Open Access Repository

Shoshonitic magmatism and the formation of the Northparkes porphyry Cu-Au deposits, New South Wales


Downloads per month over past year

Lickfold, V, Cooke, DR, Crawford, AJ and Fanning, CM 2007 , 'Shoshonitic magmatism and the formation of the Northparkes porphyry Cu-Au deposits, New South Wales' , Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, vol. 54, no. 2&3 , pp. 417-444 , doi: 10.1080/08120090601175754.

[img] PDF
Lickfold_et_al_...pdf | Request a copy
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


Four economic porphyry Cu-Au deposits occur at Northparkes, New South Wales: Endeavour 22 (E22),E26, E27 and E48. Mineralisation is centred on thin, pipe-like Late Ordovician to Early Silurian quartz monzonite porphyry complexes. Nine intrusive phases have been recognised, with a common sequence of emplacement recognised in all deposits. Pre-mineralisation intrusions include coarsegrained, equigranular monzodiorite and equigranular to weakly porphyritic biotite-quartz monzonite (U-Pb SHRIMP age 444.2 plus or minus 4.7 Ma). Three variably felsic quartz monzonite porphyry phases comprise the mineralised intrusive complexes: (i) volumetrically minor early and late mineralisation biotite-phyric quartz monzonite porphyry dykes; (ii) abundant synmineralisation K-feldspar-phyric quartz monzonite porphyry intrusions; and (iii) less abundant syn- to late mineralisation augite-biotite K-feldspar-phyric quartz monzonite porphyry intrusions. Post-mineralisation basaltic trachyandesite dykes and augitephyric monzonite porphyry dykes are also present (U-Pb SHRIMP age 436.7 plus or minus 3.3 Ma), as are younger
mafic dykes. The regional volcanic and intrusive rocks define systematic geochemical trends consistent with high-temperature magmatic fractionation of basaltic trachyandesite through trachyte. However, the trace-element compositions and REE patterns of the mineralising intrusions cannot be explained by crystal fractionation alone because there is a return to more mafic compositions in the waning stages of intrusive activity. The intrusive complexes are interpreted to have formed due to the emplacement of mafic alkaline melts into the base of a crystallising, zoned, monzodiorite to monzonite magma
chamber. Shallow crustal fault ruptures above the magma chamber probably caused instantaneous depressurisation and simultaneous egress of quartz monzonite porphyry and exsolved aqueous fluid into dilatant zones. Localised fracturing and additional volatile exsolution from the quartz monzonite melt is thought to have led to the formation of the quartz monzonite porphyry complexes and associated Cu-Au-bearing stockwork veins and related orthoclase alteration. Volatile-rich aqueous fluid partitioned LREE preferentially to MREE and HREE resulting in the development of distinctive U-shaped REE patterns
of the ore-related intrusions.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lickfold, V and Cooke, DR and Crawford, AJ and Fanning, CM
Keywords: alkalic, copper, gold, magma mingling, magmatism, Northparkes, porphyry, shoshonite
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Earth Sciences
ISSN: 0812-0099
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/08120090601175754
Additional Information:

The definitive version is available online at

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page