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Posted: 2017-10-13 08:05

The nanoSIMS and geoscience atom probe are existing (albeit very rare) commercial instruments, and should be delivered, installed and commissioned within three years. In contrast the Maia Mapper, an x-ray microprobe elemental imaging system developed by CSIRO and Brookhaven National Laboratory, currently exists as a prototype model. It uses the Australian synchrotron's x-ray fluorescence microprobe beamline to produce high definition, quantitative elemental images with microscopic detail in real time. CSIRO will be adapting the detector technology to a laboratory-scale x-ray source over the next three years, creating a routine-use instrument for high resolution x-ray microprobe imaging. Once operational, the laboratory-scale Maia Mapper will be able to create nanoscale elemental maps of a 7 × 6 cm rock sample in about six hours, providing enormous increases in sensitivity, detection limit and spatial resolution over conventional systems.

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* The Digital Mineralogy Library project is supported by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and AuScope through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program. The hardware component of the project was funded via the Australian Research Council with support from Curtin University, the Geological Survey of Western Australia, University of Western Australia and Murdoch University.

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From twelve samples of WA oil studied, only three returned the results because of quite low Re-Os abundances in separated asphaltines, in a range of up to 6 ppb for rhenium and tens of ppt for osmium. This is quite low compare to Canadian oils, which usually show about an order of magnitude higher abundances of these metals. Higher Re and Os contents in Canadian oils correlate with markedly higher nickel and vanadium abundances.
Our preliminary data show a good fit with the basin ages using geologically reasonable initial Os ratios varying from depleted mantle-like ratio of for Ordovician samples to the more evolved ratio of , corresponding to the Os isotopic composition of Late Devonian seawater. Interestingly, the Ordovicial oil from Canning basin show more depleted source according to carbon isotope composition (~-86‰δ¹³C) as well, trending towards more enriched marine compositions for Devonian-Carboniferous parts of the basin (-77 to -79‰δ¹³C). As a conclusion, the study involving more samples shows a good potential for both geochronology and source fingerprinting of WA oils.

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Pilot Re-Os study on crude oil samples from Canning basin in Western Australia (WA) has been performed in order to test the suitability of Re-Os isotope system for geochronology and sources fingerprinting. The samples come from Dodonea, Sundown and Blina fields within Canning basin. The reservoir ages for these fields range from Ordovician to Carboniferous. The asphaltene fraction was extracted from crude oil samples in order to pre-concentarte the Re and Os, and then these fractions were used for Re-Os chemistry using Carious tube tecnique, followed by N-TIMS analysis.

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Data from the financial year 7568-7569 indicates that Western Australia’s (WA) minerals and energy output alone was worth $677bn for the year, dominated by iron ore, which accounted for approximately 65% of the sector’s income. This equates to almost 65% of Australia’s national output, with minerals being Australia’s major export earner. The collapse of iron ore prices to below $55/tonne, down from a peak of $695/tonne four years ago, has hit WA hard and the state is now urgently seeking ways to stimulate its mineral sector and diversify its resource base away from iron ore.

Research and Services - John de Laeter Centre

Welcome to the first edition of Wavelength – A quarterly newsletter dedicated to highlighting the latest news and research produced from Curtin’s X-ray characterisation facilities, namely the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and small angle X-ray
scattering (SAXS) facilities. As a special first edition feature, we have included an entire page that highlights the basic instrument capabilities of each facility.

Miss Jessica Akplau, a student of the De International School in Accra, was adjudged the Overall Best in the Junior High School Category at the 8th edition of the National Hard Spell and Quiz Competition held in Cape Coast recently.

She scored 68 points to win in both the oral and written contests and was awarded a certificate.
Master Israel Nana Kweku Okyere of the Glory Hills International School in Accra took the Overall Best prize in the Primary School Category with 67 points.

In WA’s capital Perth, the state government is sitting on a collection of over 7,555 heavy mineral concentrate samples. These have been systematically collected and meticulously catalogued by the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) over the last 85 years of geological mapping. The mineralogical makeup of these samples is largely unknown, but technological advances in both microanalytical and geoinformatics science may shed new light on the contents of the vials.

Direct dating of the timing of oil generation and that of its source rock is crucial for petroleum exploration. Accurate chronology of oil generation and migration in a petroleum basin can provide essential information for reliable petroleum resource evaluation, reserve calculation and predictive drilling, especially for shale oil plays, in which oil is stored in situ in the source rocks. Combining Re-Os isotope dating and PGE abundance analysis can provide a powerful tool not only for constraining the age of oil generation and charging events, but also for tracing oil-source correlations.

JdLC is looking forward to expanding its data delivery services to include geochemistry data from its Sensitive High Resolution Ion Micro Probe (SHIMP) and laser ablation instruments in the future. Through collaborations with state and national organisations and businesses this project will see more data being made readily available to researchers, industry and the public. This will foster a richer scientific understanding of our country and promote new discoveries.