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FACTORS CONTROLLING THE CONCENTRATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF MINERALISATIONS RICH IN TUNGSTEN AND ASSOCIATED METALS IN THE PELORITANI MOUNTAINS (NE SICILY)

Objective

IN THE ASPROMONTE NAPPE WILL BE DEVELOPED A METHODOLOGY FOR REGIONAL PROSPECTING FOR DELINEATING NEW METALLOGENIC TARGETS. IN THE MANDACINI UNIT WILL BE STUDIED IN DETAILS THE MINERALIZED HORIZONS AND THE GENESIS OF THIS TYPE OF MINERALISATION AND WILL BE DEVELOPED CRITERIA FOR EXPLORATION.
Significant discoveries of tungsten (scheelite) ores have been made in the crystalline basement of Peloritani Mountains (northeast Sicily).
The objective of the research was to define the geostructural and physicochemical factors controlling the formation, in low grade metamorphic environment (Mandanici Unit), of scheelite rich although spatially restricted orebodies, including their provisional economic potential. In addition the preliminary checked (in the form of limited stratabound occurrences) but poorly known tungsten metallogenesis in the medium high metamorphic grade Aspromonte Nappe overlying the Mandanici Unit were investigated.

In the Aspromonte Nappe high grade metamorphic sequences, low grade tungsten (scheelite) ores linked to amphibolites, calcium silicate fels, pegmatitic aplitic gneisses, marbles and quartzites lacked (both in grade and in size) practical significance.
In the Mandanici Unit low grade metamorphic sequences Mangiaracina type ores were found with very high (up to 50% tungsten oxide WO3) tungsten grades.The ores occurred in individual, discontinuous lenses of unpredictable size except for the Mangiaracina orebody where stripping by trenches indicates an extension of 20 m long strike and a maximum thickness of 1 m.
Tourmaline scheelite (with arsenopyrite) ores were found in the Vacco mine sector (about 0.20 to 0.25 Mt of ore with average grade of 1% tungsten oxide (WO3)) and the Mela sector (3 Mt of low grade ore (scheelite contents normally less than 0.5%, with local sections reaching up to 3% CaWO4).

Of great interest is the preliminary, at present only restricted to Bafia-Val Pomia area, definition of gold bearing polymetallic ores within the oldest volcano sedimentary horizons of the Cambrian Mandanici Unit sequence. By taking into consideration the quite complete spectrum of correlation parameters with the Montagne Noire concerning tungsten, lead, zinc and fluorine, the equivalent position of the Salsigne gold bearing seque nces could represent a new, interesting target for future exploration in northeast Sicily.
THE PROJECT WILL BE FOCUSSED ON TWO GEOLOGICAL UNITS:

- THE ASPROMONTE NAPPE WHERE SMALL SCHEELITE INDICATIONS EXIST BESIDES POLYMETALLIC MINERALISATIONS (MIXED SULPHIDES).

- THE MANDANICI UNIT WHERE RICH SCHEELITE INDICATIONS ARE PRESENT ON THE IONIAN SLOPE.

IT IS FORESEEN TO PERFORM ON THE FIELD DETAILED LITHOSTRATIGRAPHICAL, STRUCTURAL AND GEOPHYSICAL STUDIES AND IN THE LABORATORY MINERALOGICAL, PETROGRAPHICAL AND GEOCHEMICAL STUDIES (MAJOR AND TRACE ELEMENTS INCLUDING RARE EARTHS AND STABLE ISOTOPES). MAIN RD EFFORTS WILL BE CONCENTRATED ON THE MANDANICI UNIT.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Ente Minerario Siciliano
Address
Via Ugo La Malfa 169
90146 Palermo
Italy

Participants (3)

Idrogeo Srl
Italy
Address
Via Mercato Vecchio 1
34124 Trieste
UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN (UCL)
Belgium
Address

Leuven
UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI PADOVA
Italy
Address

35131 Padova