Grass roots exploration leads to new minerals province

first_imgA new polymetallic minerals province has been discovered in western Queensland, Australia. The successful exploration made use of a new technique that examines spinifex leaves for chemical traces of minerals.The Spinifex Geochemistry survey was conducted by Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ) in 2015 as part of its Industry Priorities Initiative, part of the three-year Future Resources program.The biogeochemistry technique led to the discovery of phoscorite pipes containing a wide variety of minerals including platinum and diamonds.There are only about 30 known occurrences of these pipes around the world.Leaves from spinifex grass (Triodia Sp.) preserve minute chemical traces of deeply-buried minerals.The study confirmed the value of biogeochemical analyses as a cost-effective and integral part of an exploration program in poorly outcropping terranes.The technique opens up vast tracts of western Queensland where spinifex coverage is widespread, for example, south of the Mount Isa Inlier where huge opportunities exist for explorers seeking large deposits believed to lie beneath thick layers of sediment.These results will be of great assistance to the resources sector exploring in the northwest of Queensland. They help the resources sector better target exploration opportunities; but only follow-up exploration will determine whether mineral resources exist in areas indicated by spinifex analysis.last_img

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