Targeting nickel sulfide deposits from 3D seismic reflection data at Kambalda, Australia
MetadataShow full item record
The greenstone belts of the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, host numerous Archaean gold, nickel, and iron ore deposits. These deposits typically are found in complex geologic structures hidden by a deep, heterogeneous, and often conductive regolith profile. This added complexity limits the depth of penetration for the potential field methods, but at the same time opens new revenue possibilities through the application of seismic methods. To explore this opportunity, we acquired high-resolution, experimental, 3D seismic data over Lake Lefroy in Kambalda, Western Australia. The main objective was to map exceptionally complex, deep structures associated with Kambalda dome. Survey design used 3D ray tracing to improve the distribution of the common reflection points across ultramafic-basalt contacts which host numerous small, high-grade nickel sulfide deposits. A combination of small explosive sources, high-shot/receiver density, and exceptionally good coupling over the ultrasalty lake surface produced seismic data of very high quality. Processing focused on computation of accurate static and dynamic corrections, whereas imaging was helped by the existing geologic model. Advanced volumetric interpretation supported by seismic forward modeling was used to guide mapping of the main lithological interfaces and structures.Forward modeling was carried out using rock properties obtained from ultrasonic measurements and one borehole, drilled in the proximity of the 3D seismic volume. Using this information, geometric constraints based on the typical size of ore bodies found in this mine and a simple window-based seismic attribute, several new targets were proposed. Three of these targets subsequently have been drilled and new zones of mineralization were intercepted. The case study presented demonstrates that high-quality, high-resolution, 3D seismic data combined with volumetric seismic interpretation could become a primary methodology for exploration of deep, small, massive sulfide deposits distributed across the Kambalda area.
Published by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. © 2012 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
A link to the Society's web site is available from the Related Links field.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Recent experience with use of high definition seismic reflection for nickel sulphide exploration in Western AustraliaWilliams, P.; Urosevic, Milovan; Kepic, Anton; Whitford, M. (2012)Nickel Sulphide ore systems in Western Australia are generally small, but very high value. They are typically found in complex geological settings at depth that is beyond the reach of potential geophysical methods. Only ...
Urosevic, Milovan; Kepic, Anton; Sheppard, S.; Johnson, D. (2008)The first experimental 2D high resolution seismic reflection was recorded in 2005 over McLeay nickel deposits, Lake Lefroy, Kambalda, Western Australia. Seismic results indicated that these deposits may have a seismic ...
CRS stack based seismic imaging – a case study from St Ives mining camp, Kambalda, Western AustraliaMalovichko, Liliya; Urosevic, Milovan (2013)Seismic exploration in hard rock environments is challenging due to complex geological conditions that reduce the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio of seismic data and, thus, an accurate velocity model recovery likelihood. This ...