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The geology and geochemistry of the Mount Elliott copper-gold deposit, northwest Queensland


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Garrett, Samuel J M 1992 , 'The geology and geochemistry of the Mount Elliott copper-gold deposit, northwest Queensland', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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A new resource of approximately two million tonnes at 4.2% Cu equivalent has been
discovered beneath old workings of the Mount Elliott mine in northwest Queensland.
Potentially economic copper and gold mineralisation occurs as massive chalcopyrite with
pyrite and pyrrhotite hosted in breccia matrix and shallow-dipping calc-silicate+calcite veins
which cross-cut the local stratigraphy. The en-echelon series of mineralised veins are
constrained between two northwest-trending, steeply-dipping reverse faults.

The deposit occurs within a unit of brecciated and pervasively skarn-altered shales ("Elliott
Beds") near to the top of the Kuridala Formation. Bleaching of the shales followed by Ca-F
metasomatism and albite-hematite (red-rock) alteration formed an early ground-preparation
event that enhanced brittle fracturing and brecciation of the shale. The advancing red-rock
alteration is geochemically characterised by increasing Na20 and Al2O3 contents and
decreasing SiO2 content (quartz dissolution). Brecciation was accompanied by pervasive,
prograde skarn alteration consisting of coarse-grained diopside-hedenbergite, scapolite,
sphene, apatite and calcite. Wholerock geochemical analysis of calc-silicate altered rocks
reveals severe depletions in SiO2, Na20 and Al2O3 contents accompanied by markedly
increased Fe2O3 content. Magnetite plus chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite and pyrite replaces the
calc-silicate assemblage preferentially along the contact of calcite and clinopyroxene grains.
Late, anhydrous retrograde alteration of the skarn comprises minor chlorite and epidote.
Fracturing is the primary control on localisation of alteration in which hydrothermal fluids
repeatedly utilised the same pathways during progressive stages of alteration.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Garrett, Samuel J M
Keywords: Gold ores, Copper ores
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 1992 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Ec.Geol.)--University of Tasmania, 1994. Includes bibliographical references

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