Despite its small size, Tasmania has a remarkable geological diversity and abundance of mineral deposits. Rocks from every period of the Earth's history from the Middle Proterozoic are present and there have been at least four major episodes of economic mineralisation. Significant mineral deposits include Proterozoic iron ore, silica, dolomite and magnesite; Cambrian VHMS base metal-gold and ultramafic-related platinum group minerals (PGM) and chromite; Devonian slate-belt gold deposits; Devonian granite-related tin, tungsten, fluorite, magnetite, silver-lead-zinc and possibly nickel deposits; Triassic and Tertiary coal deposits; and Cainozoic alluvial gold, tin and PGMs, and residual iron oxide, silica and clay.
This brief summary of the current state of knowledge of the geology of Tasmania has, of necessity, relied heavily on several more lengthy syntheses, both published and in preparation. Sources include Seymour and Calver (1995), Bottrill et al. (1998), Stacey and Berry (2004), manuscripts in preparation by C. R. Calver, R. F. Berry, G.R Green, M. P. McClenaghan and D. B. Seymour for the upcoming Geological Evolution of Tasmania volume (Geological Society of Australia), and information compiled for the Western Tasmanian Regional Minerals Program conducted by the Australian and Tasmanian governments, and the 3-Dimensional Geological Model and Prospectivity Analysis of Tasmania. Products from the latter two sources are available from Mineral Resources Tasmania (MRT) and more information and free downloads are available at www.mrt.tas.gov.au. Parts of these sources have been reproduced or paraphrased
in this summary, and many key references within their texts are also quoted here.
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