McArthur Basin


Sedimentary and minor volcanic: dolostone, sandstone, shale, felsic and mafic volcanic rocks.

McArthur Basin

Epoch Min:


Epoch Max:


Age Min:

1430 Ma.

Age Max:

1800 Ma.


Extensive and complex Palaeo-Mesoproterozoic sedimentary basin that forms the western extension of the Carpentaria Zinc Belt within the Mount Isa region.


Unconformably overlies Palaeoproterozoic Pine Creek Orogen, Murphy Province and Arnhem Province to the northwest, southeast  and northeast respectively. Unconformably overlain by the Palaeozoic Arafura, Georgina and Mesozoic Carpentaria basins. Interpreted to be contiguous under cover with the Palaeo-Mesoproterozoic Birrindudu Basin and Tomkinson Province.


Up to 12 km.


Hosts world-class McArthur River lead-zinc-silver mine and diamond-bearing kimberlites at Merlin. Historical copper production at Redbank. Contains numerous significant base metal and diamond occurrences. Hosts high tonnage, low to moderate grade oolitic iron ore. Uranium mineralisation within basal units. Potential to host significant shale gas resources



Main References:

Ahmad M, Dunster JN and Munson TJ, 2013. Chapter 15: McArthur Basin: in Ahmad M and Munson TJ (compilers) ‘Geology and mineral resources of the Northern Territory’. Northern Territory Geological Survey, Special Publication 5.

Last updated: 09 May 2016

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