Evaluation of drilling priorities using lead isotopes at the Lady Loretta lead-zinc-silver deposit, Australia

Matti Vaasjoki*, Brian L. Gulson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The weathered surface expression of the Lady Loretta lead-zinc-silver deposit outcrops almost continuously over a distance of about 4 km. Lead isotope ratios have been determined for samples, some of which contain > 4000 ppm Pb, from geochemically anomalous areas in order to assign drilling priorities to the anomalies. Twelve of the 43 samples analyzed contain isotopically homogeneous lead with ratios (207Pb/206Pb 0.9532-0.9549) similar to the expected targets for major ore deposits in the Mount Isa-McArthur River metallogenic province (207Pb/206Pb 0.955-0.962). Three main zones of interest can be outlined on the basis of lead isotopic data. The top priority is assigned to a 100-m-long section of the ironstone which coincides with the known outcrop of the ore. Lower priority for drilling is given to the two other zones which outcrop over smaller areas and have more radiogenic lead in their immediate surroundings. Several samples with anomalously high lead contents (> 1000 ppm) contain more radiogenic lead (207Pb/206Pb < 0.950) which was most likely derived from the weathering country rocks by supergene leaching and redeposition. Of the 22 samples containing ≥ 380 ppm Pb, lead isotopic analyses would have reduced the number deserving further attention to 10. Lead isotopic analyses in the early stages of exploration could have assisted in minimizing exploration expenditure at Lady Loretta.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-316
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geochemical Exploration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


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