Thesis: Petrogenesis of intrusive rocks in the Telfer region, Patterson orogen, Western Australia: implications for gold mineralisation
The Telfer Au-Cu deposit is one of the largest gold deposits in Australia with an annual production of around 700,000 oz Au. Telfer is situated in the Patterson orogen, Western Australia, around 1200 km northeast of Perth. The primary aim of this PhD-project is to constrain the role of intrusive rocks in the Telfer mineral system and their importance in exploration targeting. Therefore, it is important to identify the nature of the intrusive rocks, the source of the ore fluid(s), characterise the pressure-temperature-composition (P-T-X) of the hydrothermal fluids and the nature of the involvement of granitoids in ore formation. By dating the granitoids and mineralisation event(s), a possible timing relationship and, therefore a possible geological relation between intrusion and mineralisation can be established. The second aim of the project will be to compare the Telfer deposit to other prospects in the Telfer region (e.g. Camp Dome Cu, Minyari Au-Cu, Trotmans Stockwork W-Cu and O’Callaghans W-Cu prospects) in order to constrain similarities or differences between Au-Cu mineralisation at Telfer and other prospects. The third aim of this project is to use the existing and new data of the Telfer deposit and prospects to constrain a metallogenic model for the Telfer region.
Why my research is important
Although there has been considerable work conducted on the Telfer Au-Cu deposit, the role of granitoids in the Telfer district, in the process of mineralisation is not completely resolved. Previous research conducted on the Telfer deposit investigated the relationship between the granitoids and the Au-Cu mineralisation (e.g. Goellnicht et al., 1991; Rowins et al., 1997), but better access to exposures, especially underground stopes and deep drill core (>800m to 1700m), as well as high precision geochemical analyses (e.g. ion microprobe, in-situ sulphide, hafnium, oxygen isotopes) will provide a more diverse geochemical data base on which to evaluate the fluid source problem.
This study will take the next logical step in integrating existing data with new data to help solving the problem of understanding the Telfer-style mineralisation. The project will also involve constraining the initial (prior to fractional crystallization) metal content in melt inclusions in the different granitoids surrounding the deposit, a technique that has not been applied to rocks in this area.
Understanding the exact processes of formation of this unique Au-Cu system and the role of the granitoids in these processes would help to better understand the geological controls of, and the genetic model for, one of the largest Proterozoic gold deposits worldwide. The results will also help to define new and potentially successful exploration targets