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Chemical and physical controls on the development of Oak Dam East: a prodigious, uranium-bearing, massive oxide body.

Davidson, GJ 1991 , Chemical and physical controls on the development of Oak Dam East: a prodigious, uranium-bearing, massive oxide body..

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Oak Dam is a very large massive oxide body in the style of the Olympic Dam fossil hydrothermal system, South Australia. Oak Dam contains uranium, copper and rare earths as low-grade large-tonnage mineralisation, although tantalising intersections of ore grade material over narrow widths have also been encountered. In 1989 their
exploration project had reached a point of exhaustion for conventional techniques, yet the vast size of the ancient geothermal system still held promise of a rich heart, which
might be located through an improved knowledge of the origin of the ore. Consequently an academic research study of Oak Dam was commissioned by the Western Mining Corporation.

Work on the oxide body included core logging for specific features (the existing Western Mining logs proved an excellent record to build upon), sulfur and oxygen isotope analysis, petrography, electron microprobe analysis, fluid inclusion studies, and fluid inclusion decrepitometry. The aim throughout has been to discover those crucial pieces of information which most unambiguously indicate the origin of these rocks. Some aspects are not yet well understood, but the data collected indicates a complex self-replacive hydrothermal history which obscured the evidence of its early stages by vigorous late-stage low-temperature activity.

The specific aims of the project were:
(1) To determine the origin of the iron-oxide body, by detailing the original (primary) mineralogy, and the temperatures and fluid compositions from which it formed. As part of this general aim, it was specifically requested that the significance of the colloform textures in hematite be assessed.
(2) To examine the modifications to the original iron-oxide body by weathering, hydrothermal and other processes, and determine what influence these may have
had on the distribution of Fe and other elements.
(3) To determine the origin of, and controls on, Cu and U mineralisation.

This report is a draft detailing the results of this study to date.

Item Type: Report (Technical Report)
Authors/Creators:Davidson, GJ
Publisher: University of Tasmania
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