Geology of Quaternary ilmenite-bearing coastal deposits at Westport, South Island, New Zealand (print copy)

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McPherson, R.I. 1978 Geology of Quaternary ilmenite-bearing coastal deposits at Westport, South Island, New Zealand. Wellington: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. New Zealand Geological Survey bulletin 87 95 p.

Abstract: The purpose of the study has been to investigate the geology and mineral content of late Quaternary deposits int he Westport area on the west coast of the South Island, New Zealand, areas covered by parts of the NZMS 1 sheets S23 &S24, S30, and S31. A succession of interglacial marine, lagoonal, fluviatile, and eolian deposits representing the last three interglacial episodes are now stranded on a succession of marine terraces, situated inland of the Holocene deposits of the current coastline. The deposits have been divided into five formations, which rest on platforms cut into Tertiary sediment, the highest (Caledonian Formation), at 300 feet above sea level. The history of alluvial goldmining in the area and the previous investigations into the mineral content of the deposits is described. In the current investigation, random sampling of the deposits was undertaken to attempt to determine the ilmenite and zircon content of the formations. Laboratory procedure and results are discussed, and conclusions presented, as well as evidence for mineral provenance. A classification of the reserves of ilmenite and zircon is given, together with calculations of grading and distribution of these reserves, and a discussion of exploitation problems with brief recommendations.

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