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Geological and structural controls on gold mineralization in the Tanami District, Northern Territory


Tunks, AJ and Cooke, DR, Geological and structural controls on gold mineralization in the Tanami District, Northern Territory, Mineralium Deposita, 42, (1) pp. 107-126. ISSN 0026-4598 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00126-006-0097-z


Gold mineralization in the Tanami district is hosted within moderately northwest dipping turbiditic sedimentary and basaltic volcanic rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Mt. Charles Formation. The gold occurs within a complex sinistral wrench-fault array and associated veins and alteration haloes. The main mineralized faults have a northerly trend and dip steeply east. Subsidiary structures trend at 030° and 070° and dip towards the southeast. Paleostress calculations based on fault striation populations and geometry (strike and dip) of faults indicate that at the time of the mineralizing event, δ1 was sub-horizontal and SE-NW directed with δ1 subvertical. Structural studies indicate that the mineralization occurred after the regional folding event and synchronous with the emplacement of felsic dykes into the mine sequence. Gold veins in the Tanami district are interpreted to be part of an outer thermal aureole gold system that formed during the emplacement of granitoids in the nearby ∼1,815 to ∼1,799 Ma Frankenia and/or Coomarie domes. Economic gold mineralization occurred late in the paragenetic history of the district. Gold is hosted by quartz-carbonate veins within shear zones, and also in the surrounding sericite-quartz-pyrite ± carbonate-altered wallrocks. Gold-mineralized veins precipitated at depths of 3 to 6 km from high temperature (∼300°C), low salinity (∼5 wt% NaCl equivalent) fluids with low COδ2 contents. Barren quartz, dolomite and calcite veins that occur in pre- and post-mineralization thrust faults formed from high salinity (∼20 wt% NaCl equivalent), low temperature (∼120-150°C) basinal brines. Pyrite in the gold mineralized veins and alteration halos has lower δ34S values (6.8 to 12.5‰) than local diagenetic pyrite (17.8 to 19.2‰) or pyrite in pre-mineralization thrust faults (31.7 to 37.‰). The mineralizing fluids are inferred to have contained a well-homogenized mixture of magmatic and sedimentary-derived sulfur. © Springer-Verlag 2006.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Resource geoscience
Objective Division:Mineral Resources (Excl. Energy Resources)
Objective Group:Mineral exploration
Objective Field:Precious (noble) metal ore exploration
UTAS Author:Tunks, AJ (Dr Andrew Tunks)
UTAS Author:Cooke, DR (Professor David Cooke)
ID Code:51641
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:19
Deposited By:Centre for Ore Deposit Research - CODES CoE
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2008-04-21

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