Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Mineralogical and chemical evolution of the Ernest Henry Fe oxide–Cu–Au ore system, Cloncurry district, northwest Queensland, Australia

Abstract

The Ernest Henry Cu–Au deposit was formed within a zoned, post-peak metamorphic hydrothermal system that overprinted metamorphosed dacite, andesite and diorite (ca 1740–1660 Ma). The Ernest Henry hydrothermal system was formed by two cycles of sodic and potassic alteration where biotite–magnetite alteration produced in the first cycle formed ca 1514±24 Ma, whereas paragenetically later Na–Ca veining formed ca 1529 +11/−8 Ma. These new U–Pbtitanite age dates support textural evidence for incursion of hydrothermal fluids after the metamorphic peak, and overlap with earlier estimates for the timing of Cu–Au mineralization (ca 1540–1500 Ma). A distal to proximal potassic alteration zone correlates with a large (up to 1.5 km) K–Fe–Mn–Ba enriched alteration zone that overprints earlier sodic alteration. Mass balance analysis indicates that K–Fe–Mn–Ba alteration—largely produced during pre-ore biotite- and magnetite-rich alteration—is associated with K–Rb–Cl–Ba–Fe–Mn and As enrichment and Na, Ca and Sr depletion. The aforementioned chemical exchange almost precisely counterbalances the mass changes associated with regional Na–Ca alteration. This initial transition from sodic to potassic alteration may have been formed during the evolution of a single fluid that evolved via alkali exchange during progressive fluid-rock interaction. Cu–Au ore, dominated by co-precipitated magnetite, minor specular hematite, and chalcopyrite as breccia matrix, forms a pipe-like body at the core of a proximal alteration zone dominated by K-feldspar alteration. Both the core and K-feldspar alteration overprint Na–Ca alteration and biotite–magnetite (K–Fe) alteration. Ore was associated with the concentration of a diverse range of elements (e.g. Cu, Au, Fe, Mo, U, Sb, W, Sn, Bi, Ag, F, REE, K, S, As, Co, Ba and Ca). Mineralization also involved the deposition of significant barite, K(–Ba)–feldspar, calcite, fluorite and complexly zoned pyrite. The complexly zoned pyrite and variable K–(Ba)–feldspar versus barite associations are interpreted to indicate fluctuating sulphur and/or barium supply. Together with the alteration zonation geochemistry and overprinting criteria, these data are interpreted to indicate that Cu–Au mineralization occurred as a result of fluid mixing during dilation and brecciation, in the location of the most intense initial potassic alteration. A link between early alteration (Na–Ca and K–Fe) and the later K-feldspathization and the Cu–Au ore is possible. However, the ore-related enrichments in particular elements (especially Ba, Mn, As, Mo, Ag, U, Sb and Bi) are so extreme compared with earlier alteration that another fluid, possibly magmatic in origin, contributed the diverse element suite geochemically independently of the earlier stages. Structural focussing of successive stages produced the distinctive alteration zoning, providing a basis both for exploration for similar deposits, and for an understanding of ore genesis.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2a
Fig. 2b
Fig. 2c
Fig. 2d
Fig. 2e
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11

References

  1. Adshead ND (1995) Geology, alteration and geochemistry of the Osborne Cu–Au deposit, Cloncurry district, NW Queensland. PhD thesis, unpublished. James Cook University

  2. Adshead ND (1996) The role of hypersaline hydrothermal fluids in the formation of the Osborne Cu–Au deposit, Cloncurry district, NW Queensland. EGRU Contrib 55:1–4

  3. Aitkin BP, Injque-Espinoza JL, Harvey PK (1985) Cu–Fe-amphibole mineralization in the Arequipa segment. In: Pitcher WS et al (eds) Magmatism at a plate edge: the Peruvian Andes. Blackie, Glasgow, pp 261–270

  4. Audétat A, Günthur D, Heinrich CA (2000) Magmatic-hydrothermal evolution in a fractionating granite: a microchemical study of the Sn-W-F-mineralized Mole Granite (Australia). Econ Geol 95:1563–1581

