Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 8, Issue 7, pp 5081–5093 | Cite as

A GIS-based stream sediment geochemical model for gold and base metal exploration in remote areas of northern Pakistan

  • Liaqat Ali
  • Charlie John Moon
  • Ben James Williamson
  • Muhammad Tahir Shah
  • Seema Anjum Khattak
Original Paper


This study investigates the strength of a GIS-based and statistical approach for the analysis of stream sediment geochemical data in the development of predictive models for Au and base metal mineralisation in remote and glaciated areas of northern Pakistan. The study is based on a large (~2,000 samples) geochemical dataset generated as a result of extensive sampling campaigns by the Australian Aid Program, Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) and Sarhad Development Authority (SDA). The data were analysed using factor analysis to identify elemental associations and subsequently imported into ArcGIS 9.2 for spatial analysis. The model successfully detected the occurrence of known stibnite veins and disseminations in Chitral, porphyry Cu (skarns) in Domal Nissar and Skardu, and Ni-PGE occurrences in the mafic-ultramafic rocks of Chilas. Spatial catchment anomaly maps (based on 90th, 95th and 99th percentiles) were compared with the GIS-based model to delineate prospective areas, which included Asheriat, Teru, Pakora, Gilgit, Shishi, Imit and Chalt, mainly along the Shyok suture zone, while geochemical anomalies in Kafiristan, upper Mastuj and Lshkarwaz are associated with the Reshun fault. A strong geochemical anomaly in Astore River reflecting mineralization possibly associated with the Indus suture zone. The model was also used to interpret deposit type for gold and base metal anomalies. The majority of Au anomalies were fault related, associated with suture zones, which suggests a dominantly structural rather than lithological control on mineralisation in northern Pakistan.


GIS Stream sediment Factor analysis Structural control Northern Pakistan Gold Base metals 



The authors of this manuscript are thankful to the Higher Education Commission and the Director NCE in Geology, University of Peshawar, for funding the study. Prof. Frances Wall, Head of Camborne School of Mines, and the Camborne School of Mines Trust are specially thanked for providing financial assistance to the first author  in the final year of the PhD.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liaqat Ali
    • 1
    • 2
  • Charlie John Moon
    • 2
  • Ben James Williamson
    • 2
  • Muhammad Tahir Shah
    • 1
  • Seema Anjum Khattak
    • 1
  1. 1.NCE in GeologyUniversity of PeshawarPeshawarPakistan
  2. 2.Camborne School of MinesUniversity of ExeterPenrynUK

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