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Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

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Application of indicator mineral methods to bedrock and sediments

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Conference Title

Exploration '17 Decennial conference

Conference Date

October 22, 2017


Toronto, Canada


The presence of resistate indicator minerals (e.g. garnet, gahnite, magnetite, Cr diopside, ilmenite, olivine, and gold) in surficial sediments (e.g. glacial, eolian, stream, alluvial, beach, and residual soils) and bedrock have been used to explore for various types of mineral deposits, including porphyry Cu, lode gold, magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE, metamorphosed volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS), rare metals, and iron oxide-coppergold (IOCG) (Averill, 2001, 2007; McClenaghan, 2005, 2013). Optical- and electron- (e.g. scanning electron microscope coupled with QEMSCAN® or MLA™ software, electron microprobe analysis (EMPA), and mass spectrometry (e.g. laser ablationinductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LAICP- MS)) based techniques are used to identify indicator minerals, with EMPA and LA-ICP-MS techniques being able to determine their major and trace element compositions (e.g. Layton-Matthews et al., 2013). Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry allows for the measurement of many elements at concentrations as low as parts per billion (e.g. Jackson et al., 1992).


This workshop paper is from Spry, P.G., Pollock, M.V., Tott, K.A., Koenig, A.E., Both, R.A., and Ogierman, J.A., 2017, Trace element chemistry of indicator silicates and oxides as vectors to metamorphosed sediment-hosted Pb-Zn-Ag and Cu-Au deposits in the Cambrian Kanmantoo Group, South Australia in McClenaghan, M.B. and Layton-Matthews, D. (eds.), Application of indicator mineral methods to bedrock and sediments; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8345, p. 25-30.


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