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HyLogging case studies

CASE STUDIES: Minerals Down Under


Three mineralogical studies from the CSIRO in Australia:
Gold, Iron Ore and Rare Earth Elements.
2 3

Case study#1
White mica chemistry variations (Fig 2a)
are a key proximity indicator to many of
the ore zones at Kanowna Belle. White

Gold
micas are identified by a diagnostic
absorption feature around ~2190 2225
nm. Shorter wavelengths indicate greater
Al, longer wavelengths indicate less Al,
substituted for Fe/Mg. Mixed zones and
steep gradients between white mica
wavelengths from ~2208 2220 nm
(muscovitic-phengitic) show a spatial
association with the ore zone. This
alteration pattern can be visualised by
modelling the white mica wavelengths
extracted from the HyLogger data
Mine-scale Spectrally Determined Alteration the distal chlorite whitemica carbonate and proximal (Fig 3).
Mineralogy at Kanowna Belle Gold Mine, W.A. whitemica carbonate alteration assemblages. Albite,
Melissa Quigley1 and Carl Young2 quartz and carbonates identified from the TIR HyLogger However, not all steep gradients of white
1
CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering, data also display systematic variation across the deposit and mica wavelengths are mineralised. No
2
Barrick Gold of Australia Ltd are currently being investigated. single spectral parameter can uniquely
delineate the ore zones, rather a
Introduction KDU1595 combination of features as shown in
Kanowna Belle (KB) is a ~10 Moz Archaean gold deposit A selection of results are shown here for drill hole KDU1595 Figure 2 is required to provide vectors to
located 25 km northeast of Kalgoorlie at 3037 S, 12135 (Fig 2), drilled west from the footwall to hangingwall, ore and to differentiate ore from waste
E on the Kanowna (3236) 1:100 000 map sheet. KB lies intersecting a variety of lithologies and alteration styles and effectively.
within the Boorara Domain structural subdivision (Swager, the Velvet ore zone (~589 638 m) where gold assays are
1997) of the Kalgoorlie Terrane, Eastern Goldfields Province, reported up to 44.8 ppm, capped here at 5 ppm for display Structures and subtle fluid pathways have
W.A. Mineralisation is principally hosted in 4 gold lodes purposes (Fig 2a). Conventionally logged lithology (Fig 2b), also been fingerprinted based on the
within a sequence of volcaniclastic and conglomeratic rocks, alteration and structure were imported into The Spectral spectro-mineralogical results, such as the
separated into hangingwall and footwall sequences by the Geologist Core software to review the spectro- footwall shear zone at ~460 m identified
Fitzroy Structure. mineralogical results in a geological context. by an abrupt increase in white mica
absorption intensity (Fig 2b), abundant
To mineralogically characterise the deposit and identify Based on the HyLogger results, the ore zone is muscovite (Fig 2c) and chlorite depletion
vectors to ore, 6000 m of diamond drill core was scanned characterised by: (Fig 2g). Further information on cross-
with CSIROs prototype HyLogger (Fig 1) to acquire a steep gradient change in white mica wavelengths (Fig cutting relationships and textures can be
hyperspectral reflectance measurements across the visible- 2a), low absorption intensity of the gained from the detailed linescan imagery.
near-infra-red to short-wave-infra-red (VNIR-SWIR) (400 - white micas (Fig 2b), with moderate to abundant
Fig 2. KDU1595 spectromineralogical results. See blue text in Results section for details.
2500 nm) range of the electromagnetic spectrum. A 3000 m muscovite and phengite (Fig 2c) Conclusion
(Count on Y-axis = abundance reported per 2 metre interval).
subset of this core was also scanned with the recently quartz/silica depletion (Fig 2d) Spectrally determined, semi-quantitative
developed thermal-infrared (TIR) (7000 - 14000 nm) partial enrichment in albite (Fig 2e) mineralogy and associated mineralogical
HyLogger. These spectral regions contain diagnostic abundant carbonate (dolomite/ankerite interpreted from Kanowna Bell pit parameters (e.g. intensity and chemistry)
spectral signatures of minerals common to many geological peak wavelengths) (Fig 2f) extracted from the HyLogger data
units and hydrothermal alteration assemblages. HyLogger no chlorite (Fig 2g) effectively delineate and characterise the
is a highly-automated instrument that enables the rapid ore zone. A combination of the
 Ore envelope
acquisition of hyperspectral reflectance measurements HyLogger results could generate a
+3 ppm Au
together with high resolution continuous digital colour KDU1595  prospectivity scalar to provide vectors to
imagery, measuring ~700 m of core per day, in their trays. ore, better delineate ore from waste and
Results for drill hole KDU1595 are shown here to provide an independent measure of
demonstrate the effectiveness of HyLogging at KB. confidence in gold grade and continuity.
From (nm) To (nm)

