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Exploration Geochemistry

Prof. Dr. S.Nasir

GEOL 481

Prerequisites: Geochemistry and Ore Deposits

Course Content

Principles and methods of geochemical exploration, including planning, sampling, geochemical analysis, data handling, and interpretation. It will include theory, applications, and/or case histories for a wide variety of ore deposit types including: magmatic PGE and Ni-Cu-(PGE) sulphide deposits; porphyry Cu deposits, volcanic-associated Cu-Zn-(Pb) deposits, Archean lode Au deposits, sedimentary-exhalative Pb-Zn-Cu deposits, and diamond deposits.

1- Theoretic aspects of metal fractionation in the mantle and crust, with applications across the entire spectrum of mineral deposits including diamonds in kimberlites, magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE, rare-element pegmatites, porphyry Cu-Mo-Au and Sn-W, VMS, and lode Au (CML)

Populations (normal, non-normal, relation to exploration), basic statistics, correlation coefficients and coefficient of determination, probability plots, parametric vs. non-parametric statistics, cluster analysis

3-Analytical Methods

Sampling methods ( rocks, soils, biological materials, and waters); sample preparation methods (sawing, decontamination, crushing, splitting, pulverizing, fusion, pelletizing) (GAS)

Mineral characterization methods (SEM vs. EPMA, WD-XRES vs. ED-XRES, XRD) plus WD-XRF (DC)

Rock dissolution (partial, selective, complete) and whole-rock geochemical analytical methods (AAS, ICP, ICP-MS, plus INAA and TIMS) (OMB)

4- Trace element discrimination diagrams, characterization of CO2 metasomatism in mafic volcanic rocks, alteration geochemistry related to alteration mineral assemblages surrounding mineral deposits in sedimentary rocks

5- Stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry with applications in exploration

6-Tectonic settings, sedimentary environments, genetic processes, and geochemical exploration technique

7-Mineral and mineral-chemical variations within VMS-related hydrothermal systems and affects of metamorphism, stable isotope characteristics of VMS-related hydrothermal systems, characteristics of VMS-related composite intrusions (AG)

8-Application of mass-volume changes in evaluating hydrothermal alteration signatures associated with VMS deposits

9-Soil Geochemistry                 

10 Diamond Deposits

Distribution, morphology, and general characteristics of kimberlites, including hand sample and thin section mineralogy/petrography.Indicator minerals, including, geochemical significance in diamond exploration, mantle xenolith source rocks, and hands-on examination of xenoliths and indicator minerals.

11- Introduction to selective extractions, how they differ from partial extractions, and what information we can obtain from them. How the Enzyme Leach process works. Numerous case studies from various regions of the world covering many commodity targets showing Enzyme Leach and other selective extractions and their relation to deposits, geology, and structure.

12- Mobile metal ion geochemistry, including weathering/alteration reactions, metal ion solubilities and mobilities, soils and soil profiles and sampling requirements (A vs. B for other methods), description of MMI as a very weak partial extraction, comparisons with other partial/selective extractions, MMI analysis and QCQA, data interpretation, case histories, comparisons with conventional geochemistry, and model for geochemical anomaly formation

13-Magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE Deposits

Exploration geochemistry of Ni mineralization in large igneous provinces (PCL)

Exploration geochemistry of Ni-Cu-(PGE) mineralization at Kambalda and Perseverance(Western Australia), Raglan (Cape Smith Belt), and the Thompson Nickel Belt (CML and OMB)Exploration geochemistry of PGE mineralization in layered intrusions (RAS)