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Mapping of prospectivity and estimation of number of undiscovered prospects for lode gold, southwestern Ashanti Belt, Ghana

Abstract

In the southwestern part of the Ashanti Belt, the results of fractal and Fry analyses of the spatial pattern of 51 known mines/prospects of (mostly lode) gold deposits and the results of analysis of their spatial associations with faults and fault intersections suggest different predominant structural controls on lode gold mineralisation at local and district scales. Intersections of NNE- and NW-trending faults were likely predominantly involved in local-scale structural controls on lode gold mineralisation, whilst NNE-trending faults were likely predominantly involved in district-scale structural controls on lode gold mineralisation. The results of the spatial analyses facilitate the conceptualisation and selection of spatial evidence layers for lode gold prospectivity mapping in the study area. The applications of the derived map of lode gold prospectivity and a map of radial density of spatially coherent lode gold mines/prospects results in a one-level prediction of 37 undiscovered lode gold prospects. The applications of quantified radial density fractal dimensions of the spatial pattern of spatially coherent lode gold mines/prospects result in an estimate of 40 undiscovered lode gold prospects. The study concludes finally that analysis of the spatial pattern of discovered mineral deposits is the key to a strong link between mineral prospectivity mapping and assessment of undiscovered mineral deposits.

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Acknowledgement

We thank Tom Blenkinsop, Georges Beaudoin and an anonymous reviewer for their constructive comments that helped us to improve the presentation and discussion of materials in this paper.

The basis of this paper is the incomplete PhD research of Emmanuel Adjei Owusu who tragically died in a traffic accident in 2008.

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Correspondence to Emmanuel John M. Carranza.

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Editorial handling: P. Williams

Emmanuel A. Owusu: Deceased.

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Carranza, E.J.M., Owusu, E.A. & Hale, M. Mapping of prospectivity and estimation of number of undiscovered prospects for lode gold, southwestern Ashanti Belt, Ghana. Miner Deposita 44, 915–938 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00126-009-0250-6

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Keywords

  • Fractal analysis
  • Fry analysis
  • Proximity analysis
  • Evidential belief functions
  • Structural control
  • Lode gold
  • Birimian
  • Ghana
  • Geographic information systems