REVIEW ARTICLE - As published in AusIMM Bulletin, Feb. 2001, p 60
AMF Conference & Monograph
Iron Oxide Copper-Gold Deposits: A Global Perspective.
By Mike Porter
Giant iron oxide copper-gold deposits are among the most sought after exploration targets in the world today.
This was evidenced by the substantial international presence at the highly successful conference on this topical ore style convened by the Australian Mineral Foundation in Perth in early December. It was further reinforced by the subsequent strong demand for the companion monograph).
The appreciation of these deposits was originally sparked by the discovery of the giant 2 billion tonne orebody at Olympic Dam, followed by Ernest Henry, also in Australia, Candelaria in Chile, and Salobo, Igarape Bahia, Alemão and Sossego in the Carajas District of Brazil. These discoveries led to the recognition of an important new family of iron-oxide related mineral deposits, a class that could yield deposits of impressive size and grade.
The conference was entitled "Hydrothermal Iron Oxide Copper-Gold & Related Deposits: A Global Perspective". It attracted an audience of over 270 from most of the worlds major mining companies and many more medium and smaller explorers from all continents.
This cutting edge, topical conference and monograph are further examples of the AMF's determination to continue providing products of immediate benefit to the industry.
Image: Celio de Freitas Barreira of Docegeo, exploration division of the Brazilian giant CVRD, who delivered a paper on their Alemão deposit in the Carajas District of Brazil. Celio was one of a party of four from CVRD, including the Director of Docegeo, who attended the conference.
An All-encompassing Global Program
Of the eighteen papers presented at the conference, four were by keynote speakers, who also each provided substantial contributions to the General section of the monograph.
The first of these, Professor Murray Hitzman of the Colorado School of mines, was a co-author of one of the early seminal works in 1992 that helped define and focus attention on this new family of deposits.
Other keynote speakers were Dr Peter Pollard of James Cook University, and Professor Mark Barton of the University of Arizona-Tucson who spoke on their differing perspectives on the formation of these deposits.
These three represented the world's leading schools researching iron oxide copper gold systems today.
The fourth keynote speaker, Professor Bruce Yardley of Leeds University in the UK whose expertise is in the study of crustal fluid processes, reviewed the various alternatives potentially involved in the formation of these deposits.
The bulk of the program comprised a series of comprehensive papers on individual deposits and districts representing the best examples of this ore style from around the globe, presented by industry geologists and leading researchers working on and studying them.
It included a wide variety of examples with a diversity of geographic location, tectonic setting, age, hosts, mineralogy and form, emphasising the great variation in their occurrence and the difficulty in assigning a common genesis to all. All are regularly listed as examples in the authoritative international literature.
The concluding paper was delivered by Douglas Haynes, who played a key role in the WMC discovery of Olympic Dam. He discussed the place of this family of deposits in the ore continuum.
Monograph - Volume 1 and 2 BOTH Available Now
The quality 350 page companion monograph with the same title, was launched at the conference. It incorporates a total of 24 contributions, including the 18 papers delivered at the conference, and is the only comprehensive text currently available on this important ore style. A second volume with a further 15 to 20 papers is planned for later in 2001 to expand the coverage to even more deposits, regions and case histories around the world.
Go to the Monograph page page to list contents, read abstracts of all papers and order individual papers of the full volume as either hard of digital copies.
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