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The Geology of the Kidston Gold Mine

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Author Wilson GI, Lewis RW, Gallo JB, Tullemans FJ
ID P198601114

Description

Gold mineralization at Kidston occurs in a semicontinuous zone near the margin of a large, late Palaeozoic breccia pipe. The pipe is ovoid in plan, funnel-shaped in cross section and straddles a contact between Proterozoic metamorphic and granitoid rocks which are intruded by a swarm of late Palaeozoic acid dykes. Rock fragments within the breccia pipe reflect the enclosing country rocks and mix in various proportions to form gradational lithological domains. Most of the gold is free and is located in the breccia matrix and in a set of inwardly dipping sheeted quartz veins which kink around the pipe margin. Sulphide minerals, dominantly pyrite, occur as disseminations in the breccia matrix and as aggregates in the cores of quartz veins. Hydrothermal altLration is pervasive within the breccia and is most intense in areas with the highest percentage of acid dyke fragments. Sericite and carbonate are the main alteration minerals. An empirically developed genetic theory for the formation of the breccia pipe and attendant mineralization involves magmatic and post-magmatic processes associated with the intrusion of a granitoid body to a shallow level in the crust. Economic evaluation of the deposit relied heavily on the results of diamond drilling. Both polygonal and geostatistical reserves were calculated and found to be in close agreement. Geostatistical reserves are considered to more closely reflect the tonnes and grade achievable during mining. Daily geological mine routine is strongly biased towards grade control allied with the practical aspects of open-pit mining. Tonnage/ grade correlations between ore blocks geostat- istically generated from exploration diamond core results and ore blocks generated from high