Phil Blevin (NSWDPI) will showcase studies being undertaken at the Geological Survey on the igneous rocks of NSW, their relationship to mineral deposits, and their potential for new technology metals (e.g. indium), geothermal energy and even manufactured sand.
Isotopic and rare earth studies of zircon from the Ordovician Cu-Au porphyries will define these systems in terms of source, temperature and oxidation state and help identify the primary controls on their metallogenic fertility.
Collaborative studies with universities are developing new methodologies to age date and fingerprint ore minerals such as cassiterite and molybdenite.
Age dating is also leading to a better understanding of the state’s mineral systems in time and space. Studies at Ardlethan and in New England for example have challenged preconceptions regarding the age and genetic associations of Sn (-W, Ag, In) systems across the state.
The applied outputs from these new frontiers of economic geology and petrology will include district to regional mineral system studies, maps of metallogenic potential, and new exploration concepts that will enhance prospectivity and exploration investment opportunities in NSW.