What Else do We Need to Know to Find the Next Olympic Dam?

AUTHORS: Paul Heithersay

The Gawler Craton in South Australia hosts the Olympic Dam Cu-U-Au deposit, the world’s largest and best known iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) deposit. This deposit was discovered over thirty years ago using a multidisciplinary approach that included the combination of geochemistry, geophysics and rigorous geology. More recent success in the region has included the discovery of the now operating Prominent Hill mine and the Carrapateena prospect. As with Olympic Dam coincident gravity and magnetic targets were first order criteria with a second order focus on the gravity target or the gradient in between. However, there are numerous such anomalies throughout the Gawler and further discrimination is required. More recent research work using seismic and magnetotelluric data show that there is a spatial relationship with unique crustal scale structures and very large alteration zones associated with Olympic Dam. Similar alteration in IOCG systems elsewhere formed from ultrasaline, high temperature fluids. This alteration footprint can potentially be mapped in 3D using techniques such as HyLogger, thus providing new vectors to ore and targeting techniques for IOCG exploration

KEYWORDS: Iron oxide, copper, gold, Gawler craton, Olympic Dam

EAN: SGA_2009_A006
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