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OzTour '99
Key Australian Base Metal & Gold Deposits
9 to 29 May 1999
In the bush in the Mt Isa Block
The Australian Mineral Foundation and Porter GeoConsultancy, in conjunction with ADIMB of Brazil, continued the International Study Tour series of courses by providing a unique opportunity to visit a wide selection of Australia's most important base and precious metal mines. These included the different styles of Ni mineralisation, both sulphide and laterite; examples of important primary and lateritic gold mineralisation in the same greenstone belt setting; the major Cu-Au deposits; and the great Zn-Pb-Ag and Zn-Cu orebodies from the Archaean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic. All are major world class deposits.

  This tour allowed participants to compare the tectonic and geological settings, mineralisation styles of a broad suite of major deposits spanning the geological time scale, right across a continent.

  There were also four workshops as outlined below, presented by local and internationally known experts. These were designed to provide an overview of the regional tectonic, geological and metallogenic setting of the regions and deposits visited. Field reconnaissances with expert guides were also included.

Photo Album - who went and what they saw,

Review Articles in AusIMM Bulletin  &  Minerals Gazette

The tour involved two modules as follows:

Module 1 - South-western Australia - 9 days, from Sunday 9 to Monday 17 May 1999

  This module concentrated on base metals and gold in the Proterozoic and Archaean Shields of South Australia and Western Australia, and included:

Adelaide Briefing - Tectonic, Geologic and Metallogenic Framework of South Australia, including the context of the Olympic Dam deposit, presented by expert geologists of the South Australian Geological Survey;

Olympic Dam   IOCG-U deposit of the Gawler Craton, northern South Australia;

Mount Keith  disseminated nickel sulphides in an Archaean greenstone belt of the Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia;

Bronzewing  Archaean greenstone hosted gold and overlying lateritic mineralisation, also in the Yilgarn Craton;

Murrin Murrin  a silicate laterite Ni-Co deposit that overlies serpentinised Archaean, cumulate peridotites of komatiitic origin in the Yilgarn Craton;

Kambalda  massive sulphide Ni-Cu which occurs as ribbon like, lens shaped bodies, hosted within a komatiitic pile in the Yilgarn Craton;

Traverse across the Neoarchaean, Kalgoorlie granite-greenstone Terrane, conducted by expert geologists of the Western Australian Geological Survey;

Kalgoorlie Super Pit  a giant Archaean greenstone hosted gold deposit in the Yilgarn Craton;

Cawse  oxide laterite Ni deposit overlying the Siberia Komatiite in the Kalgoorlie Terrane of the Yilgarn Craton;

Perth Seminar/Workshop addressing the tectonic, geological and metallogenic framework of Western Australia, with particular emphasis on the Archaean Craton, with presentations on the different mineralisation styes as well as the regolith. Presented by expert geologists from the Western Australian Geological Survey, University of WA, the CSIRO and CRC-LEME;

Golden Grove  Archaean volcanic hosted massive sulphide in the Yalgoo greenstone belt of the Murchison Province, in the Yilgarn Craton.

Module 2 - Eastern Australia, 11 days, from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 29 May 1999

  This module predominantly concentrated on base metals in the Proterozoic and Phanerozoics rift basins and mobile belts of eastern Australia, and included:

McArthur River   stratabound, sediment hosted Zn-Pb-Ag deposit within the Palaeo- to Mesoproterozoic McArthur Basin, NE Northern Territory;

Century   stratabound, sediment hosted Zn-Pb-Ag deposit within the Mesoproterozoic McNamara Group of the Lawn Hill Platform, NW Queensland;

Mount Isa Zn-Pb-Ag, late Palaeoproterozoic stratabound, sediment hosted deposit; Mount Isa Group of the Leichhardt River Fault Trough, NW Qld;

Mount Isa Copper   sediment hosted Cu deposit, hosted by a large irregular, discordant silica-dolomite mass overprinting the Zn-Pb-Ag orebodies;

Mount Isa Workshop addressing the geology and mineralisation of the Mt Isa Inlier and McArthur Basin, followed by field traverses around Mt Isa looking at the host sequence and the surface expression of the orebody. Presented by noted consultant geologist Dr Geoff Derrick;

Ernest Henry   IOCG deposit in the Cloncurry-Selwyn zone of the Eastern Fold Belt, of the Mt Isa Inlier, NW Queensland;

Cannington   'Broken Hill-like' Ag-Pb-Zn deposit in the metamorphosed late Palaeoproterozoic Fullarton River Group, Eastern Fold Belt, NW Qld;

Broken Hill Workshop addressing the tectonic setting, geology, geophysics and mineralisation of the Willyama-Olary Blocks and immediate Broken Hill district and deposit, followed by a field reconnaissance across the host sequence at Broken Hill, as well as the gossan and lode horizon. Presented by Dr Barney Stevens and other geologists of the NSW Department of Mineral Resources;

Broken Hill   Zn-Pb-Ag deposit in the metamorphosed Palaeoproterozoic Willyama Supergroup, of the Curnamona Province, western New South Wales;

Elura   Zn-Pb-Ag deposit; seven, near vertical, transgressive, pipe shaped massive sulphide bodies cutting Devonian CSA Siltstone, Cobar Basin, NSW;

Hellyer   Zn-Pb-Cu-Au-Ag deposit; a Cambrian volcanic hosted massive sulphide deposit in the Mount Read Arc of western Tasmania;

Tour charter aircraft   Participants could take one or both modules. Those commencing with the first module assembled in Adelaide, South Australia by noon on Sunday 9th May 1999. This module ended in Geraldton, Western Australia on the morning of 18th May, while those joining for the second module met the through-going group in Darwin, Northern Territory, on the evening of Tuesday 18th May. The tour ended in Melbourne, Victoria in the evening of Saturday 29 th May.

  Air travel during the tour was by chartered aircraft, utilising two 9 passenger, twin engine, turbo-prop powered and fully pressurised Cessna Conquest aircraft, travelling direct between mine airstrips or nearby airports. Ground transport and transfers were by mine vehicle, charter bus, hire car or taxi as the location dictated.

  As with all of the tours, each participant was provided with a comprehensive literature collection covering the regional geology and distribution of mineralisation, as well as details of the individual deposits visited. This collection was forwarded several weeks ahead of the tour to be read in advance and during the tour.

  This tour was organised in conjunction with the Brazilian mineral industry organisation ADIMB, many of whose members took part in the tour. ADIMB - Agência para o Desenvolvimento e Inovação do Setor Mineral Brasileiro, or 'Agency for the Development and Innovation in the Brazilian Mineral Sector'. It is an association of companies and institutions in the mineral sector, with the mission of promoting technical-scientific development and training of human resources for the Brazilian mineral industry.

  This study tour was planned, organised and managed by Porter GeoConsultancy as a professional development course on the curriculum of both the Australian Mineral Foundation and ADIMB.

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