  5. Badham JPN (1978) Magnetite-apatite-amphibole-uranium and silver-arsenide mineralizations in Lower Proterozoic igneous rocks, East Arm, Great Slave Lake, Canada. Econ Geol 73:1474–1491

  6. Baker T (1996) The geology and genesis of the Eloise Cu–Au deposit, Cloncurry district, Queensland, Australia. PhD thesis, unpublished. James Cook University

  7. Baker T (1998) Alteration, mineralization and fluid evolution at the Eloise Cu–Au deposit, Cloncurry district, NW Queensland. Econ Geol 93:1213–1236

  8. Baker T, Perkins C, Blake KL, Williams PJ (2001) Radiogenic and stable isotope constraints on the genesis of the Eloise Cu–Au deposit, Cloncurry district, NW Queensland. Econ Geol 96:723–742

  9. Baker T, vanAchterberg E, Ryan CG, Lang JR (2004) Composition and evolution of ore fluids in a magmatic-hydrothermal skarn deposit. Geol 32:117–120

  10. Barton MD, Johnson DA (1996) Evaporitic-source model for igneous-related Fe oxide-(REE-Cu–Au–U) mineralization. Geol 24:259–262

  11. Barton MD, Johnson DA (2000) Alternative brine sources for Fe oxide–(–Cu–Au) systems: Implication for hydrothermal alteration and metals. In: Porter TM (ed) Hydrothermal Iron Oxide Copper-Gold and Related Deposits: A Global Perspective. AMF, pp 27–42

  12. Battles DA, Barton MD (1995) Arc-related sodic hydrothermal alteration in the western United States. Geology 23:913–916

  13. Bergman S, Kübler L, Martinsson O (2001) Description of regional geological and geophysical maps of northern Norrbotten county (east of Caledonian orogen). Geological Survey Sweden 56:110

  14. Berkman DA (1989) Field geologist’s manual. Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. AUSIMM Monograph Series 9:390

  15. Blake DH (1987) Geology of the Mount Isa Inlier and environs. Queensland and Northern Territory. BMR Geol Geophys Bull 225:83

  16. Blake K, Pollard PJ, Xu G (1997) Alteration and mineralisation in the Mount Fort Constantine volcanics, Cloncurry district, northwest Queensland. In: Pollard PJ (eds) Cloncurry base metals and gold. AMIRA P438 Final Report 11:53

  17. Bottrell SH, Yardley BWD (1988) The composition of a primary granite-derived ore fluid from S.W. England, determined by fluid inclusion studies. Geochem Cosmochim Acta 52:585–588

  18. Chapman LH, Williams PJ (1998) Evolution of pyroxene-pyroxenoid-garnet alteration at the Cannington Ag–Pb–Zn deposit, Cloncurry District, Queensland, Australia. Econ Geol 93:1390–1405

  19. Chou I-M, Eugster HP (1977) Solubility of magnetite in supercritical chloride solutions. Am J Sci 277:1296–1314

  20. Davidson GJ (1998) Variation in copper-gold styles through time in the Proterozoic Cloncurry Goldfield, Mt Isa Inlier: a reconnaissance view. Aust J Earth Sci 45:445–462

  21. Davidson GJ, Davis BK, Garner A (2002) Structural and geochemical constraints on the emplacement of the Monakoff oxide Cu–Au (–Co–U–REE–Ag–Zn–Pb) deposit, Mt Isa Inlier. In: Potter TM (ed) Hydrothermal Iron oxide copper-gold and related deposits: a global perspective 2, pp 49–76

  22. Davis BK, Pollard PJ, Lally JH, McNaughton NJ, Blake K, Williams PJ (2001) Deformation history of the Naraku Batholith, Mt Isa Inlier, Australia: implication for pluton ages and geometries from structural study of the Dipvale Granodiorite and Levian Granite. Aust J Earth Sci 48:113–129

  23. Dilles JH, Farmer GL, Field CW (1995) Sodium-calcium alteration by non-magmatic saline fluids in porphyry copper deposits: Results from Yerington, Nevada. In: Thompson JFH (ed) Magmas, fluids and ore deposits. Mineralogical Association of Canada Short Course Series 23:309–338

