The ANU laser ICP-MS can be used to date zircons from felsic rocks with a precision of ±1%. The project involves determining major and trace elements in rock and minerals, and radiogenic isotopes and showing how they evolve with time. The trace elements will be determined by laser ICP-MS and Hf isotopes in zircon and Sr isotopes in apatite by laser sector probe. The aim of the project is to document the chemistical evolution of the felsic system with time and to establish the relationship between this evolution and ore formation.
ANU students have successfully applied this approach to the El Abra and Chuquicamata porphyry copper deposit in Chile and the Wallaby gold deposit in Western Australia. We would like to extend this approach to other giant felsic ore systems. Hf in zircon and Sr in plagioclase by laser sector probe have not previously been applied to ore-associated felsic systems and can be expected to provide exciting new constrains on the evolution of these systems.