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Mineralization of sedimentary basins

Congratulations on your sediment-hosted mineral discovery!


The mineral system concept implies there may be more, undiscovered deposits along-trend. A portfolio of drilling targets may increase your company’s chance of one deposit that is economically viable. It’s just that they may be under cover and the stratigraphy segmented by folding and faulting. No problem.

Let us help you to place your deposit within the regional geology and the district’s portfolio of prospects.

  • Determine if the mineralization is concordant with bedding or structurally controlled (veins, breccia, faults, foliations, folds).

  • Integrate the geochemistry with geophysics, structural geology, pathfinders and exploration-production statistics.

  • Sketch the basin’s tectonostratigraphic evolution, pre-, syn- and post-mineralization, and the deposit styles.

  • Estimate if the mineral system’s essential ingredients were massive enough to create a viable deposit.

  • Incorporate recent theories about deposit models and processes.

  • Map the mineral system’s: palaeogeographies; reducing horizons; possible fluid conduits; top-seal extent; deposit geometries; fold, fault and vein systems.

  • Recommend an efficient data acquisition program.

Copper and petroleum in redbeds.jpg

The Triassic Sherwood Sandstone Group host of copper mines  and petroleum fields, England. © 2009 Graham Banks

Great Orme copper mine in fractured carb

Fracture-controlled lead–zinc and copper mines, Mississippian carbonate platform, Wales. The Great Orme Copper Mines.

Redbeds and top seal evaporites in a thr

Thrust system of gypsum-anhydrite topseal and sandstone and conglomerate redbed reservoir. Iraqi Kurdistan © 2012 Graham Banks

Organic matter in sandstone.JPG

Organic matter in fluvial sands can create reduced zone nucleation points for copper when lithified to sandstones. © 2021 Graham Banks

Experience in sedimentary basins

I can bring to your project much experience in a range of geodynamic settings, sedimentation styles, tectonic styles, and fluid-commodity migration and trapping:

Continental rift basins:

  • Rare earth elements: Gardar basin, East African rift system, Upper Rhine Graben. See this 3D Leapfrog model for basin magmatism and critical metals prospects

  • Copper: Cheshire Basin, Jameson Land Basin.

  • Petroleum: East Irish Sea Basin, Danish North Sea, West of Shetland Basin, Mesopotamian Basin.

Inverted extensional basins

  • Gold: Stawell Gold Corridor.

  • Petroleum: Wessex Basin, East Irish Sea Basin, Eastern Black Sea Basin.

Orogenic foreland basins:

  • Petroleum: Zagros foreland basin, Upper Assam Basin, West Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

Global basin/province selection

The exploration sector conducts most evaluations at deposit and smaller scales. It is not evident how the sector performs a preceding exploration stage—rating and prioritising mineralised provinces—to determine which global provinces are prospective enough to warrant investment. Banks et al. (2020) present an objective, repeatable, low-cost method to screen any critical metals province, as a foundation for district-scale investigations or asset evaluations.

It provides the platform to  build a global province screening map and database consistently across national boundaries and organisations.

This recipe be online and open access in September 2020...

Fig 9. Banks. GSF-D-19-00513R1.tif
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