3D Characteristic Analysis-Based Targeting of Concealed Kiruna-Type Fe Oxide-Apatite Mineralization within the Yangzhuang Deposit of the Zhonggu Orefield, Southern Ningwu Volcanic Basin, Middle-Lower Yangtze River Metallogenic Belt, China

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Ore Geology Reviews



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The computer-based modeling of geological and geophysical data allows the construction of 3D geological models that can predict the location of differing lithologies, intrusive units and orebodies. This 3D modeling allows the identification and quantification of the 3D controls on the location and grade and tonnage of mineralization in a given mineral deposit. These controls include factors such as the spatial relationship between mineralization and distinct geological units or features and the record of tectonic movements in an area such as the uplifting or subsidence of individual rock masses during faulting or intrusion. These controls on mineralization can then be combined with the location of areas of known mineralization in an approach termed characteristic analysis, which allows the identification of areas that are prospective for previously unknown mineralization as well as the 3D targeting of areas for future mineral exploration. Here, we present a case study that focuses on the Yangzhuang deposit within the Zhonggu orefield of the southern Ningwu volcanic basin, an important mineral deposit within the middle-lower Yangtze River Metallogenic Belt, China. This case study uses the 3D metallogenic prospectivity modeling approach outlined above. Our research indicates that areas of known mineralization (i.e., already identified orebodies) can be used to train 3D datasets to identify areas that are highly prospective for future exploration, in this case a highly prospective region to the north-northeast of the known mineralization in this area. This region is coincident with a distinct magnetic anomaly, suggesting that this area is likely to host significant mineralization, a hypothesis that will be tested during future exploration. This study outlines an approach to 3D prospectivity modeling that can be used in both greenfield and brownfield exploration and provides a new method for the exploration targeting of concealed or deep mineralization, representing a significant advance over the more widely used 2D prospectivity modeling techniques.


3D geological modeling; 3D spatial analysis; Characteristic analysis; Prospectivity modeling; Yangzhuang deposit


Mineral Physics | Stratigraphy



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