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The Wafi River High Sulphur Epithermal Gold Deposit, Papua New Guinea


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Author Leach TM and Erceg MM


The Waft River gold deposit is hosted by low grade metasediments which
have been intruded by a dacite/andesite porphyry complex. Wafi River is
classified as a high sulphur, epithermal type gold deposit having: a high
sulphur content, a close association with calc-alkalic igneous rocks, zoned
advanced argillic and argillic alteration, and enargite group minerals. Gold
occurs as minute inclusions in pyrite and pyrrhotite within intermediate
dickite/kaohnite – interlayered illitic clay alteration zones. Central
leached silicic, alunite and pyrophyllite zones and peripheral chloritic
zones are low in gold. The gold mineralisation at Wafi is interpreted to
have been predominantly caused by mixing of hot upwelling acidic
magmatic mineralised fluids with cool, neutral meteoric/hydrothermal
fluids within permeable sediments. Locallised high grade breccia zones are
encountered within the porphyry. An initial resource in excess of I million
ounces Au has been defined.