Results and Discussion Paragoniti


 Fitzroy
The HyLogger results also identified
White micas, chlorites and carbonates are the key alteration
cMuscovitic
Structure
Phengitic
inconsistencies in the conventionally
minerals identified from the VNIR-SWIR HyLogger data logged lithology and alteration,
(Quigley, 2005) and subtle changes in their chemistry reflect demonstrating the potential of the
varying physico-chemical properties of the alteration fluids. Fig 3. Drill hole traces coloured by HyLogger derived white mica absorption feature wave-
lengths, diagnostic of chemistry variations representing proximity indicators to ore (oblique view
HyLogger to provide greater objectivity
White mica, chlorite and carbonate composition determined and consistency.
looking NE, KB mine grid, ~1 km spacing).
from the mineral spectra show systematic variation across Fig 1. VNIR-SWIR HyLoggerTM hardware components.
2 3

Case study#2
Iron Ore Iron oxide abundance showing a
strong negative correlation with ore
diluents (e.g. kaolinite, smectite and
carbonate). Zone IV is the main ore
zone.

Vitreous-ochreous goethite clear


variations in the ore type, with
vitreous goethite close to the
surface (zone V - hardcap) and
ochreous goethite dominance in
3D mineralogy from
main ore zone (zone IV).
hyperspectral drill core data
Rocklea Dome Channel Iron
Kaolinite abundance and
Deposit, WA
composition clear delineation of
M. Haest1,2*, T. Cudahy1,2 and C.
clay zones and more poorly-ordered
Laukamp1,2
(~ transported) clays in the centre of
1
CSIRO Earth Science and Resource
the channel (zones II, III and V).
Engineering, 26 Dick Perry Avenue,
Kensington WA 6151, Australia
Carbonate and Fe-smectite
2
WA Centre of Excellence for 3D
abundance calcrete with associated
Mineral Mapping (C3DMM), Australia Fig 1. Correlation between hyperspectral derived iron oxide abundance and wt% Fe XRF results
for 5000 RC samples.
Fe-smectite covering the ore body
(zone VI)
Introduction processed in 1D along drill holes, in 2D mineralogy was validated against XRF
Iron ore miners across the world have profiles and in 3D models created with and XRD data. 3D mineral mapping re-confirmed the
been confronted with a lack of Leapfrog. Results show how the correlation with the XRF results and
objective, easily accessible mineralogy, processed end-products can have The accuracy could be estimated for improved the existing ore body
to help: (a) explore for iron ore; (b) significant impact on exploration, the following products, stated as root characterisation, including:
delineate marginal from ore grade resource modelling and mining. mean square error:
Mapping of the Fe-oxide abundance
materials; and (c) monitor ore quality Fe-oxide abundance: 9.1 wt% Fe
in 3D produced an almost identical
during processing. This need is now Hyperspectral drill core logging in the (Fig 1)
volume to the volume outlined by
solvable using quantitative mineralogy Rocklea Dome is part of a project of Hematite-goethite distribution: XRF at the same Fe-content level.
generated from rapid drill core logging the WA Centre of Excellence for 3D 12.7%
hyperspectral systems, such as CSIROs Mineral Mapping (C3DMM - http://
AlOH-clay abundance: 3.9 wt% The main iron ore volume is Fig 2. Hyperspectral drill core mineralogy at 1 cm spatial resolution for a diamond drill core
HyLogger. c3dmm.csiro.au/), which aims at through the centre of the Rocklea Dome CID.
Al2O3 dominated by ochreous goethite and
building capabilities for delivering
Further currently developed mineral is locally covered by a horizon of
To demonstrate this opportunity, seamless 3D mineralogy from drill core,
products include: vitreous goethite (~ hardcap).
HyLogger data were measured for 180 airborne and satellite hyperspectral
RC and 14 diamond drill cores from data. The final goal of the centre is to - Kaolinite composition
The ore body is underlain by a
the Murchison Metals Limited Rocklea create a publicly available, accurate - Carbonate abundance