  24. Edfelt A, Martinsson O (2003) The Tjarrojakka Fe-oxide Cu (–Au) occurrence, Kiruna area, northern Sweden. In: Eliopoulos et al (eds) Mineral Exploration and Sustainable Development. Millpress, Rotterdam, pp 1069–1072

  25. Einaudi MT, Meinert LD, Newberry RJ (1981) Skarn deposits. In: Skinner BJ (ed) Economic Geology 75th Anniversary Volume 1981, pp 317–391

  26. Foster DRW (2003) Proterozoic low-pressure metamorphism in the Mount Isa Inlier, northwest Queensland, Australia, with particular emphasis on the use of calcic amphibole chemistry as temperature-pressure indicators. PhD thesis, unpublished. James Cook University

  27. Frost BR, Chamberlain KR, Schumacher JC (2000) Sphene (titanite): Phase relations and role as a geochronometer. Chem Geol 172:131–148

  28. Gauthier L, Hall G, Stein H, Schaltegger U (2001) The Osborne deposit, Cloncurry district: a 1595 Ma Cu–Au skarn deposit. In: Williams PJ (ed) 2001 a hydrothermal odyssey, new developments in metalliferous hydrothermal systems research, extended conference abstracts. EGRU 59:58–59

  29. Giles D, Nutman AP (2002) SHRIMP U–Pb monazite dating of 1600–1580 Ma amphibolite facies metamorphism in the southeastern Mt Isa Block, Australia. Aust J Earth Sci 49:455–465

  30. Goad RE, Hamid Mumin A, Duke NA, Neale KL, Mulligan DL (2000) Geology of the Proterozoic Iron Oxide-Hosted, NICO Cobalt-Gold-Bismuth, and Sue-Dianne Copper-Silver deposits, Southern Great Bear Magmatic Zone, Northwest Territories, Canada. In: Porter TM (ed) Hydrothermal Iron Oxide Copper-Gold and Related Deposits. A Global Perspective. AMF, pp 249–268

  31. Grant JA (1986) The isocon diagram- a simple solution to Gresen’s equation for metasomatic alteration. Econ Geol 81:1976–1982

  32. Gunton CG (1999) A study of molybdenum at the Ernest Henry Cu–Au deposit, Northwest Queensland. BSc (Hons) thesis, unpublished. Australian National University

  33. Gunton CG, Mavrogenes J, Blevin P (2000) Determination of fluid origins from trace element analysis of molybdenite at Ernest Henry, NW Queensland. In: Skilbeck CG, Hubble TCT (eds) Understanding Planet Earth: Searching for a sustainable future. Australian Geological Society, Abstract Series, 59:197

  34. Haynes DW, Cross KC, Bills RT, Reed MH (1995) Olympic Dam ore genesis. A fluid mixing model. Econ Geol 90:281–307

  35. Hemley JJ, Cygan GL, Fein JB, Robinson GR, D’Angelo WM (1992) Hydrothermal ore-forming processes in the light of studies in rock buffered systems: 1. iron-copper-zinc-lead sulphide solubility relations. Econ Geol 87:1–22

  36. Hildebrand RS (1986) Kiruna-type deposits: their origin and relationship to intermediate subvolcanic plutons in the Great Bear Magmatic Zone, northwestern Canada. Econ Geol 81:640–659

  37. Hitzman MW (2000) Iron oxide–Cu–Au deposits. What, where, when and Why. In: Porter TM (ed) Hydrothermal Iron Oxide Copper-Gold and Related Deposits: A Global Perspective. AMF, Adelaide, pp 9–26

  38. Hitzman MW, Oreskes N, Einaudi MT (1992) Geological characteristics and tectonic setting of Proterozoic iron oxide (Cu–U–Au–REE) deposits. Precambrian Res 58:241–287

  39. de Jong G, Williams PJ (1995) Giant metasomatic system formed during exhumation of mid-crustal Proterozoic rocks in the vicinity of the Cloncurry Fault, northwest Queensland. Aust J Earth Sci 42:281–290

  40. Kodera P, Rankin AH, Lexa J (1998) Evolution of fluids responsible for iron skarn mineralization: an example from the Vyhne-Klokoc deposit, Western Carpathian, Slovakia. Min Pet 64:119–147

