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research program 2

mineral exploration in areas of cover

Mineral Mapping South Australia

Project Leader : Dr AJ Mauger, Primary Industries and Resources SA

Start date and duration: 2001-2008

Participants : Primary Industries and Resources SA, CSIRO Exploration and Mining and University of Adelaide

Brief project description :

Relating mineralogy to the development, identification, characterisation and measurement of the regolith with the aim of establishing successful mineral exploration vectors using spectrally active minerals in covered terrain constitutes the core of this project. Utilising spectral geology at all scales of observation (hand specimen, drill core, airborne and space-borne) integrated with other geoscientific datasets, including regolith, geomorphological and geological mapping (“ground truthing”), the distribution and characteristics of different regolith units and their processes of formation from the various basement lithotypes will be identified. New aspects of the project include demonstration of new equipment (CSIRO HyLogger) and new techniques for the analysis of new datasets (in particular hyperspectral and multispectral remote sensing data such as HyMap, Hyperion and ASTER), integration and analysis of multiple datasets.

Particular project areas to come under the umbrella of this project include:

  • Tarcoola Ridge. Examining in situ development of regolith over a known gold deposit and its associated alteration system. Use of CSIRO Automated Core Logger to map 3D distribution of spectrally active minerals.
  • Beltana/Aroona/Reliance carbonate hosted willemite deposits. Examining mineral alteration vectors to a known deposit concealed by transported regolith
  • White Dam, Olary Domain. Characterising regolith mineral expression of a known deposit to enable predictive exploration using hyperspectral data
  • Pine Creek kimberlite province. Documenting the spectrally visible mineral expression of regolith covering known kimberlites.

Deliverables (outputs) and expected impacts of research (outcomes):

Final Synthesis Report of Project

Titled: “Application of hyperspectral technologies to mineral exploration in SA”

  • Overview of hyperspectral mapping techniques
  • Case Studies
    • Tarcoola (with Sean Mahoney)
    • Barns (with John Keeling)
    • Tunkillia (with John Keeling)
    • Screechowl Creek (with John Keeling)
    • Beltana (with Alex Pengelly)
    • White Dam (with Ian Lau)
    • Pine Creek (with John Keeling)

Planned Publications:

  • Utilising airborne hyperspectral data for diamond exploration in the Flinders Ranges , SA. Mauger & Keeling. American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.
    • Processing of HyMap data to highlight the response of MgOH produces imagery carrying false positives caused by the MgCO3 response. Direct comparison of hyperspectral anomalies with helimag imagery permits prioritisation of exploration targets.
  • Magnesite mapping using airborne hyperspectral techniques in the Willouran Ranges , SA. Mauger & Keeling. American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
    • Using HyMap data to separate dolomite from magnesite employing calibration techniques based on laboratory spectra of typical surface materials.
  • Exploring for zinc at Beltana, SA, using HyMap imagery. Mauger & Keeling, IMMTrans B
    • The spectra of willamite identified in the HyMap imagery was used to enhance the carbonate horizons. Image maps produced using “minimum noise fraction” techniques gave maximum discrimination between geological units enabling mapping of significant structural relationships.
  • Hyperspectral techniques applied to the Central Gawler Gold province, SA. Mauger & Keeling. IMMTrans B
    • Examine the work undertaken using the HyLogger system at Barns, Tunkillia and Tarcoola. Compare the Hylogger to PIMA results and discuss transfer of geological models between different scales of observation.



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