Gold deposits of the Zimbabwe craton

The hypothesis that gold deposits in the earth are fractal dusts is tested using data on gold mine distribution in the Zimbabwe craton. Mine distribution reflects deposit distribution only indirectly because of undiscovered deposits and economic factors. Nevertheless, box counting shows an approximately linear relationship between the logarithm of the number of squares necessary to cover all mines in the craton and the logarithm of the square size between 10 and 60 km, indicating a fractal distribution. More detailed data from two areas within the craton have a similar relationship between square sizes of 2.5-20km. Departure from the ideal fractal relationship is termed 'roll-off', and is very satisfactorily by random sampling of a fractal dust. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that gold deposits are fractal dusts with fractal dimensions of c. 1.0 and the distribution of mines can be regarded as a random sample of the distribution of deposits. Making this assumption, regions that have been incompletely but randomly explored can be identified and distinguished from regions containing large subareas that have been completely unexplored, and appropriate exploration strategies can be devised in either case.

    Data Record Details
    Data record related to this publication Gold deposits of the Zimbabwe craton
    Data Publication title Gold deposits of the Zimbabwe craton
  • Description

    The hypothesis that gold deposits in the earth are fractal dusts is tested using data on gold mine distribution in the Zimbabwe craton. Mine distribution reflects deposit distribution only indirectly because of undiscovered deposits and economic factors. Nevertheless, box counting shows an approximately linear relationship between the logarithm of the number of squares necessary to cover all mines in the craton and the logarithm of the square size between 10 and 60 km, indicating a fractal distribution. More detailed data from two areas within the craton have a similar relationship between square sizes of 2.5-20km. Departure from the ideal fractal relationship is termed 'roll-off', and is very satisfactorily by random sampling of a fractal dust. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that gold deposits are fractal dusts with fractal dimensions of c. 1.0 and the distribution of mines can be regarded as a random sample of the distribution of deposits. Making this assumption, regions that have been incompletely but randomly explored can be identified and distinguished from regions containing large subareas that have been completely unexplored, and appropriate exploration strategies can be devised in either case.

  • Other Descriptors
    • Descriptor

      These data were extracted from BARTHOLOMEW, D. S. 1990. Gold Deposits in Zimbabwe. Geological Survey of Zimbabwe Mineral Resources Series, 23, by excluding placer deposits. Data is available as an MSExcel spreadsheet (.xlsx) and as a CSV file.

    • Descriptor type Note
    • Descriptor

      Coinvestigators: David J. Sanderson, 1) Department of Geology, University of Southampton, Southampton Oceanography Centre , Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK 2) T. H. Huxley School of Environment, Earth Sciences of Engineering, Royal School of Mines, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine , London SW7 2BP, UK Related JCU Research Themes: Industries and Economies in the Tropics

    • Descriptor type Note
  • Data type dataset
  • Keywords
    • gold
    • fractals
    • fractal dust
    • box counting
    • exploration
  • Funding source
  • Research grant(s)/Scheme name(s)
  • Research themes
    Industries and Economies in the Tropics
    FoR Codes (*)
    • 040307 - Ore Deposit Petrology (040307)
    SEO Codes
    • 840105 - Precious (Noble) Metal Ore Exploration (840105)
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    Temporal (time) coverage
  • Start Date 1998/01/01
  • End Date 1998/12/31
  • Time Period
    Spatial (location) coverage
  • Locations
    Data Locations

    Type Location Notes
    Physical Location Dr. Tom Blenkinsop, School of Earth and Environmental Science, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, AUSTRALIA, Tel: +61 7 4781 4318
    Attachment Zimbabwegolddeposits.zip
    The Data Manager is: Tom Blenkinsop
    College or Centre
    Access conditions Open: free access under license
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  • Statement of rights in data Licensing: Creative Commons - Attribution alone (by)
  • Data owners
      James Cook University
    Citation Blenkinsop, Tom (2011): Gold deposits of the Zimbabwe craton. James Cook University.