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Caliwingina

Western Australia, WA, Australia

Main commodities: Fe
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The Caliwingina channel iron deposit (CID) is over 30 km in length, with a number of 5 to 10 km tributaries. It is located within the central Hamersley Ranges, approximately half way between the Yandicoogina and Robe River deposits, ~100 km NNW of Mount Tom Price and ~15 km from the Tom Price to Dampier railway line (#Location: centre 21° 59'S, 117° 26'E).

See the Hamersley Basin Iron Province record for the regional setting and stratigraphy.

The deposit has an overall gradient of 4 m per km and is almost entirely concealed. It lies within a deep palaeochannel cut predominantly into the Joffre, Whaleback Shale and Dales Gorge Members of the Brockman Iron Formation. It only rests on shaly bedrock of the Mt McRae and Mt Sylvia formations at the outflow into the Fortescue valley on its northern extremity.

The deposit has been subdivided into i). the upper, higher grade, southernmost Caliwingina Creek section, which has an east-west trend and ii). the slightly lower-grade Caliwingina north section, where the resource broadly trends NNE-SSW, outflowing towards the Fortescue Valley.

The CID package in the channel has an average thickness of the order of 40 to 50 m, with a maximum of 74 m. The channel is generally ~500 to 700 m in width, but is to 1 km in its lower reaches. Overall, the Fe-grade of CID decreases downstream, with high-grade >60% Fe forming a significant part of the resource in the upper reaches below Caliwingina Creek, with lower-grades in the lower reaches, near the Fortescue Valley.

The upper reaches of the resource, characteristically comprise a generally uniform sequence of >55% Fe CID, sometimes containing higher grades of >60% Fe within the lower sections of the channel, generally continuing downwards towards the basal conglomerates, which in many cases is also mineralised with >55% Fe. Locally the higher grade basal section overlies mineralised bedrock containing >60% Fe.

The lower reaches of the channel typically have a higher-grade facies in the upper 10 to 20 m, overlying a more ochrous lower-grade goethite zone, although there is no consistent vertical zonation.

Like most other CID systems, there is a well developed basal conglomerate which is generally <10 m thick, although in contrast, at Caliwingina this material is frequently of sufficient grade to be included into the ore resource. Intraformational conglomerates and pebble horizons are also present within the CID profile, probably implying multiple phases of high energy depositional events.

Abundant low grade detrital and canga deposits overlie or interfinger with the CID, which in 2010 were sub-economic, but may ultimately represent a low-grade resource of slightly smaller size to the CID mineralisation.

Alluvial and immature detrital overburden is consistently 20 to 30 m thick across the deposit.

The inferred mineral resource in 2010 (Rio Tinto release, 26 November, 2010) were:

    CID ore - 1380 Mt @ 56.8% Fe at a 55% Fe cut-off, and
    Detrital ore - 160 Mt @ 61.1% Fe at a 60% Fe cut-off.

This summary is largely paraphrased from Dalstra et al., 2009.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2010.    
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
 References to this deposit in the PGC Literature Collection:
Dalstra H J, Gill T, Faragher B, Scott B and Kakebeeke V,  2009 - Channel Iron Deposits - A Major New District Around the Caliwingina Creek, Central Hamersley Ranges, Western Australia: in   Proceedings, Iron Ore 2009 Conference, 27-29 July 2009, Perth, Western Australia, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne,    pp. 59-64


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