  41. Kretz R (1983) Symbols for rock-forming minerals. Am Mineral 68:277–279

  42. Lang JR, Stanley CR, Thompson JFH, Dunne KPE (1995) Na–K–Ca magmatic-hydrothermal alteration in alkalic porphyry Cu–Au deposits, British Columbia. In: Thompson JFH (ed) Magmas, fluids and ore deposits. Min Ass Canada Short Course Series 2, pp 339–366

  43. Lindblom S, Broman C, Matinsson O (1996) Magmatic-hydrothermal fluids in the Pahtohavare Lentz DR, Walker JA, Stirling JAR (1995) Millstream Cu–Fe skarn deposit- an example of Cu-bearing magnetite-rich skarn system in northern New Brunswick. Explor Min Geol 4:15–31

  44. Mark G (1998) Albitite formation by selective pervasive sodic-alteration of tonalite plutons in the Cloncurry district, NW Queensland. Australian J Earth Sci 45:765–774

  45. Mark G, Foster DRW (2000) Magmatic albite-actinolite-apatite-rich rocks from the Cloncurry district, Northwest Queensland, Australia. Lithos 51:223–245

  46. Mark G, Oliver NHS, Williams PJ, Valenta RK, Crookes RA (2000) The evolution of the Ernest Henry hydrothermal system. In: Porter TM (ed) Hydrothermal Iron Oxide Copper-Gold and Related Deposits. A Global Perspective. AMF, pp 123–136

  47. Mark G, Foster DRW, Pollard PJ, Williams PJ, Tolman J, Darvall M (2004a) Magmatic fluid input during large-scale Na–Ca alteration in the Cloncurry Fe oxide–Cu–Au district, NW Queensland, Australia. Terra Nova 16:54–61

  48. Mark G, Williams PJ, Boyce AJ (2004b) Low-latitude meteoric fluid flow along the Cloncurry Fault, Cloncurry District, NW Queensland, Australia: geodynamic and metallogenic implications. Chem Geol 207:133–148

  49. Mark G, Stein HJ, Salt CJ (2004c) Re–Os isotopic evidence for periods of sulfide mineralization in the vicinity of the Ernest Henry Cu–Au deposit, Northwest Queensland, Australia. Geological Society of Australia, Abstracts 73, p 96

  50. Mark G, Williams PJ, Ryan C, van Achterberg E, Prince K (2004d) A coupled microanalytical approach to resolving the origin of fluids and the genesis of ore formation in hydrothermal deposits. Geological Society of Australia, Abstracts 73, p 97

  51. Mark G, Wilde A, Oliver NHS, Williams PJ (2005) Geochemical modelling of outflow from the Ernest Henry Fe oxide Cu–Au deposit: implication for ore genesis and exploration. J Geochem Explor 85:31–46

  52. Marschik R, Fontboté L (2001) The Candelaria-Punta del Cobre Iron Oxide Cu–Au (–Zn–Ag) deposits, Chile. Econ Geol 96:1799–1826

  53. Marshall LJ (2003) Brecciation within the Mary Kathleen Group of the Eastern Succession, Mount Isa block, Australia: implications for Fe-oxide-Cu-Au mineralization. Unpublished PhD Thesis, James Cook University of North Queensland, 325 pp

  54. Marshall LJ, Oliver NHS (2005) Monitoring fluid chemistry in iron oxide–copper–gold-related metasomatic processes, eastern Mt Isa Block, Australia. Geofluids 5:1–22

  55. Martinsson O, Wainhainen C (2000) Excursion Guide. In: Weihed P, Martinsson O (eds) Abstract volume and field guide workshop 2nd annual GEODE-Fennoscandian shield field workshop on Palaeoproterozoic and Archaean greenstone belts and VMS districts in the Fennoscandian Shield, Sweden. Luleå University of Technology, Report 6:63–76

  56. Mathur R, Marschik R, Ruiz J, Munizaga F, Leveille, RA, Martin W (2002) Age of mineralization of the Candelaria iron oxide Cu–Au deposit, and the origin of the Chilean Iron Belt based on Re–Os isotopes. Econ Geol 97:59–71

  57. McPhail DC (1993) The behavior of iron in high temperature chloride brines. Geological Society of Australia Abstracts Series 34:50–51

