Thesis: Geology, petrology, mineral and whole-rock chemistry, stable and radiogenic isotope systematics and Ni-Cu-PGE mineralisation of the Nebo-Babel intrusion, West Musgrave, Western Australia
An enhanced understanding of the Nebo and Babel Ni-Cu-PGE deposit was achieved through a unified approach that involved integration and interpretation of magmatic, deformational and metamorphic processes, which have influenced nickel sulphide ore formation, in a regional and deposit scale context. The ultimate aim was to better constrain the key requirements for the formation of nickel sulphide deposits directly or indirectly associated with basaltic magmas within the West Musgrave Complex. Some of the specific project aims included: (1) determination of the nature, genesis and timing relationships of the various basic intrusions within the project area, with an emphasis on links to nickel sulphide potential; (2) evaluating the processes of igneous fractionation and crustal assimilation that may have influenced mineralisation processes and the mineralogical and chemical evolution of the parental magmas.
Why my research is important
This PhD project has considerable academic and economic significance given that Nebo and Babel Ni-Cu-PGE deposit is one of the largest nickel sulphide discoveries worldwide in the last ten years. The results of this project will specifically provide a substantial contribution to understanding the geology, mineralogy, geochemistry and geochronology of the Nebo and Babel. Increased understanding of the deposit will significantly improve the ore genetic model. In particular, it should provide a superior model for the origin and timing of sulphur saturation, and mechanisms of sulphide concentration and entrapment, and advance understanding of nickel sulphide deposits associated with atypical basic magmas and conduit feeder systems in sulphur-poor felsic granulite terranes. Incorporation of the results into an exploration model should provide useful criteria for selecting the most prospective areas for undiscovered nickel sulphide deposits in the West Musgrave Complex and globally.