Mary Kathleen Domain geology

Project date

Commenced: July 2018

Expected completion: June 2021


The Mary Kathleen Domain is the western part of the highly prospective eastern succession of the Mount Isa inlier (Figure 1). It hosts significant, copper, zinc, uranium and rare earth element deposits (Figure 2) that may be associated with different periods of magmatism.

This regional geology project is focused on establishing a geochemical and geochronological framework for magmatic rocks of the Mary Kathleen Domain.

Sampling and local geological mapping will be followed by geochemistry and geochronology analyses. Rocks sampled from drill cores throughout the covered extent of the domain will also be analysed and placed into the regional framework established from outcropping rocks.

The project will involve collaboration with James Cook University researchers and Geoscience Australia and result in an expanded geochronological and geochemical database and a suite of synthesis reports to help exploration targeting. The results of the project will also support other GSQ work in the region.

Geologic map showing prospecting regions in shaded colour blocks

Figure 1: Distribution of the Mary Kathleen Domain

Mary Kathleen open-cut uranium mine from the air, showing terraced sides of the pit and green water filling the lower levels of the mine

Figure 2: Mary Kathleen Uranium Mine open-cut


  • Provide an updated regional framework of magmatism in the Mary Kathleen Domain
  • Define magmatic groups based on age, geochemistry, mineralogy and spatial distribution
  • Investigate co-magmatic felsic igneous rocks in the Corella Formation to help constrain the ages of stratigraphic units
  • Establish a U-Pb, O and Lu-Hf isotopic framework for magmatic rocks focused on the Mary Kathleen Domain but extending across the Mt Isa inlier to understand the petrogenesis of magmatic rocks, define the timing and location of mantle inputs and test lithosphere-scale tectonic models
  • Place the undercover geology into the updated regional framework by studying and analysing drill cores (Figure 3)
  • Complete a solid geology interpretation of the recently acquired Cloncurry North geophysics and support other GSQ projects in the region (e.g. hydrogeochemistry)

Part of a sectioned drill core with ruler above

Figure 3: Sulfides associated with altered calc-silicate rocks in drill core from the covered northern part of the Mary Kathleen Domain


Results from the project will be published as GSQ records and scientific papers in collaboration with James Cook University and Geoscience Australia and will include:

  • updated geological mapping around key igneous and other units where applicable
  • an expanded geochronological and geochemical database
  • syntheses outlining major findings (e.g. updates to division of igneous suites, regional time/space relationships, tectono-magmatic history).


General enquiries 13 QGOV (13 74 68)