  58. Menard J-J (1995) Relationship between altered pyroxene diorite and the magnetite mineralization in the Chilean Iron Belt, with emphasis on the El Algarrobo iron deposits (Atacama region, Chile). Miner Deposita 30:268–274

  59. Oliver NHS, Valenta RK, Wall VJ (1990) The effect of heterogeneous stress and strain on metamorphic fluid flow, Mary Kathleen, Australia, and a model for large-scale fluid circulation. J Metamorphic Geol 8:311–331

  60. Oliver NHS, Cartwright I, Wall VJ, Golding SD (1993) The stable isotope signature of kilometre-scale fracture-dominated metamorphic fluid pathways, Mary Kathleen, Australia. Metamorphic Geol 11:705–720

  61. Oliver NHS, Cleverley JS, Mark G, Pollard PJ, Fu B, Marshall LJ, Rubenach MJ, Williams PJ, Baker T (2004) The role of sodic alteration in the genesis of iron oxide-copper-gold deposits, eastern Mt Isa Block, Australia. Econ Geol 99:1145–1176

  62. Oreskes N, Einaudi MT (1992) Origin of hydrothermal fluids at Olympic Dam: preliminary results from fluid inclusions and stable isotopes. Econ Geol 87:64–90

  63. Orville PM (1963) Alkali ion exchange between vapor and feldspar phases. Am J Sci 261:201–237

  64. Page RW (1983) Chronology of magmatism, skarn formation and uranium mineralization, Mary Kathleen, Queensland, Australia. Econ Geol 78:838–853

  65. Page RW (1988) Geochronology of early to middle Proterozoic fold belts in northern Australia: a review. Precam Res 40–41:1–19

  66. Page RW (1998) Links between Eastern and Western fold belts in the Mount Isa Inlier, based on SHRIMP U–Pb studies. Geological Society of Australia Abstracts 49:349

  67. Page RW, Sun S-S (1998) Aspects of geochronology and crustal evolution in the Eastern Fold Belt, Mount Isa Inlier. Aust J Earth Sci 45:343–362

  68. Page RW, Sweet IP (1998) Geochronology of basin phases in the western Mount Isa Inlier, and correlation with the McArthur Basin. Aust J Earth Sci 45:219–232

  69. Pearson PJ, Holcombe RJ, Page RW (1992) Synkinematic emplacement of the middle Proterozoic Wonga Batholith into a midcrustal extensional shear zone, Mt Isa Inlier, Queensland, Australia. In: Stewart AJ, Blake DH (eds) Detailed studies of the Mount Isa Inlier. Australian Geological Survey Organization Bulletin 243:289–328

  70. Perkins C, Wyborn L (1998) Age of Cu–Au mineralization, Cloncurry district, Mount Isa Inlier, as determined by 40Ar/39Ar dating. Aust J Earth Sci 45:233–246

  71. Perring CS, Pollard PJ, Dong G, Nunn AJ, Blake KL (2000) The Lightning creek sill complex, Cloncurry district, northwest Queensland: A source of fluids for Fe oxide Cu–Au mineralisation and sodic-calcic alteration. Econ Geol 95:1067–1089

  72. Pidgeon RT, Bosch D, Bruguier O (1996) Inherited zircon and titanite U–Pb systems in an Archaean syenite from southwestern Australia: Implications for U–Pb stability of titanite. Earth Planet Sc Lett 141:187–198

  73. Pollard PJ (2000) Evidence of a magmatic fluid and metal source for Fe-oxide Cu–Au mineralization. In: Porter TM (ed) Hydrothermal Iron Oxide Copper-Gold and Related Deposits: A Global Perspective. AMF 1:27–41

  74. Pollard PJ (2001) Sodic(-calcic) alteration in Fe oxide–Cu–Au districts: an origin via unmixing of magmatic H2O–CO2–NaCl±CaCl2–KCl fluids. Miner Deposita 36:93–100

  75. Pollard PJ, McNaughton N (1997) U–Pb geochronology and Sm/Nd isotope characteristics of Proterozoic intrusive rocks in the Cloncurry district, Mount Isa Inlier, Australia. In: Pollard, PJ (compiler) AMIRA P438 Final Report: Cloncurry Base Metals and Gold Section 4, p 19

