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  • Predictive mineral discovery is concerned with the application of a whole of system process understanding to mineral exploration as opposed to an empirical deposit type approach. A mineral system process understanding can be derived from a consideration of five key questions, namely what is/are the: 1) geodynamic setting; 2) architecture; 3) sources and reservoirs; 4) drivers and pathways, and; 5) depositional mechanisms. The answers to these questions result in the identification of critical processes necessary for the function of a mineral system within a particular terrane, and permit the development of a targeting model. In this contribution we identify district scale critical orogenic gold mineral system processes for the late Archaean eastern Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia. During the geodynamic history of a terrane the critical processes which result in mineralisation change with time resulting in variations in mineralisation style. Proxies for critical processes have been mapped in an integrated GIS and are termed mappable mineral system process proxies (or MMSPP). In recognition of this, three separate time slices and a geochemical theme were analysed. Each MMSPP is given a weighting factor (WF) which reflects the spatial accuracy/coverage of the data and process criticality. For each theme/time-slice, a separate prospectivity map was created by summing the overlay or union of the spatial extent of each MMSPP, and adding the WF. A final target or prospectivity map was generated by a union of the four theme/time-slice prospectivity maps, and is tested against the known major deposits. The map 'discovered' the main gold camps and accounts for over 75% of the known gold in 5% of the area. This test verifies the process-based understanding and the appropriate mapping of the critical proxies. A further outcome from the map was the identification of a number of new target areas not known for significant gold mineralisation in what otherwise is thought to represent a mature terrane for gold exploration. The approach taken here has been to consider the Late Archaean gold deposits as a holistic system. Despite the recurring areas of uncertainty, this systems view has resulted in new findings that have generic applications to other mineral systems.

  • The Eastern Goldfields Superterrane (EGST) in the eastern Yilgarn Craton is Australia's premier gold and nickel province, and has been the focus of over a century of geological investigations. The Predictive Mineral Discovery Cooperative Research Centre (pmd*CRC) was a collaborative government-industry initiative (2001-2008) that advanced in the geological understanding of this Archaean region, as well as the science of gold. This paper presents a summary of some of the highlights of this research.

  • Geochemical controls on high-grade gold mineralisation at the Junction lode-gold deposit, Kambalda, WA

  • Project Y3 CRC project review 2003

  • Barossa conference combined Y3 team presentations 2004

  • Project T1 Susceptibility and remanence parameters. Stawell Table 1

  • Large Scale Mechanical Modelling on HPC Cluster

  • Regional Thermal-Fluid-Flow Modelling: Predictive Targeting Outcomes

  • Tarcoola Modelling: Predictive Targeting Outcomes

  • Tunkillia Modelling: Preliminary Results and some Predictive Targeting Outcomes