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Linking Olympic Dam and the Cariewerloo Basin: was a sedimentary basin involved in formation of the world’s largest uranium deposit?


Cherry, AR and McPhie, J and Kamenetsky, VS and Ehrig, K and Keeling, JL and Kamenetsky, MB and Meffre, S and Apukhtina, OB, Linking Olympic Dam and the Cariewerloo Basin: was a sedimentary basin involved in formation of the world's largest uranium deposit?, Precambrian Research, 300 pp. 168-180. ISSN 0301-9268 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2017.08.002


The supergiant Olympic Dam Cu-U-Au-Ag deposit is hosted by the Olympic Dam Breccia Complex within a ca. 1.59 Ga granite. The breccia complex is largely granite-derived but also includes volcanic clasts and domains of bedded clastic facies. Recently discovered quartz-rich sandstone has a provenance that included Paleoproterozoic and Archean units represented by zircon populations centered at ca. 2.4 Ga and ca. 1.7 Ga. The texture, detrital and cement mineralogy, and distribution of detrital zircon ages in the quartz-rich sandstone closely match those in sandstone of the Pandurra Formation deposited in the regionally extensive intracratonic Cariewerloo Basin (ca. 1.44 Ga). The age of authigenic apatite (1.44 ± 0.02 Ga) in the brecciated quartz-rich sandstone is equivalent to the minimum depositional age of the Pandurra Formation. We conclude that the quartz-rich sandstone is a remnant of the Pandurra Formation, that the Pandurra Formation originally extended across the Olympic Dam Breccia Complex, and that it was incorporated by tectonic activity at least 150 myr after initial formation of the breccia complex. Furthermore, we speculate that oxidized U-bearing fluids from the overlying Cariewerloo Basin may have interacted with the Olympic Dam U resource, consistent with mounting evidence for substantial post-1.59 Ga remobilization and probable addition of U.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Olympic Dam, sedimentary basin, Pandurra Formation, Cariewerloo Basin, uranium
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Resource geoscience
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Energy exploration
Objective Field:Uranium exploration
UTAS Author:Cherry, AR (Mr Alex Cherry)
UTAS Author:McPhie, J (Professor Jocelyn McPhie)
UTAS Author:Kamenetsky, VS (Professor Vadim Kamenetsky)
UTAS Author:Kamenetsky, MB (Dr Maya Kamenetsky)
UTAS Author:Meffre, S (Dr Sebastien Meffre)
UTAS Author:Apukhtina, OB (Miss Olga Apukhtina)
ID Code:120610
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP130100438)
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:CODES ARC
Deposited On:2017-08-29
Last Modified:2018-04-24

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