kaolinite-rich zone, which is also
Dome Channel Iron Deposit (CID) in and seamless mineral map of the - Carbonate composition more dominant in the tributary
the western part of the Hamersley Australian continent by 2020.
channel to the northwest. The
Province (WA). Mineralogy was
Hyperspectral mineralogy in 3 central section of the channel is
extracted from the hyperspectral data Validation of hyperspectral
dimensions covered with Al-smectite and
using a set of publicly available mineralogy
Processing of hyperspectral towards the eastern side Fe-smectite
multiple feature extraction algorithms The Rocklea drill core data set of
mineralogy along diamond drill cores is observed (Fig 3).
(Cudahy et al., 2008) in a commercial approximately 5000 samples includes
software package (The Spectral mineral abundance and mineral at 1cm spatial resolution clearly shows
the stratified nature of the channel The main CID is covered by a laterally
Geologist TSG). The results were composition information generated
iron deposit in the Rocklea Dome area continuous zone of high carbonate
validated against X-ray fluorescence from the HyLogging data and
(Zones II to VI in Fig 2). Important abundance (i.e. the calcrete), which
(XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) calculated using the depths and
mineral products include (Fig 2): is detectable with spectral remote
measurements. The validated positions of diagnostic absorption Fig 3. 3D mineralisation model of the Rocklea Dome CID, outlining the different clay volumes,
sensing techniques. surrounding the CID resource.
hyperspectral drill core mineralogy was features. The derived spectral
2 3

Case study#3
Rare Earth Elements

HyLogging of Rare Earth Element (REE) www.ga.gov.au/minerals/mineral-resources/rare-earth- HyLogging is a rapid semi-automated suite of technologies
bearing rocks elements.html). There has been much recent public that permit the non-destructive and non contact scanning of
Jon Huntington (CSIRO), discussion about the forecast imminent shortage of Rare drill chips, cores and hand samples to reveal much of their
Belinda Smith (Northern Territory Geological Survey), Earths and the potential impact on industries that rely on mineralogical content (Fig 2). It comprises both hardware
Lena Hancock (Geological Survey of Western Australia Rare Earths. The looming supply deficiency has been and software technologies and, importantly, people to
apparent for the past decade. (see: http://www.lynascorp. manage and interpret the results.
Introduction com/category.asp?category_id=2).
Many rocks, chips and soil samples containing rare earth The HyLogging measurement technologies are now available
elements (REE) such as neodymium, and praseodymium, can HyLogging rare earths for commercial labs, Australias State and Territory Geological
now be easily determined using CSIROs HyLogging Minerals and rocks that may contain mainly the light rare Surveys through AuScopes National Virtual Core Library
technologies. earth elements include monazite, bastnsite, apatite and (NVCL) project. HyLogging spectral results can be analysed in
carbonatite which show very diagnostic and unique spectral the The Spectral Geologist (TSG) software (TSG-Viewer is
With the increasing take-up around Australia of automated absorption features in the visible and near infrared portion available free from www.thespectralgeologist.com).
logging of drill cores and chips using non-destructive of the electromagnetic spectrum making them very
reflectance spectroscopy (aka HyLogging) we are also seeing amenable to sensing with reflectance spectroscopy (Fig 1).
a significant expansion in the diversity in the applications to Fig 2. HyLogger-2 instrument in its shipping container laboratory at
which this technology is being put. One of these new REE-bearing deposits may also be associated with high levels the Geological Survey of Western Australia.

