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Geology and Mineralization of the Wagon Pass Prospect, Napier Range, Lennard Shelf, Western Australia


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Author Buchhorn IJ


The Lennard Shelf is an Upper Devonian carbonate reef complex striking northwest for 350 km along the northeast margin of the Canning Basin. Numerous small Mississippi Valley type (MVT) Pb-Zn prospects occur within this belt, including the Wagon Pass prospect, located 105 km east of Derby in the Napier Range. At Wagon Pass, the base of the Upper Devonian sequence is a cobbly, dolomitic sandstone, the Van Emmerick Conglomerate. This is conformably overlain by the Frasnian to Famennian Pillara cycle Lower Napier Formation fore-reef deposits. These are characterized by red algal wackestones and terrigenous stylo- bedded packstones, with common dolomitization. The conformably overlying Famennian Nullara cycle contains a classic reefal assemblage, consisting of flat lying Nullara Limestone back-reef, fore-stepping massive Windjana Reef, and steep basinward dipping Upper Napier Formation marginal slope. The Nullara cycle is not dolomitized. The Wagon Pass mineralization is hosted by Lower Napier Formation dolomite. Mineral- ization consists of complex intergrowths and semi-massive assemblages of sphalerite and galena, with subordinate pyrite, marcasite, chalcopyrite, bornite, digenite, covellite and bravoite. Ore textures include granular and colloform. Gangue minerals are dolomite and very fine grained green chloritic clay. Although mineralization commonly occurs as reticulate fracture fillings, its overall distribution is stratabound. Ore paragenesis involved early “diagenetic” dolomitization, followed by breccia formation with chloritic and granular dolomite matrices. Main stage galena-sphalerite mineralization then occurred, accompanied by pervasive chloritization of silty units. Ore genesis was probably related to basin-derived “oil field” brines, with open space textures in the mineralization quite comparable to textures seen in Canning Basin dolomitic hydrocarbon reservoirs. Fluid inclusions in the host dolomite have typical MVT homogenization temperatures of 70-1150 C, and contain minor organic phases. The Van Emmerick Conglomerate, with its high porosity, dolomitization and weak Pb-Zn anomalism, was probably the aquifer for the mineralizing brines. Access of ore solutions to the Wagon