Volcanic-Sedimentary Facies Associations Hosting the Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Mineralisation at Golden Grove, Western Australia

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The Archean Gossan Hill Group at Golden Grove, Western Australia, hosts two potentially economic volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits. The volcanic-sedimentary succession hosting this mineralisation is composed of a facies association which includes the products of rhyodacitic to,andesitic effusive volcanism, mass-flow sedimentation and concentrated hydrothermal fluid discharge, in a deep subaqueous setting. The Tertiary Kuroko deposits of Japan are widely compared to Archean volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits and a comparison of the facies associations hosting this style of mineralisation, in these two successions separated widely in time, allows a refinement of facies models suitable for exploration in ancient successions. The required deep subaqueous environment for the formation of volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits places constraints on the physical processes that can operate during accumulation of the host stratigraphy. Limitations on the operation of physical processes is reflected by the resultant facies association which can be used to characterize suitable volcanic-sedimentary successions in which volcanogenic massive sulphide mineralisation may be present. The facies association includes: (1) proximal effusive volcanic products - lavas and associated autoclastic breccias (2) distal volcanic products - mass-flow resedimented pyroclastic debris (3) background sedimentation - reworked volcanogenic and terrigenous mass-flow sediments and (4) chemical sediments - exhalites including cherts, sulphides and oxides, with perhaps various carbonates and sulphates. Primary pyroclastic deposits are not expected to be present, other than distal water-lain air-fall deposits, derived from shallow to emergent basin margin explosive volcanic centres, which also provide a source for the resedimented pyroclastic debris.
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