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TitleAqueous geochemistry in mineral exploration
AuthorLeybourne, M I
SourceMineral deposits of Canada: a synthesis of major deposit-types, district metallogeny, the evolution of geological provinces, and exploration methods; by Goodfellow, W D (ed.); Geological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division, Special Publication no. 5, 2007 p. 1007-1033
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20170067
PublisherGeological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division (St. John's, NL, Canada)
Mediapaper; DVD; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Mineral deposits of Canada: a synthesis of major deposit-types, district metallogeny, the evolution of geological provinces, and exploration methods
File formatpdf
ProvinceNew Brunswick
NTS21O/01; 21O/02SE; 21O/02NE; 21O/07SE; 21O/07NE; 21O/08; 21O/09; 21O/10SE; 21O/10NE; 21P/04; 21P/05; 21P/12
Lat/Long WENS -66.7500 -65.5000 47.7500 47.0000
Subjectseconomic geology; geochemistry; mineral occurrences; mineral potential; mineral deposits; mineralization; mineral exploration; exploration methods; geochemical surveys; water geochemistry; groundwater geochemistry; lake water geochemistry; volcanogenic deposits; porphyry deposits; porphyry copper; copper; nickel; zinc; gold; platinum; diamond; kimberlites; Bathurst Mining Camp
Illustrationssketch maps; graphs; photographs; tables
ProgramConsolidating Canada's Geoscience Knowledge
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-3), 2005-2010
Released2007 01 01
AbstractGround and surface waters are important media for the geochemical exploration of many different styles of mineralization. Water-transported (hydromorphic) metals can develop anomalous concentrations and reveal hidden mineralization directly (dissolved phase) and by adsorption/precipitation reactions with suspended and bed-load stream sediments (labile fraction). Groundwater recharges to depth, resulting in greater likelihood of interacting with buried mineralization compared to surface geochemical methods. Advances in the understanding of ore formation processes, water-rock interaction, and metals transport/attenuation in the secondary environment are enhancing the efficacy of aqueous geochemical exploration. Overcoming the issue of false anomalies is aided by traditional and nontraditional isotopic techniques to more directly fingerprint metal sources, in particular through the use of Pb and S isotopes. Advances in analytical technologies should permit such isotopic analyses, traditionally not used by the exploration industry due to cost, to become as routine as elemental analyses are today. This paper synthesizes the current thinking and state of the art of surficial geochemical methods that are useful to the mineral exploration industry. Examples of how ground and surface waters vector to mineralization are presented for a number of deposit types (volcanogenic massive sulphide, gold, porphyry copper, sedimentary exhalative, unconformity
uranium, kimberlite diamond, and Cu-Ni-PGE). The most successful aqueous-phase indicators of mineralization are those that are ore-associated and mobile in solution.

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