Iron is the most important metal for modern industry and Sweden is by far the largest iron-producer in Europe, yet the genesis of Sweden's main iron-source, the 'Kiruna-type' apatite-iron-oxide ores, remains enigmatic. We show that magnetites from the largest central Swedish 'Kiruna-type' deposit at Grangesberg have delta O-18 values between -0.4 and +3.7%, while the 1.90-1.88 Ga meta-volcanic host rocks have d18O values between +4.9 and +9%. Over 90% of the magnetite data are consistent with direct precipitation from intermediate to felsic magmas or magmatic fluids at high-temperature (delta O-18(mgt). > +0.9 parts per thousand, i.e. ortho-magmatic). A smaller group of magnetites (delta O-18(mgt) <= +0.9 parts per thousand), in turn, equilibrated with high-delta O-18, likely meteoric, hydrothermal fluids at low temperatures. The central Swedish 'Kiruna-type' ores thus formed dominantly through magmatic iron-oxide precipitation within a larger volcanic superstructure, while local hydrothermal activity resulted from low-temperature fluid circulation in the shallower parts of this system.
2013. Vol. 3, 1644- p.