  76. Pollard PJ, Perkins C (1997) 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of alteration and Cu–Au–Co mineralization in the Cloncurry district, Mount Isa Inlier, Australia. In: Pollard PJ (compiler) AMIRA P438 Final Report: Cloncurry Base Metals and Gold Section 3, p 40

  77. Pollard PJ, Mark G, Mitchell LC (1998) Geochemistry of post-1540 granites spatially associated within regional sodic-calcic alteration and Cu–Au–Co mineralization, Cloncurry district, northwest Queensland. Econ Geol 93:1330–1344

  78. Proffett JM (2003) Geology of the Bajo de la Alumbrera porphyry copper-gold deposit, Argentina. Econ Geol 98:1535–1574

  79. Rankin AH, Ramsey MH, Coles B, Vanglangvelde F, Thomas CR (1992) The composition of hypersaline iron-rich granitic fluids based on laser-ICP and synchrotron XRF microprobe analysis of individual inclusions in topaz, Mole Granite, eastern Australia. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 56:67–79

  80. Requia K, Stein H, Fontboté L, Chiaradia M (2003) Re–Os and Pb–Pb geochronology of the Archean Salobo iron oxide copper–gold deposit, Caraja’s mineral province, northern Brazil. Miner Deposita 38:727–738

  81. Richardson CK, Holland HD (1979) Fluorite deposition in hydrothermal systems. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 43:1327–1335

  82. Rotherham JF, Blake KL, Cartwright I, Williams PJ (1998) Stable isotope evidence for the origin of the Starra Au–Cu deposit, Cloncurry district. Econ Geol 93:1435–1449

  83. Rubenach MJ, Lewthwaite KA (2002) Metasomatic albitites and related biotite-rich schists from a low-pressure polymetamorphic terrane, Snake Creek Anticline, Mount Isa Inlier, north-eastern Australia. microstructures and P-T-d paths. J Metam Geol 20:191–202

  84. Rubenach MJ, Adshead ND, Oliver NHS, Tullemans F, Esser D, Stein H (2001) The Osborne Cu–Au deposit: geochronology, and genesis of mineralization in relation to host albitites and ironstones. In: Williams PJ (ed) 2001: a hydrothermal odyssey, new developments in metalliferous hydrothermal systems research, extended conference abstracts. JCU EGRU Contrib 59:172–173

  85. Ryan A (1998) Ernest Henry copper-gold deposit. In: Berkman DA, Mackenzie DH (eds) Geology of Australian and Papua New Guinean Mineral Deposits. Australasian Inst Mining Metall 22:759–768

  86. Seedorf E, Einaudi MT (2004) Henderson porphyry molybdenum system, Colorado: II. Decoupling of introduction and deposition of metals during geochemical evolution of hydrothermal fluids. Econ Geol 99:39–72

  87. Sillitoe RH (2003) Iron oxide-copper-gold deposits: an Andean view. Miner Deposita 38:787–812

  88. Skirrow RG (2000) Gold–Copper–Bismuth deposits of the Tennant Creek District, Australia: a reappraisal of diverse high-grade systems. In: Porter TM (ed) Hydrothermal iron oxide copper–gold and related deposits: a global perspective. AMF, pp 149–160

  89. Skirrow RG, Walshe JL (2002) Reduced and oxidized Au–Cu–Bi iron oxide deposits of the Tennant Creek Inlier, Australia. An integrated geological and chemical model. Econ Geol 97:1167–1202

  90. Sverjensky DA, Hemley JJ, D’Angelo WM (1991) Thermodynamic assessment of hydrothermal alkali feldspar-mica-aluminosilicate equilbria. Geochem Cosmochim Acta 55:989–1004

  91. Twyerould SC (1997) The geology and genesis of the Ernest Henry Fe–Cu–Au deposit, northwest Queensland, Australia. PhD thesis, unpublished. University of Oregon

  92. Ulrich T, Günthur D, Heinrich CA (2001) The evolution of a porphyry Cu–Au deposit, based on LA-ICP-MS analysis of fluid inclusions: Bajo de la Alumbrera. Argentina Econ Geol 96:1743–1774

