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Proterozoic gold-copper project: Tennant Creek and Starra Districts Workshop manual no. 3 (CODES publication 23)


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Large, RR, Rattenbury, MS, Huston, DL, Wedekind, R, Both, RA and Davidson, GJ 1989 , Proterozoic gold-copper project: Tennant Creek and Starra Districts Workshop manual no. 3 (CODES publication 23).

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To investigate the geological and geochemical controls on Proterozoic gold-copper mineralisation in iron oxide dominated hydrothermal systems. Major emphasis is to be placed on the gold-copper deposits at Tennant Creek (NT) and in the Selwyn basin (Queensland).

This research program commenced in 1984 as a joint University of Tasmania-CSIRO project with concentration on the application of lead isotopes and trace element geochemistry to exploration in the Tennant Creek region. In 1986 the project was expanded to include studies on other Proterozoic gold-copper-iron oxide deposits at Starra and Trough Tank, and a field workshop was held in July 1987 in Tennant Creek to review progress and plan stage II of the research program.Twelve mining and exploration companies plus the Northern Territory Geological Survey are sponsoring stage II which has now been running for eighteen months. This third workshop manual is a progress report on our research carried out from January 1989 to June 1989.

* Mark Rattenbury has undertaken two separate projects
during the period:
- a study on the relationship of structure and
stratigraphy to the aeromagnetic character of the
Tennant Creek goldfield, and
- a study on the relationship of structure to
mineralisation in the Nobles Nob open cut
* David Huston joined the project at the start of this
year and has commenced a detailed study on geochemical controls on gold mineralisation in the Gecko K-44 orebody and the White Devil deposit. The aim of this work is to determine a range of geochemical factors (fluid inclusion, isotopic, and mineralogic) which distinguish mineralised ironstones from barren ironstones.
* Richard Wedekind has just about completed the write-up
of this PhD thesis, and in May this year left the project to join Western Mining Corp. in Western Australia. An extract from Richard's PhD thesis is included in this report, concerning results from oxygen and hydrogen isotopes and their application to ore genesis and exploration.
* A preliminary evaluation of the regional gravity data
of the Tennant Creek field has been commenced by Dr David Leaman, a consultant to the project. The purpose of this work is to determine the likely configuration and composition of the basement rocks, and their relationship, if any, to the zones of mineralisation. A verbal report will be presented to the meeting on this work.
* Garry Davidson is currently writing-up his PhD research on the Starra and Trough Tank Cu-Au mineralisation. A paper on the significance of sulphur isotope variation in the district is presented in this report

In May this year, the Federal Government granted funds to the University of Tasmania to enable the establishment of a National Key Centre for Ore Deposit and Exploration Studies in the Geology Department. The Key Centre will also be funded by the Tasmanian Government and a number of Mining Companies (Aberfoyle, Pasminco, Renison Goldfields, BHP, Geopeko, Pancontinental and WMC). The major
responsibility of the Key Centre is to undertake teaching
and research programs in Economic Geology which are relevant to the requirements of the Australian mining
industry. The Key Centre will focus on research projects
that involve collaboration with the mining and exploration
industry Australia-wide. I would like to take this
opportunity to thank the sponsors of this project for their
strong support of our application for the Key Centre.

This Proterozoic gold-copper project will continue for at least another eighteen months under the umbrella of the new Key Centre. It is planned that the major part of our research in the Tennant Creek district will be completed by the end of 1989 and that the project will branch out into new territory in 1990. We are very keen to gain input from the sponsor companies on where they think the major focus of the project should be in 1990 and beyond.

Item Type: Report (Technical Report)
Authors/Creators:Large, RR and Rattenbury, MS and Huston, DL and Wedekind, R and Both, RA and Davidson, GJ
Publisher: University of Tasmania
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