Title: Geochemical vectoring for Irish-type Zn-Pb mineralisation along the Rathdowney Trend, Ireland
Researchers: Oakley Turner, Dr Sean McClenaghan
This study aims to levee geochemistry as a more diverse tool within mineral exploration for Irish-type Zn-Pb occurrences by characterising and understanding the distributions of trace-elements associated with mineralisation in the Waulsortian Mudbank formation. Firstly, this takes the form of defining the natural background within the host stratigraphy by creating a chemostratigraphy distal to mineralisation. Secondly, a bulk lithogeochemical approach establishes the phases in which elements of interest are mobile (dolomite, quartz and pyrite) during mineralisation. Finally, a trace-element and isotopical approach at the mineral scale seeks to directly link sphalerite-galena occurrences with the mobility of elements at the microscale.
Hypotheses for the project: a - Irish-type mineralisation creates a temporal and spatial distribution of trace elements related to processes involved in mineralisation b - The chemistry of the stratigraphical formations can be used for classification, to at least the same accuracy as geological features c - Dolomite phases themselves are chemically distinct and White Matrix Breccia is a result of the mineralising system (thus linked to Black matrix breccia) d - Multi-generational pyrite provides a chemical history of the deposit formation e - Quartz in Irish-type Zn-Pb systems is coeval with mineralisation with silica found on other horizons also linked.
Objectives: Measure the background chemistry for the Rathdowney trend across the mineralised horizons b - Build on previous work in quantifying chemical variations related to the emplacement of Zn-Pb mineralisation, determining any constraints to historical work c - Paragenetically understand what the phase the anomalies are related to d - Determine a direct link between mineralisation and any chemical anomaly, or eliminate any false positves