Mafic to intermediate dykes are spatially and temporally closely associated with major post-tectonic granitic complexes in the western Lachlan Orogen of SE Australia. These dykes, which range petrographically from basaltic to andesitic, are concentrated within several, north- to northwest-trending zones and were emplaced during two broad intervals of extensive magmatic activity during the Silurian–Devonian period. Geochemical and Sm–Nd isotopic characteristics of these mafic intrusives are consistent with their formation in a complex subduction-related tectonic setting. Interaction between mantle-wedge material, sinking oceanic crust and input from the overlying continental crust resulted in the petrological and geochemical variations displayed by these and more felsic dykes throughout the study region. Field evidence and 40Ar/39Ar data show that in the eastern part of the Stawell Zone and in the northwest portion of the Bendigo Zone, mafic dyke were intruded between 410 and 400 Ma (Late Silurian/Early Devonian). Further emplacement in the Bendigo Zone and the eastern part of the Melbourne Zone took place at between 375 and 365 Ma (Middle to Late Devonian). Episodic mantle-derived magmatism was possibly related to step-wise rollback, slab detachment or changes in the angle and rate of westward subduction in response to periodically occurring accretionary pulses. A close spatial and temporal relationship also exists between the dykes and orogenic gold mineralisation in the central Victorian gold province. Mafic to intermediate dykes both crosscut, and are host to, mineralisation in a number of goldfields. Although there is little evidence for a direct genetic association, the two processes are linked by the common utilisation of translithospheric structures, which facilitated the rapid ascent into shallow crustal levels of both mantle-derived magma and crustal-scale ore-forming fluid systems. Previous studies have suggested that transfer of heat into the crust via ascending mafic mantle magmas can provide a thermal engine which triggers and sustains extensive crustal melting, thus explaining the commonly observed close association of mafic to intermediate and felsic intrusive suites. This study supports the viability of this mechanism and in addition, indicates that a causal link exists between the formation of mantle magmas in collisional zones and the generation of orogenic gold deposits.