applications is the determination of minerals and rocks of uranium and thorium. REE occurrences in Australia
containing rare earth elements that are increasingly include, but are not restricted to, a variety of heavy mineral
attracting the attention of mineral explorers around Australia sands deposits (e.g. Ginko in NSW), Nolans Bore in the NT,
and the world. the Dubbo Zirconia Project at Toongi in NSW, and the
Cummins Range and Mt Weld carbonatites in WA.
Background
During the past decade there has been strong growth in
demand for rare earths as a result of emerging technology
applications in catalysts, glass, polishing, metal alloys and
magnets, which accounts for about 80 per cent of the
current total annual demand of around 124,000 tonnes of
REO. Globally, the production and resources of rare earths is
dominated by China, which accounts for about 97 per cent
of the production followed by India with about two per
cent. These figures are only approximate because the
production for the Commonwealth of Independent States,
which is made up of former members of the Soviet Union, is
not available. The most significant increases in demand
for REO are attributed to a predicted expansion in hybrid
cars, followed by petroleum catalyst, glass manufacturing
and polishing and multi-level electronic components. The Fig 3. TSG-Core visualisation of the Nolans Bore drill-hole NBDH037
Fig 1. Typical VNIR/SWIR spectrum from a single ~10 mm sample of a showing rare earth mapping. From left to right, lithological log; 3-band
smallest sector by volume, but largest by value, is europium
rare earth-bearing carbonatite from Cummins Range, WA, and showing hyperspectral colour composite of bands at 1400 nm (red), 2208 nm
and terbium, which are used in the production of phosphors the source of selected spectral features (Source: GSWA HyLogger-2). (green), 2345 nm (blue) note how well this rendition equates to the
for televisions and energy efficient light globes. (see: http:// original lithological log; REE band mapping of depth of the 740 nm REE
absorption band; total REE assay in percent.
Results
Figure 3 illustrates a typical set of TSG logs reflecting both
spectral reflectance results and imported lithological and
assay results. The correlation between the spectrally-defined
REE spectral signature and the assays is striking and would
be hard to determine visually, though could be available
were the spectroscopy undertaken soon after drilling.
HyLogging and TSG also offers co-registered high-resolution
core and core tray images (Fig 4) to aid the data
interpretation.

Validation
Cummins Range samples showing REE spectral signatures
were analyzed by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) by Minerals
Resources Tasmania. The REE minerals identified are from the
bastnsite, monazite, and apatite groups. Figure 5 and Table
1 illustrate a high level of validation of the HyLogger results
by the XRD method for TSA abundances above about 15%,
the normal limit recognised for the automated The Spectral
Assistant (TSA) algorithm. Aspectral refers to spectra with
only smooth (background) spectral shapes in the shortwave
infrared.

Fig 5. Spectral and XRD results for a Cummins Range carbonatite


sample from DD84CDD2 hole at 110 m. The HyLogging system suggested
dolomite, hornblende, and REE; XRD shows Fe-dolomite (>80%), mona-
zite (5-10%), amphibole (<5%), talc (<5%), Mg-calcite (<5%), and
quartz (<5%).

Acknowledgements: AuScope Pty Ltd National Virtual Core Library,


Fig 4. Typical Nolans Bore core tray image annotate with total rare CSIRO, Geological Survey of Western Australia, Northern Territory
earth assay in percent in Plot 1. Geological Survey, Mineral Resources Tasmania XRD Lab.

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