As might be expected of such a richly endowed mineral province, the Mount Isa region in northern Australia figure 1 has long been the subject of intense geological research and exploration activity. There is a diverse range of opinion about its regional structure, tectonic evolution and metalliferous potential.
This makes mineral exploration more difficult and fraught with uncertainty, because there is rarely the time or resources to fully assess the wide range of interpretations. Despite such uncertainties, tectonic setting and its role in controlling crustal architecture and the pattern of fluid flow are widely perceived to be important factors in the formation of ore bodies and their metallogeny.
The difficulty for exploration companies is that the Western Succession, like so many other Proterozoic terranes in northern Australia including the Eastern Succession , has been substantially modified by later deformation and post-depositional processes.
PorterGeo Database - Ore Deposit Description
The original tectonic setting and basin architecture are no longer obvious, and there is ongoing uncertainty about the age of mineralisation, its relationship to major structures, and whether these structures first became active before or after mineral deposition. Marrying basin analysis with regional structural studies was deemed the most effective means of differentiating between pre-, syn- and post-depositional fault movements, although this is seldom enough to narrow the range of potential exploration targets.
Details of possible source rocks and traps are also required. More importantly, the researchers thought it desirable to have all elements of the mineralising system brought together in a single 3D representation, permitting better visualisation of the problem and more effective discrimination between competing geological interpretations.
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The 3D environment provides a much less forgiving test bed for subsurface geological interpretation than was ever possible from traditional 2D geological maps and cross sections. Successful exploration now demands a more integrated approach to the problem of target selection, requiring an understanding of the entire mineralising system. This has been the guiding philosophy and visionary goal behind the current research program:.
Figure 1. Study area in relation to major tectonic elements in the Mount Isa region. Larger image [GIF See the event chart of Neumann et al for a more detailed geochronology of these two structural entities. Figure 2. Note major Pb-Zn mineral deposits located along the trace of this feature which is thought to represent a continent-scale boundary between crustal blocks of contrasting density.
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Dawsons provides managed Maintenance Support services. We can manage your entire maintenance program, from Superintendent to planning and execution. Our service is tailored to your specific requirements, we have supplied clients with a maintenance service based on one person in a particular geographic area, through to a fully tooled maintenance crew plus project and shutdown support. Our strength is in our ability to manage people and the leverage that comes with a critical mass workforce. Initially becoming a licensed RTO to provide upskilling for our own workforce, we now deliver public courses and provide licensed training on and off site for our clients in the mining, marine, sugar and process industries.
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Because we operate in the industries in which these skills are used, our training has been developed with real world application at the front of mind, and our trainers are selected for their ability and passion using their experience to deliver relevant and practical training. To find out more about Dawsons Training and upcoming courses, please visit the Dawsons Training website. Over the past 30 years, we have built our reputation on providing exceptional service and remaining focused on building long term, value driven relationships with our clients.
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Photo: The Mount Isa Mines Copper Smelter was due to close in , but can now stay open until thanks to new environmental licensing conditions. Related Story: Glencore still assessing extending life of Mount Isa copper smelter. Related Story: Legislation changes to allow continued Mount Isa copper smelting. Related Story: Glencore to axe mining jobs in Australia.
Mount Isa Mines
Supplied: Glencore. Is she correct?
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