Venue: Oulu, Finland
Travel report by Zorin Seat
Thanks to the Geoconferences (WA) Inc. and the JH Lord Travel Grant scheme I was able to attend the 10th International Platinum Symposium in Oulu, Finland. At the symposium, I presented a paper titled “Geological and geochemical architecture of the Nebo-Babel Ni-Cu-PGE Deposit, West Musgrave, Western Australia”. Before the symposium, I attended a two-day workshop on exploration for platinum-group element deposits. Following the symposium, I went on a six-day field trip visiting Finnish layered intrusions and related PGE deposits.
The Nebo-Babel deposit is a layered, basic, tube-like body intruding felsic granulite facies country rock in the west Musgrave Block, Western Australia. Nebo-Babel is the largest nickel sulphide discovery since Voisey’s Bay, Canada. The deposit is the faulted offset of a tube-like intrusion, which trends SW-NE for about 5 km and has a cross-section of 1 x 0.5 km. The principal rock type is gabbronorite with variable proportions of plagioclase, ortho– and clinopyroxene, minor olivine, oxides and apatite. Mineralised zones are confined to the top and upper parts of the intrusion and comprise disseminated magmatic sulphides and massive sulphide lenses. Field, mineralogical and geochemical data suggest that the marginal units crystallised first under open system conditions. After magma supply ceased, inner units which exhibit ‘normal’ vertical fractionation trends, crystallised under closed system conditions. This PhD research concentrates on providing better understanding of the geology, mineralogy, geochemistry and geochronology of the Nebo-Babel nickel sulphide deposit. Ultimately, it should better constrain the key requirements for the formation of nickel sulphide deposits associated with basaltic magmas of the Giles Complex.
Attending the symposium, exploration workshop and field trip benefited me enormously as I was able to interact and share my research findings with a number of leading world-class nickel-sulphide and PGE researchers. Furthermore, I was able to receive invaluable feedback as well as draw analogies with examples of other magmatic nickel-sulfide deposits presented at the symposium. The field trip in particular has broadened my understanding of both Ni-Cu-PGE deposits and layered intrusions in general. Overall, the symposium was a great success and the trip was an extremely rewarding experience. Once again, I would like to thank Geoconferences for providing funds to help me attend the symposium.