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Mines and Energy - Northern Territory Geological Survey


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McArthur Basin

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McArthur Basin

Lithology:
Sedimentary and minor volcanic: Dolostone, sandstone, shale, felsic and mafic volcanic rocks, minor microgranite.
McArthur Basin
Epoch Min:
Mesoproterozoic.
Epoch Max:
Palaeoproterozoic.
Age Min:
1430 Ma.
Age Max:
1800 Ma.
Summary: Extensive and complex Palaeo- to Mesoproterozoic sedimentary basin that forms the western extension of the Carpentaria Zinc Belt, which includes the Mount Isa region.
Relationship:
Unconformably overlies the Palaeoproterozoic Pine Creek Orogen to the northwest, Murphy Inlier to the southeast and Arnhem Inlier to the northeast. Unconformably overlain by the Arafura, Georgina and Carpentaria Basins. Interpreted to be contiguous under cover with the Birrindudu Basin and Tomkinson Province.
Thickness:
Up to 12 km.
Economic: Hosts world-class McArthur River lead-zinc-silver mine and diamond-bearing kimberlites at Merlin. Copper is currently being mined at Redbank. Contains numerous significant base metal occurrences, along with diamonds. Hosts high tonnage, low to moderate grade oolitic iron ore. Minor uranium mineralisation within basal units.
Exploration:
Significant exploration potential for various styles of sediment-hosted base metal deposits and prospective for diamonds and iron ore. Large areas in the north of the basin are effectively unexplored.
Metamorphism:
Unmetamorphosed.
Main References:

Rawlings DJ, 1999. Stratigraphic resolution of a multiphase intracratonic basin system: the McArthur Basin, northern Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 46, 703-723.

Scott DL, Rawlings DJ, Page RW, Tarlowski CZ, Idnum M, Jackson MJ and Southgate PN, 2000. Basement framework and geodynamic evolution of the Palaeoproterozoic superbasins of north-central Australia: an integrated review of geochemical, geochronological and geophysical data. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 47(3), 341-380.

Various authors, 2000. Thematic issue: Carpentaria-Mt Isa Zinc Belt: basement framework, chronostratigraphy and geodynamic evolution of Proterozoic successions. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 47(3).

Munson TJ and Ambrose GJ (editors), 2007. 'Proceedings of the Central Australian Basins Symposium (CABS), Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 16-18 August, 2005.' Northern Territory Geological Survey, Special Publication 2.