  93. Vidal CE (1986) Metallogenesis associated with the Coastal Batholith of Peru: a review. In: Pitcher WS et al (eds) Magmatism at a plate edge: the Peruvian Andes. Blackie, Glasgow, pp 243–249

  94. Wang S, Williams PJ (2001) Geochemistry and origin of Proterozoic skarns at the Mount Elliott Cu–Au (–Co–Ni) deposit, Cloncurry district, NW Queensland. Miner Deposita 36:109–124

  95. Wanhainen C, Broman C, Martinsson O (2003) The Aitik Cu–Au–Ag deposit in northern Sweden: a product of high salinity fluids. Min Dep 38:715–726

  96. Webb M, Rowston P (1995) The geophysics of the Ernest Henry Cu–Au deposit (N.W.) Queensland. Expl Geophys 26:51–59

  97. Williams PJ (1994) Iron mobility during synmetamorphic alteration in the Selwyn Range area, NW Queensland: Implications for the origin of ironstone-hosted Au–Cu deposits. Miner Deposita 29:250–260

  98. Williams PJ (1998) Metalliferous economic geology of the Mount Isa Eastern Succession, Queensland. Australian J Earth Sci 45:329–342

  99. Williams PJ, Heineman M (1993) Maramungee: a Proterozoic Zn skarn in the Cloncurry district, Mt Isa Inlier, Queensland, Australia. Econ Geol 88:1114–1134

  100. Williams PJ, Pollard PJ (2003) Australian Proterozoic iron oxide–Cu–Au deposits: an overview with new metallogenic and exploration data from the Cloncurry district, northwest Queensland. Explor Mining Geol 10:191–213

  101. Williams PJ, Skirrow RG (2000) Overview of Iron Oxide-Copper-Gold deposits in the Curnamona Province and Cloncurry district (Eastern Mount Isa Block), Australia. In: Porter TM (ed) Hydrothermal Iron Oxide Copper-Gold and Related Deposits: A Global Perspective. AMF, pp 105–122

  102. Williams PJ, Dong G, Ryan CG, Pollard PJ, Rotherham J, Mernagh TP, Chapman LH (2001) Geochemistry of hypersaline fluid inclusions from the Starra (Fe oxide)–Cu–Au deposit, Cloncurry district, Queensland. Econ Geol 96:875–884

  103. Wyborn LAI, Page RW, McCulloch MT (1988) Petrology, geochronology and isotope geochemistry of the post-1820 Ma granites of the Mount Isa Inlier: mechanisms for the generation of Proterozoic anorogenic granites. Precam Res 40–41:509–541

Download references

Acknowledgements

GM was supported by a Monash University Logan Fellow. The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial and logistical support provided by Ernest Henry Mining Pty Ltd and MIM Exploration (now Xstrata Exploration). Financial assistance was also provided through an ARC SPIRT Grant C00002502. The authors would like to thank Richard Crookes, Max Alyffe, Joshua Bryant, Stewart Coates, Anne Hollonds and Max Tuesley (all formerly from Ernest Henry Mining Pty Ltd), and the rest of the technical staff in the Ernest Henry geology department headed by Perry Collier for their help and advise during the project. We are also appreciative of the guidance imparted by Rick Valenta. Roger Skirrow and an anonymous reviewer are recognized for their thoughtful and considered reviews. Kevin Blake from the Advanced Analytical Centre, James Cook University is also acknowledged for his technical know-how in electron probe microanalysis. Damien Foster, Brad Drabsch, Haidi Hancock and Justin Tolman are thanked for their help in sample preparation at James Cook University.

Author information

Correspondence to Geordie Mark.

Additional information

Editorial handling: R. Moritz

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mark, G., Oliver, N.H.S. & Williams, P.J. Mineralogical and chemical evolution of the Ernest Henry Fe oxide–Cu–Au ore system, Cloncurry district, northwest Queensland, Australia. Miner Deposita 40, 769 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00126-005-0009-7

Download citation

Keywords

  • Proterozoic
  • Hydrothermal fluids
  • Alteration zoning
  • Sodic
  • Potassic
  • Exploration vectors