An AMF-PGC International Study Tour
Developed & Managed by Porter GeoConsultancy
Nickel 2000
The Major Nickel Deposits of the World
May-June 2000
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[Murrin Murrin Plant]

The Australian Mineral Foundation continued its International Study Tour series of courses by providing a unique opportunity to:

Visit a representative selection of the world's most important nickel resources & mines.   Deposits were selected by a 'core group' of senior managers from the World's major nickel producers & explorers.

Compare different settings, styles & ages of nickel deposits around the world - The tour took in a selection of the world's major nickel deposits both primary sulphide and laterite ores.   Primary deposits that were visited were in rocks ranging from Archaean to Mesozoic in age, in greenstone belt komatiite flows, to Proterozoic norite-gabbro igneous intrusives to gabbro-dolerite sills/dykes associated with vast basaltic outpourings.

Lateritic deposits on the itinerary were located in both the tropics, representing a variety of mineralogical styles and morphologies, from silicate to oxide types, from highly ferruginous limonite varieties to saprolites. In addition the newly developed Australian deposits from more temperate climates are also included.

See up to seventeen classic ore deposits in eight countries, with context setting seminars, workshops and field traverses - in five optional parts & modules. The program included:

  PART A  Yilgarn Sulphides & Laterites - 5 days from May 21.   Full day seminar in Perth & visits to:
  • Kambalda - Komatiite hosted massive & disseminated sulphides
  • Silver Swan - Very high grade Komatiite hosted massive sulphides
  • Leinster - Komatiite hosted massive & disseminated sulphides
  • Mt Keith - Komatiite hosted large low grade disseminated sulphides
  • Murrin Murrin & Mt Margaret - Silicate laterite, pressure leach
  • Cawse - Oxide laterite, pressure leach
  PART B  South West Pacific Laterites - 5 days from May 28.   Seminar in Noumea   and visits to:
  • SLN Thio /Plateau Mine - Silicate laterite large operating mine
  • Koniambo Project - Silicate laterite, large evaluation project
  • Goro / Prony / Plaine des Lacs District - Oxide laterite deposits
  • SMGM Tomo Mine at Tontouta - High grade small mine representative of a lot of New Caledonian production
  PART A  Caribbean Laterites - 6 days from June 4.   Regional overview briefing in Santo Domingo and visits to:
  • Falcondo, Dominican Rep. - Ferro-Nickel operation
  • Cerro Matoso, Colombia - large high grade deposit
  PART B  Canadian Sulphides - 6 days from June 11.   Full day seminar  in Sudbury including major presentations on:
  • Voisey's Bay - Proterozoic intrusive chamber hosted, including core inspection
  • Thompson - Strongly metamorphosed Proterozoic komatiite hosted deposit
    and visits to:
  • Sudbury (2 mines) - Footwall & Contact orebodies, and core display of Offset deposit (Proterozoic intrusive)
  • Raglan - Well preserved Proterozoic komatiite flow deposit
  Eurasian Sulphides - 9 days from June 19.   - Visits to:
  • Norilāsk -Talnakh, Russia - Immense deposit in Permo-Triassic sill and wall rocks
  • Jinchuan, Gansu - China - Large deposit in Proterozoic dyke
Participants were able to take any one or more Parts or full Modules.

The seminars were designed to provide an overview of the regional tectonic, geological and metallogenic setting of the regions and deposits visited, presented by local and international experts such as
Tony Naldrett & Mike Lesher in Canada and Rob Hill & Charles Butt in Australia.

While the primary focus of the tour was geological, attention was also devoted to the mining, metallurgical and economic aspects of each operation.

The tour allowed the participants to get Maximum impact, in minimum time.   In recognition of the value of the time of key staff, the duration of the tour has been kept to a minimum. It has also been split into three Modules and five Parts so they were able to pick that Module or Part in which they were most interested, or alternatively expose different staff members that  can only be spared for a shorter period.

All mine visits, seminars, workshops, surface and air travel and accommodation on tour were arranged by PGC for the AMF.

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For more information contact:   T M (Mike) Porter, of Porter GeoConsultancy   (

This was another of the International Study Tours designed, developed, organised and escorted by T M (Mike) Porter of Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PGC) in joint venture with the Australian Mineral Foundation (AMF).  While the reputation and support of the AMF contributed to the establishment of the tours, after it ceased trading at the end of 2001, PGC has continued to develop, organise and manage the tour series.

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South Australia
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