Tectonic Evolution and Metallogenesis of the New England Fold Belt, Eastern Australia

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The New England Fold Belt forms the easternmost and youngest section of the Tasman Fold Belt System of eastern Australia. From middle Palaeozoic to Early Cretaceous time it was the site of extensive episodic calc-alkaline magmatism related to W-dipping subduction. The oldest rocks may have formed at least partly in a volcanic island arc, but from the Late Devonian, the fold belt developed as a convergent Pacific-type continental margin. For Late Devonian-Carboniferous time, parallel belts representing continental margin volcanic arc, forearc basin and subduction complex assemblages can be recognised. Major dextral transform faulting may have offset parts of the fold belt in the Late Carboniferous. In addition, some structural blocks which appear to be out of place in the overall palaeogeographic setting are possible exotic or suspect terranes. A great variety of lode deposits ranging in age from middle Palaeozoic to Early Cretaceous is present in the New England Fold Belt. The vast majority of these are related to emplacement of extensive granite plutons and eruption of continental silicic volcanics in Late Permian-Late Triassic time. However, volcanogenic massive sulphides and volcanic hosted epithermal gold-silver deposits in older rock sequences include one major orebody (Mount Morgan) and several important ones (Mount Chalmers, Cracow, Silver Spur, Cangai and Halls Peak). Some problematical deposits are best classified as metamorphic-hydrothermal. These include gold-bearing quartz reefs and stockworks in sedimentary host rocks, the most important of which are at Gympie, and antimony-gold- tungsten mineralisation in the New England area, mainly at Hillgrove.
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