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Orient Gold 2007
Gold Deposits of the Orient
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[At Phu Kham]
At the Phu Kham Mine  -  Next day the group departed Ban Houayxai early to drive to Phu Bia Mining's Phu Kham mine, the main deposit of the Phu Bia project.  The group was given a briefing over mine sections and plans before studying recent drill core.  They were then shown the exposed porphyry copper-gold ore in the supergene zone (bottom right) below the current oxide-cap gold operation (bottom left).  Phu Kham is an allochthonous thust faulted slab of the upper sections of a porphyry system, characterised by intense phyllic and argillic alteration of minor porphyry intrusives and extensive phyllic stage quartz-pyrite alteration of wall rock carbonates, accompanied by retrograde alteration of earlier, higher temperature prograde skarns.  In the oxide zone these ores are represented by strong gossans and chalcocte rich clays (bottom right).  In the late afternoon, the group drove back to Vientiane for a final dinner on the banks of the Mekong River before flying to Bangkok where the tour ended.
Photographs by Mike Porter.

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