Karara, Mungada

Western Australia, WA, Australia

Main commodities: Fe
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The Karara iron deposit is located in the Murchison Province of Western Australia, 500 km northeast of Perth and 220 km east of the Indian Ocean Port of Geraldton (#Location: 29° 10' 52"S, 116° 46' 34"E).

The Murchison Province has been divided into six basic structural-stratigraphic components, comprising a package of greenstone belt metavolcanic-metasedimentary sequences, and four suites of granitoids, an early granodiorite-monzogranite intrusive suite (now pegmatite-banded orthogneiss); the Monzogranite Suite (now folded, metagranite); and two post-tectonic differentiated suites of granitoid rocks. The greenstone sequence was divided into two suites, the Luke Creek and Mount Farmer Groups by Watkins (1990), dated at 3.02 to 2.92 Ga and 2.8 to 2.6 Ga respectively.

More recent work reported by Van Kranendonk (2008) replaces these units with the Murchison Supergroup, which is composed of three suites, i). the Norie Group (metamorphosed 2.814 to 2.80 Ga basaltic volcanic rocks, felsic volcaniclastic sandstones and banded iron-formation [BIF]; ii). the Polelle Group (metamorphosed 2.785 to 2.734 Ga basalt, komatiitic basalt, felsic volcanic and volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks and BIF); and iii). Glen Group (weakly metamorphosed 2.724 to 2.70 Ga komatiitic basalt, coarse clastic sedimentary rocks; minor chert and rhyolite). A fourth, older (~2.95 Ga) group is mapped in the Mount Gibson-Golden Grove area to the south.

Deposition of the supracrustal rocks was followed by widespread and voluminous 2.716 to 2.592 Ma granitic rocks, divided into: i). the 2.716 to 2.694 Ga Big Bell Suite of tonalitic to monzogranitic rocks; ii). the 2.686 to 2.665 Ga Tuckanarra Suite of granodioritic to monzogranitic rocks; and iii). the 2.66 to 2.64 Ga Jungar Suite of dominantly K feldspar-porphyritic monzogranites. Post-tectonic granites of the 2.637 to 2.602 Ma Bald Rock Supersuite are divided into a monzogranitic Walganna Suite and the fluorite-bearing alkaline granite of the Wogala Suite (Van Kranendonk and Ivanic, 2008).

The structural framework in the northeastern Yilgarn craton was largely shaped by transpression that led to the development of folds, reverse faults, sinistral strike-slip movement on NNW-trending regional shear zones, followed by regional folding and shortening.

The deposit is hosted within an Archaean magnetite-rich BIF unit of the greenstone sequence, over a strike length of 3.2 km, a width of between 400 to 600 m and to a depth of 300 m below surface. It is uncertain from information available whether these BIFs belong to the Norie or Polelle Groups.

In addition to the low grade magnetite resource, the Karara deposit includes a high grade hematite resource occurring as smaller areas of structurally controlled supergene martite-goethite enrichment of the BIF. These areas of enrichment occur over a strike length of 8 km with a further 50 km of highly prospective strike extension. The known resources include the Mungada hematite deposits.

An initial resource of 10 to 15 Mt of direct shipping hematite @ 61% Fe lump and fines ore was indicated (lump:fines = 1:1).

The Karara magnetite deposit has a total JORC resource of 2.409 Gt @ 34.1% Fe, which is amenable to upgrading to ~1 Gt of high grade magnetite pellets grading ~68.2% Fe, 3.9% SiO2, 0.04% Al2O3 and 0.01% P at a weight recovery of 40% (Gindalbie Metals Ltd, 2012).

This resource includes a JORC reserve of 955.5 mt @ 36.4% Fe (Gindalbie Metals Ltd, 2012).

The hematite resource provided the base for Phase 1 of the operation, with the first shipment in March 2011. It was trucked 85 km on existing haul roads to the rail head at Morawa and freighted to the port of Geraldton. Construction of a magnetite concentrator, railway line dedicated port facilities were completed for Phase 2, exploitation of the magnetite resource, and the first magnetite concentrate shipment was in January, 2013.

The project is a 50:50 JV between Gindilbie Metals Ltd and AnSteel of China.

Sourced from the Gindalbie Metals and related web sites.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2006.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.

  References & Additional Information

Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo takes no responsibility what-so-ever for inaccurate or out of date data, information or interpretations.

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