A Basin System and Fluid-Flow Analysis of the Zn-Pb-Ag Mount Isa-Type Deposits of Northern Australia: Identifying Metal Source, Basinal Brine Reservoirs, Times of Fluid Expulsion, and Organic Matter

   Abstract:
      Paleoproterozoic rocks of northern Australia host one of the world?s largest base metal repositories and are the world?s most important zinc repository. The McArthur-Mount Isa-Cloncurry mineral belt contains several world-class Zn-Pb-Ag, U, Cu, and Cu-Au deposits (Ewers and Fergusson, 1980; Williams, 1998; Betts et al., 2003; Large et al., 2005; Fig. 1). The province has the potential to host additional base metal and uranium reserves. Advances in exploration techniques in the 1980s led to the discovery of several major new Zn and Cu-Au deposits, including Cannington, Century, Ernest Henry, and Osborne. However, recent exploration results have been disappointing and new exploration strategies are required if the region is to further its growth potential and if new resources are to be realized beneath shallow cover.

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