Geology of the Acropolis Prospect, South Australia, Constrained by High-Precision CA-TIMS Ages

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Acropolis is an Fe-oxide–copper–gold prospect ∼20 km from Olympic Dam, South Australia, and marked by near-coincident gravity and magnetic anomalies. Prospective Fe-oxide–apatite ± sulfide veins occur in Mesoproterozoic and Paleoproterozoic volcanic and granitoid host units beneath unmineralised sedimentary formations. We have produced a geological map and history of the prospect using data from 16 diamond drill holes, including LA-ICPMS and high-precision CA-TIMS ages. The oldest unit is megacrystic granite of the Donington Suite (ca 1850 Ma). A non-conformity spanning ca 250 My separates the Donington Suite and felsic lavas and ignimbrites of the Gawler Range Volcanics (GRV; 1594.03 ± 0.68 Ma). The GRV were intruded by granite of the Hiltaba Suite (1594.88 ± 0.50 Ma) and felsic dykes (1593.88 ± 0.56 Ma; same age as the Roxby Downs Granite at Olympic Dam). The felsic dykes are weakly altered and lack Fe-oxide–apatite–sulfide veins, suggesting that they post-date the main hydrothermal event. If correct, this relationship implies that the main hydrothermal event at Acropolis was ca 1594 Ma and pre-dated the main hydrothermal event at Olympic Dam. The GRV at Acropolis are the same age as the GRV at Olympic Dam and ca 3–7 My older than the GRV exposed in the Gawler Ranges. The gravity and magnetic anomalies coincide with sections through the GRV, Hiltaba Suite and Donington Suite that contain abundant, wide, Fe-oxide veins. The GRV, Hiltaba Suite and Donington Suite are unconformably overlain by the Mesoproterozoic Pandurra Formation or Neoproterozoic Stuart Shelf sedimentary formations. The Pandurra Formation shows marked lateral variations in thickness related to paleotopography on the underlying units and post-Pandurra Formation pre-Neoproterozoic faults. The Stuart Shelf sedimentary formations have uniform thicknesses.