& SEM Services
The petrographic and mineragraphic
descriptions provided by Pathfinder Exploration Pty Ltd are
based on 30 years' of hands-on exploration and research experience
in the exploration and mining industry. Emphasis is placed
on identifying lithologies in the weathering profile, particularly
in the deeply weathered/lateritic profiles of shield areas
in Western Australian and Africa using relict minerals and
In addition, particular experience
in alteration assemblages associated with volcanic massive
sulphide (VHMS) base metal deposits, porphyry copper - gold
or molybdenum deposits and epithermal gold - silver deposits
in the circum - pacific region has helped to vector into mineralisation.
Recent studies have involved the petrology
of layered mafic/ultramafic complexes and associated PGE mineralisation
at the Panton Sill, McIntosh and Lamboo Complexes in the East
Kimberley of Western Australia as well as the Stillwater and
Duluth complexes in the USA. Related studies reviewing gabbroid
- style nickel - copper mineralisation associated with troctolites
and related olivine gabbronorites has been completed for Sally
Malay style mineralisation in the East Kimberley and similar,
Voisey Bay - style mineralisation in Quebec, Canada.
An extensive thin section reference
library has been accumulated for the lithostratigraphic settings
of a broad spectrum of mineralisation styles throughout Australia
and Oceania, as well as world class base and precious metal
deposits in the US, Canada, Africa and the UK.
Particular areas of interest include:
- Identification of hydrothermal,
metamorphic and metasomatic alteration assemblages associated
with epigenetic gold deposits.
- Identification of low temperature
alteration assemblages associated with epithermal gold deposits.
- Petrology and mineragraphy of volcanogenic
(VHMS) polymetallic deposits and host volcanic/volcaniclastic
rocks including identification of subtle alteration assemblages.
- Petrology and mineragraphy of layered
mafic/ultramafic intrusive rocks and associated PGE and/or
- Petrology and mineragraphy of komatiite-hosted
and gabbroid-hosted Ni/(Cu) mineralisation
- High grade metamorphic assemblages
with particular reference to gold and base metal deposits
in Archaean and Lower Proterozoic terranes.
- Identification of the various hydrothermal
alteration, greisen and skarn assemblages associated with
felsic intrusive and plutonic rocks and attendant Sn, W
and Au mineralisation
- Identification and classification
of boxwork textures in gossans.
Whole rock, immobile trace element
( i.e. Ti, Y, Nb, Zr, Cr and REE) petrochemical analyses of
weathered and unweathered rocks can be reported and interpreted.
Electron microprobe of polished/thin sections and SEM identification
of opaque minerals can be facilitated to complement petrographic
studies. XRD services are available particularly for the identification
of alteration assemblages.
Systematic field studies may help
to elucidate difficult rock assemblages or reveal subtle alteration
trends. This may involve detailed geological mapping or core/RC
logging (or relogging). This service is available at normal
- Olympus BHT-BH2 & BHSM-BH2
Binocular Microscopes capable of transmitted (petrographic)
or incident light (mineragraphic) examination. Objectives
include 5X, 10X, 20X, 50X and 100X.
- Photomicrographic and point counting
- Olympus Camedia digital camera.
- Access to EDS and WDS microanalysis
facilities on the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and
Electron Microprobe at the University of Western Australia.
- XRD services by provided by the
WMC - GRL laboratories, Kewdale, Perth, WA.
Refer to the Petrographic
Manual PDF file for current petrographic/mineragraphic
charges in Australian dollars.
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An enjoyable part of studying countless
thin and polished thin sections is the observation of unique
Images showing the textures developed by various minerals
and fossils and highlighted by the polarising microscope.
These Images registered as Lithoscapes®
are available for sale and can have a myriad of uses from
cool pictures that can be printed and framed down to screen
savers. Some Images are shown on this page with additional
Images shown in the Lithoscapes®
UCLA Petrographic workshop - www.pong.pslc.ucla.edu
Volcanic World - www.volcano.und.nodak.edu
Mineralogy Database - www.webmineral.com
Mineral Properties - www.webmineral.com/determin.shtm
Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology - www.ctlab.geo.utexas.edu/imagefolio/igmet/index.html
National Geoscience Information System
of Calgary earth sciences
University of Geneva "Links
to Great Earth Science Resources"
Image Gallery - The Rock Wing - www.geology.about.com/library/bl/Images/blrockundex.htm
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|Petrologist, Dr Craig
S. Rugless utilising one of two polarising microscopes.
One microscope is equipped with a trinocular eyepiece
facilitating digital photomicrographic services.
|Thin, polished and
polished thin sections are prepared using a Logitech machine
by Joe Morocz at Petrolab Laboratories in Perth.
|A unique photomicrograph
showing a "bow tie" texture developed by amphibole
in a 0.03 mm thick section of a rock from the Goldfields
of Western Australia. Field of view - 3 mm.