Thesis: Integrated lithostratigraphic-structural-hydrothermal alteration-fluid model for gold mineralization at the Karouni Deposit, Guyana
This project will focus on the geology, hydrothermal evolution and structure of the Karouni gold project and the surrounding region. Karouni is located in North-Central Guyana approximately 180km SW of the capital of Georgetown and is currently under development by the project sponsor Troy Resources of Perth, WA. It consists of two deposits, Smarts and Hicks, located approximately 2km from each other on a major NW striking shear zone. It contains an inferred resource of approximately 1.6Moz and is hosted in the volcano-sedimentary rocks of Barama-Mazaruni Supergroup, part of the Paleoproterozoic aged Guiana Shield. The project aims, though field and lab techniques, to build on the existing geological framework by adding lithostratigraphic constraints, including geochemical and geochronological constraint to the volcano-sedimentary and plutonic host rocks. The project will further aim to define the hydrothermal evolution and geochemical footprint of Au mineralization as well as the key structural controls at the regional, camp and deposit scales.
Why my research is important
This PhD project offers a rare opportunity to study an exposed and accessible gold deposit in a region with few examples. The Guiana Shield contains geology similar to many of the most prolific gold producing regions of the world including the Birimian greenstones of West Africa to which it adjoined before the breakup of Gondwana. Despite its great potential for Au discovery, exploration in the Guiana Shield has been limited and comparatively few deposits have been discovered, hindered by thick tropical vegetation, deep weathering, tertiary cover and lack of infrastructure. Most significantly, geology and deposits in the region are poorly understood and is among the least studied of the world’s major greenstone belts. As a consequence, there are few rigorous studies of gold mineralization from within the Guiana Shield. This study is the first to be conducted at Karouni and one of the few in the entirety of the Guiana Shield. Research at Karouni therefor has the potential to make a major impact on our understanding of gold mineralization in the Guiana Shield and would greatly aid exploration at all scales.