PGE exploration in the Wadi Amarah complex, southwestern Arabian Shield

Original Paper
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Abstract

A stream sediment survey targeting PGE and their pathfinders was carried out at a gabbro/pyroxenite complex in Wadi Amarah in the SW Arabian Shield. Twenty-nine stream sediment samples were collected from wadi channels and analyzed for PGE and base metals. None of the samples contained detectable PGE except for WAS-3 and WAS-27 which returned values above 70 ppb of combined Pt and Pd; these two locations are also anomalous for Au. A follow-up survey was conducted to further investigate the anomalies at these locations. A total of 48 soil and rock samples were collected from the two anomalous localities. Unlike the initial survey, most samples contained detectable PGE and Au albeit not as high as the original anomalies. Factor analysis of the results from the initial survey returned five main factors, with the first four reflecting the effects of mineral detritus as well as adsorption onto Fe–Mn oxyhydroxides; however, the last factor is loaded only for Cu and Ni and is therefore considered an ore factor indicating the presence of Cu–Ni sulphides. Another five factors were obtained from the follow-up survey, and as was the case in the initial survey, the first four factors are detrital/adsorption-related, while factor 5 has high loadings for only Pd and Pt and is therefore interpreted as a PGE ore factor. These findings reveal different modes of dispersion of PGE and base metals in the secondary environment and, more importantly, demonstrate the effectiveness of factor analysis in detecting even faint anomalies from disseminated mineralization.

Keywords

Arabian Shield PGE Pyroxenite Geochemical exploration Factor analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Yves Thibault is thanked for his assistance with EPMA work at UWO.

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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and Geophysics, Faculty of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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