Three-dimensional mineral prospectivity modeling for targeting of concealed mineralization within the Zhonggu iron orefield, Ningwu Basin, China

Xiaohui Li, Feng Yuan, Mingming Zhang, Cai Jia, Simon M Jowitt, Alison Ord, Tongke Zheng, Xunyu Hu, Yang Li

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The Zhonggu iron orefield is one of the most important iron orefields in China, and is located in the south of the Ningwu volcanic basin, within the middle and lower Yangtze metallogenic belt of eastern China. Here, we present the results of new 3D prospectivity modeling that enabled the delineation of areas prospective for exploration of concealed and deep-seated Baixiangshan-type mineralization and Yangzhuang-type mineralization within the Zhonggu orefield; both of these deposits are Kiruna-type Fe-apatite deposits but are hosted by different formations within the Ningwu Basin. The modeling approach used during this study involves 3 steps: (1) combining available geological and geophysical data to construct 3D geological models; (2) generation of 3D predictive maps from these 3D geological models using 3D spatial analysis and 3D geophysical methods; (3) combining all of the 3D predictive maps using logistic regression to create a prospectivity map. This approach integrates a large amount of available geoscientific data using 3D methods, including 3D geological modeling, 3D/2D geophysical methods, and 3D spatial analysis and data integration methods. The resulting prospectivity model clearly identifies highly prospective areas that not only include areas of known mineralization but also a number of favorable targets for future mineral exploration. The 3D prospectivity modeling approach showcased within this study provides an efficient way to identify camp-scale concealed and deep-seated exploration targets and can easily be adapted for regional- and deposit- scale targeting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-654
Number of pages22
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • 3D
  • Concealed mineralization
  • Logistic regression
  • Mineral prospectivity modeling
  • Zhonggu orefield

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