Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Discussion: The timing of gold mineralization across the eastern Yilgarn Craton using U–Pb geochronology of hydrothermal phosphate minerals


The presentation of recent geochronological work on orogenic gold deposits in the Eastern Goldfields of the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, claims to prove that there is a single broad event of gold mineralization and that structural work demonstrating that there are a number of discrete gold mineralization events is wrong. This new data demonstrates no such thing, as this data, no doubt the best that can currently be produced, shows a very wide and inconsistent range in ages. Geochronology is not yet able to reliably separate these events, which appear to be spread over an interval of perhaps 30 Ma, up to ∼2635 Ma.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Baggott M (2006) A refined model for the magmatic, tectonometamorphic and hydrothermal evolution of Leonora District, Eastern Goldfields Province, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. The University of Western Australia, Unpublished PhD thesis, 406 p., Perth WA

  2. Baggott M, Vielreicher N, Groves D, Witt W, McNaughton N (2014) Timing constraints on tectonism and gold mineralization in the Sons of Gwalia Shear Zone, Leonora. Gold14@Kalgoorlie International Symposium, Extended Abstracts, Australian Inst Geoscientists. Pp. 7–11

  3. Bateman RJ, Hagemann SG (2004) Gold mineralisation throughout about 45 Ma of Archaean orogenesis: protracted flux of gold in the Golden Mile, Yilgarn craton, Western Australia. Mineral Deposita 39:536–559

  4. Black LP, Champion DC, Cassidy KF (2002) Compilation of SHRIMP U–Pb geochronology data, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, 1997–2000. Geoscience Australia Record 2002. Canberra ACT

  5. Blewett RS, Czarnota K (2007) The Y1-P763 project final report November 2005. Module 3—Terrane Structure: Tectonostratigraphic architecture and uplift history of the Eastern Yilgarn Craton, Geoscience Australia Record 2007/15 113p

  6. Blewett RS, Czarnota K, Henson PA (2010) Structural-event framework for the eastern Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, and its implications for orogenic gold. Precambrian Res 183:203–229

  7. Bucci LA, McNaughton NJ, Fletcher IR, Groves DI, Kositcin N (2004) Timing and duration of high-temperature gold mineralization and spatially associated granitoid magmatism at Chalice, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. Econ Geol 99:1123–1144

  8. Cassidy KF (2006) Geological evolution of the Eastern Yilgarn Craton (EYC) and terrane, domain, and fault nomenclature, in 3D geological models of the Eastern Yilgarn Craton. In: Blewett R. S. & Hitchman A. P. eds. Year 2 Final Report pmd*CRC, pp. 1–19. Geoscience Australia, Record 2006/04. Canberra ACT

  9. Czarnota K, Blewett RS, Goscombe B (2010) Predictive mineral discovery in the eastern Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia: an example of district scale targeting of an orogenic gold mineral system. Precambrian Res 183:356–377

  10. Davis BK, Archibald NJ, Aaltonen A (2000) Kanowna Belle Gold Mine—anatomy and history of a plumbing system. Proceedings of the 15th Australian Geological Convention, pp. 123

  11. Dunphy JM, Fletcher IR, Cassidy KF, Champion DC (2003) Compilation of SHRIMP U–Pb geochronology data, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, 2001–2002. Geoscience Australia Record 2003/15, 139 p. Canberra ACT

  12. Duuring P, Hagemann SG, Cassidy KF, Johnson CA (2004) Hydrothermal alteration, ore fluid characteristics, and gold depositional processes along a trondhjemite–komatiite contact at Tarmoola, Western Australia. Econ Geol 99:423–451

  13. Fletcher IR, Dunphy JM, Cassidy KF, Champion DC (2001) Compilation of SHRIMP U–Pb geochronology data, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia 2000–2001. Geoscience Australia Record 2001/47 111p

  14. Fuller R, Tessalina S, Jourdan F, Bateman R, McInnes B (2014) Re–Os age for Archean molybdenite and 40Ar/39Ar dating of sericite from gold prospects in the Yamarna Terrane, far eastern part of Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia

  15. Groves DI (1993) The crustal continuum model for late-Archaean lode gold deposits of the Yilgarn Block, Western Australia. Mineral Deposita 28:366–374

  16. Heath CJ (2003) Fluid flow at the giant Golden Mile deposit, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. PhD thesis, Australian National University 173p

  17. Jones SA (2006) Mesoproterozoic Albany-Fraser Orogen-related deformation along the southeastern margin of the Yilgarn Craton. Aust J Earth Sci 53:213–234

  18. Jones SA (2014) Contrasting structural styles of gold deposits in the Leonora Domain: evidence for early gold deposition, Eastern Goldfields, Western Australia. Aust J Earth Sci 61:881–917

  19. Kositcin N, Brown SJA, Barley ME, Krapež B, Cassidy KF, Champion DC (2008) SHRIMP U–Pb zircon age constraints on the Late Archaean tectonostratigraphic architecture of the Eastern Goldfields Superterrane, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. Precambrian Res 161:5–33

  20. Krapež B, Brown SJ, Hand J, Barley ME, Cas RA (2000) Age constraints on recycled crustal and supracrustal sources of Archaean metasedimentary sequences, Eastern Goldfields Province, Western Australia: evidence from SHRIMP zircon dating. Tectonophysics 322:89–133

  21. Rasmussen B, Mueller AG, Fletcher IR (2009) Zirconolite and xenotime U-Pb age constraints on the emplacement of the Golden Mile Dolerite sill and gold mineralization at the Mount Charlotte mine, Eastern Goldfields Province, Yilgarn craton, Western Australia. Contrib Mineral Petrol 157:559–572

  22. Sircombe KN, Cassidy KF, Champion DC, Tripp G (2007) Compilation of SHRIMP U–Pb geochronological data, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia 2004–2006. Geoscience Australia Record 2007/01

  23. Swager CP (1997) Tectono-stratigraphy of late Archaean greenstone terranes in the southern Eastern Goldfields, Western Australia. Precambrian Res 83:11–42

  24. Vielreicher NM, Groves DI, Snee LW, Fletcher IR, McNaughton NJ (2010) Broad synchroneity of three gold mineralization styles in the Kalgoorlie Gold Field: SHRIMP U-Pb and Ar/Ar geochronological evidence. Econ Geol 105:187–227

  25. Vielreicher NM, Groves DI, McNaughton N, Fletcher I (2015) The timing of gold mineralization across the eastern Yilgarn craton using U–Pb geochronology of hydrothermal phosphate minerals. Mineral Deposita 50:391–428

  26. Witt WK (2001) Tower hill gold deposit, Western Australia: an atypical, multiply deformed Archaean gold-quartz vein deposit. Aust J Earth Sci 48:81–99

Download references


We thank Wally Witt for his helpful comments in improving this discussion.

Author information

Correspondence to Roger Bateman.

Additional information

Editorial handling: B. Lehmann

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bateman, R., Jones, S. Discussion: The timing of gold mineralization across the eastern Yilgarn Craton using U–Pb geochronology of hydrothermal phosphate minerals. Miner Deposita 50, 885–888 (2015).

Download citation


  • Geochronology
  • Orogenic gold
  • Yilgarn
  • Kalgoorlie
  • Leonora