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Multi-stage precipitation and redistribution of gold, and its collection by lead-bismuth and lead immiscible liquids in a reduced-intrusion related gold system (RIRGS); Dublin Gulch, western Canada
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0847-9258
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Number of Authors: 72019 (English)In: Ore Geology Reviews, ISSN 0169-1368, E-ISSN 1872-7360, Vol. 106, p. 28-55Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Dublin Gulch reduced intrusion-related gold system (RIRGS), located in the Selwyn Basin area of western Canada, represents one of the best examples of RIRGS mineralization globally and hence can be studied to unravel genesis and evolution of these types of deposits. Based on textural relationships, mineralogy, and trace element mineral chemistry, three auriferous vein stages were identified. The paragenetic sequence for the auriferous vein stages are: 1) Eagle Style (ES), quartz-albite, low sulfide and sulfosalt content ( < 5% vol.), As-Fe-Mo-W-Pb-Bi-Au-Ag veins; 2) Potato Hills Style-1 (PHS-1), quartz, high sulfide and sulfosalt content ( > 30% vol.), As-Fe-W-Pb-Bi-Au-Ag veins; and, 3) Potato Hills Style-2 (PHS-2), high sulfide and sulfosalt content ( > 30% vol.), Fe-Pb-Sb-Zn-Cu-Au-Ag veins. In the ES and PHS-1 veins, Au is present both as native gold (Au, Ag) and as invisible gold in arsenopyrite, whilst in the PHS-2 veins, Au is present as invisible gold in pyrite. Native gold micrograins (individual grains, 1-100's mu m in size) are observed associated with Pb minerals (in anhedral-toglobular cosalite (Pb2Bi2S5) in ES veins, or galena (PbS) in the PHS-1 veins]. Native gold is also observed as micrograins along arsenopyrite margins and in quartz fractures. We suggest a variation on the hydrothermal Bi melt collector model to explain the Au-Pb +/- Bi association. The Au, Ag, Pb, and Bi are interpreted to have been locally remobilized from arsenopyrite, which shows textures and trace element distribution patterns consistent with fluid-and-deformation assisted recrystallization. We suggest Pb and Bi were mobilized either as immiscible nanodroplets that coalesced to form larger Pb +/- Bi liquid accumulations or into the hydrothermal fluid and subsequently exsolved to form immiscible Pb +/- Bi liquids. We propose that remobilized Au and Ag were collected by these Pb +/-Bi immiscible liquids. Subsequent retrograde alteration (sulfidation) is interpreted to have converted the Au-Ag-Pb +/- Bi alloys to native gold and cosalite (ES), and native gold and galena mineral assemblages (PHS-1). The similarity of the Au/Ag ratios in native gold and arsenopyrite supports a local source for the native gold micrograins. Temperatures required to attain liquid Pb-0.Bi-5(0).(5) ( > 145.2 degrees C) and Pb (> 327.5 degrees C), are consistent with arsenopyrite geothermometry (ES 345-405 degrees C; PHS-1 approximate to 380 degrees C). These suggested new variations (Pb-Bi and Pb) on the hydrothermal melt (Bi) collector model are important, given the common association of native gold with Pb +/- Bi sulfosalts in many gold deposits, and the relatively low temperatures required to maintain these liquids and collect Au from the hydrothermal fluid.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 106, p. 28-55
Keywords [en]
Reduced intrusion-related gold systems, RIRGS, Invisible gold, Hydrothermal melt collector model, LA-ICP-MS trace element maps
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168414DOI: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2019.01.010ISI: 000462105000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-168414DiVA, id: diva2:1313461
Available from: 2019-05-03 Created: 2019-05-03 Last updated: 2019-05-03Bibliographically approved

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