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Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5090–R

Sandstone Copper Assessment of the Teniz Basin, Kazakhstan

By Pamela M. Cossette, Arthur A. Bookstrom, Timothy S. Hayes, Gilpin R. Robinson, Jr., John C. Wallis, and Michael L. Zientek

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.9 MB)Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducts national and global resource assessments (mineral, energy, water, and biological) to provide data and scientific analyses to support decision making. Three-part mineral resource assessments result in informed, unbiased, quantitative, and probabilistic estimates of undiscovered mineral resources and deposits. In particular, mineral assessment results inform decisions concerning land-use and mineral-resource development. A probabilistic mineral resource assessment of the sandstone subtype of sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposits in the Teniz Basin, Kazakhstan, was undertaken by the USGS.

The Teniz Basin is located in Akmola Oblast, central and western Kazakhstan. With an areal extent of almost 78,000 km2, the basin contains many sediment-hosted stratabound copper prospects, none of which are well described, and the majority of which may belong to the sandstone subtype of sediment-hosted copper deposits. There are no known locations within the Teniz Basin currently mined for copper. Within the basin, however, map units permissive for the sandstone subtype of sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposits include (from oldest to youngest): the Middle Carboniferous Kiery Suite; the Middle to Upper Carboniferous Vladimirov Suite (a stratigraphic equivalent of the Dzhezkazgan Suite, Chu-Sarysu Basin); and the Upper Carboniferous or lowest Permian Kayraktin Suite. The multicolored sedimentary rocks of the Vladimirov Suite, in which 14 potentially ore-bearing horizons of gray beds have been recorded, have the greatest potential for undiscovered, sandstone subtype, sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposits.

A quantitative mineral resource assessment has been completed that (1) delineates one 49,714 km2 tract permissive for undiscovered, sandstone subtype, sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposits, and (2) provides probabilistic estimates of numbers of undiscovered deposits and probable amounts of copper resource contained in those deposits. The permissive tract delineated in this assessment encompasses no previously known sandstone subtype, sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposits. However, this assessment estimates (with 30 percent probability) that a mean of nine undiscovered sandstone subtype copper deposits may be present in the Teniz Basin and could contain a mean total of 8.9 million metric tons of copper and 7,500 metric tons of silver.

First posted August 5, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Contact Information, Mineral Resources Program
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
913 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:

Cossette, P.M., Bookstrom, A.A., Hayes, T.S., Robinson, G.R., Jr., Wallis, J.C., and Zientek, M.L., 2014, Sandstone copper assessment of the Teniz Basin, Kazakhstan: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5090–R, 42 p., and spatial data,

ISSN 2328-0328 (online)




Assessment Methodology

Sediment-Hosted Stratabound Copper Deposits

Previous Work

Geologic Overview of the Teniz Basin

Delineation of Permissive Tracts

Sandstone Copper Deposits and Prospects

Development of the Prospects Database

Grade and Tonnage Model for Sandstone Copper Deposits

Estimate of the Number of Undiscovered Deposits

Quantitative Assessment Simulation Results



References Cited

Appendixes A-E

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