced argillic alteration is also present at Mt. Ninderry, SSE of North Arm. Alteration involves depletion of Na, Ca and Sr, and vari- able enrichment of S, As, Au, Ag, Hg and Mo. K and Rb are strongly enriched in K-feldspar altered zones. Precious metal mineralization occurs in veins, stockworks and hydrothermal breccia zones, and pervasive low grade Au-Ag dispersion is found throughout the sericitic and K-feldspar altered rocks. Veins and brec- cia interstices contain abundant quartz (common- ly banded), minor pyrite, calcite and sericite, with traces of silver grading to electrum, frei- bergite, naumannite, allargentum, marcasite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite. Mineralogical and geochemical characteristics are consistent with that found at volcanic-hosted epithermal precious metal deposits, particularly with the low-sulphur/adularia-sericite type.
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