Mr. Barrie Bolton - Honours Projects

On the nature and origin of sediment-hosted copper mineralization from the Paterson Orogen, Western Australia

Supervisor: Barrie Bolton
Field of Study: economic geology, sedimentology, geochemistry
Support Offered: all travel, field, analytical & thesis-preparation costs
Collaborating Organisation: Encounter Resources (subject to funding approval)

Encounter Resources is a Western Australian based exploration company with projects in the Paterson orogen of northwestern WA that are considered highly prospective for a range of economic deposit types including Proterozoic sedimentary copper mineralization. In the target area, the Palaeo-Proterozoic Rudall Metamorphic Complex is overlain by Neo-Proterozoic Coolbro Sandstone which in turn is overlain by the Broadhurst Formation – host to numerous copper targets (and other base metals) and the Nifty copper mine. Recent work by Encounter at its Lookout-Rocks South Project in the Yeneena Basin of the Paterson orogen has identified an extensive (30 km strike length) area of interpreted Broadhurst Formation containing airborne electromagnetic anomalies that suggest structures and lithologies that might play host to large economic copper deposits.  A recent diamond drill hole placed into this sequence intersected narrow zones of copper sulphide mineralisation, up to 1% Cu, within black, reduced carbonaceous sediments located directly above an oxidised ‘red bed’ unit similar to that of many major copper deposits of the Zambian Copperbelt. Surface mapping in this area has also identified further copper-cobalt mineralisation at this contact and that this ‘first reductant’ interface is relatively flat-lying and is likely to extend over a large part of the project area. This field- and laboratory-based study will involve mapping of copper-cobalt occurrences to determine their stratigraphic setting and follow-up geochemical, mineralogical and petrographical analysis to characterise the nature and origin of these potentially important copper deposits. The work will also aim to better understand the timing of mineralisation and associated alteration.

For further details contact: Barry Bolton

An investigation of a copper-bearing, hematite-altered, polymictic breccia from the Aria Prospect, Paterson Orogen, Western Australia

Supervisor: Barrie Bolton
Field of Study: economic geology, sedimentology, geochemistry
Support Offered: all travel, field, analytical & thesis-preparation costs
Collaborating Organisation: Encounter Resources (subject to funding approval)

Encounter Resources is a Western Australian based exploration company with projects in the Yeneena Basin of the Paterson Orogen of northwestern WA that are considered highly prospective for a range of economic deposit types including Proterozoic IOCG-style mineralization. In the target area, the Palaeo-Proterozoic Rudall Metamorphic Complex is overlain by Neo-Proterozoic Coolbro Sandstone which in turn is overlain by the Broadhurst Formation – host to numerous copper targets (and other base metals) and the Nifty copper mine. Recent work by Encounter at its Aria Prospect in the Yeneena Basin has identified a hematitic altered, polymitic breccia in a diamond drill core with zones of weakly disseminated chalcopyrite, bornite and possibly chalcocite. Encounter has also recently completed a ground gravity survey which has defined a discrete density anomaly close to the hematite-altered breccia and coincident with a well-defined magnetic anomaly. This field- and laboratory-based study will involve detailed logging and sampling of the drill core taken from the prospect together with analysis of company-derived core assay data. Follow-up laboratory work will involve geochemical, mineralogical and petrographical analysis and will aim to characterise pre-, syn- and post-brecciation rock units, the alteration types present and the nature and origin of associated mineralisation.

For further details contact: Barry Bolton

Age and Origin of Pb-Ag-Zn mineralisation, Sorby Hills, Bonaparte Basin, W.A.

Supervisor: Barrie Bolton
Fields of Study: Economic geology, stratigraphy, carbonate petrology
Support Offered: All travel, field, analytical & thesis-preparation costs
Collaborating Organisation: Pacifico Minerals

Pacifico Minerals, a Perth-based exploration company, is currently evaluating an advanced Pb-Ag-Zn project at Sorby Hills in the Bonaparte Basin of northern Western Australia. The mineralisation occurs as a carbonate hosted replacement deposit distributed around the shallow dipping contact of a marine siltstone and an underlying dolomite, both of early Carboniferous age. Most mineralisation is hosted by a 15 to 20 m-thick breccia zone and related to widespread epigenetic dolomitization.

This field and laboratory-based study will involve the logging and sampling of selected cores recently drilled on this project with the aim of gaining an better understanding of the timing and processes of Pb-Ag-Zn mineralisation. Follow-up laboratory work will involve petrographic studies of mineralisation and its host as well as employing a range of methods to obtain chemical, isotopic and age data.

Participation in this project will provide first-hand experience in an active exploration program working in a remote location as well as contributing information of value to on-going efforts to understand the economic potential of this deposit.

For further details contact: Barry Bolton