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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 2225-6253


MORADPOURI, F.; AHMADI, S.M.H.; GHAEDRAHMATI, R.  and  BARANI, K.. Determination of the erosion level of a porphyry copper deposit using soil geochemistry. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2023, vol.123, n.2, pp.103-112. ISSN 2411-9717.

As exploration is time-consuming, costly, and risky, determination of the erosion surface of a metalliferous deposit before geophysical surveying and exploration drilling might be very helpful. Geochemical haloes can be used to determine whether the erosion surface is supra-ore or sub-ore and thus reduce the risk of exploration operations. The aim of this investigation is to determine the erosion surface of the North ROK porphyry deposit (NRPD) in northwestern British Columbia in Canada using linear productivity (LP), which is the content of an element defining the halo multiplied by the width of the halo. A total of 2045 soil samples from the B horizon were analysed using ICP-MS for 36 elements, including Cu, Mo, Pb, Zn, Au, As, Ag, Ni, Co, Fe, and Mn. The data-set was snalysed to obtain the statistical parameters and the elements Cu, Mo, Pb, and Zn were chosen to calculate the linear productivity and the total linear productivity. These four elements were modelled using probability plots to identify and separate subpopulations in terms of anomalous haloes and background, including the threshold values of each subpopulation. The results of the probability plot modelling and thresholds values were then used to map the distribution of each element in a GIS to calculate the linear productivity. The total linear productivity indicated that the erosion surface is supra-ore. Finally, a 3D orebody model of the Cu, Mo, Pb, and Zn distributions was constructed using borehole data and used to validate the results.

Keywords : porphyry deposit; surface erosion; probability plot modelling; linear productivity; 3D orebody modelling.

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