Mineralium Deposita (v.47, #7)
The feedback control cycle as regulator of past and future mineral supply by Friedrich-W. Wellmer; Manfred Dalheimer (713-729).
Mineral supply is controlled by a feedback mechanism. When there is a shortage of a commodity in a market economy, prices will rise, triggering this mechanism. The expectation of high financial returns will encourage inventiveness and creativity in the quest for new solutions. On the supply side, for primary resources, the appropriate response is to cut losses in the mining process, to lower the cut-off grade, to improve recoveries in the beneficiation and smelting processes, to expand existing production facilities, and to discover and bring into production new deposits. For secondary resources, the key to increasing the supply lies in improving recycling rates by better technology, reprocessing lower-grade scrap which becomes economic because of increased prices, and reducing downgrading to optimize the usefulness of secondary materials. On the demand side, implementation of new and more efficient processes, development of substitution technologies, material savings, and the invention of entirely new technologies that fulfill the same function without the need of using the scarce and suddenly more expensive material are effective reactions to a price rise. The effectiveness of this self-regulating mechanism can be shown by examples of historical price peaks of metals, such as Mo, Co, and Ta, and the current rare earth elements peak. Concerning supply from secondary resources, a model is developed in order to determine how far the supply from this resource domain can be achieved and how the recycling rate is influenced by growth rate and lifetime. The feedback control cycle of mineral supply is influenced on the demand side by ever shorter life cycles, by products getting more complex with ever more elements involved in their production, and by an increase in element dispersion. All these factors have an immediate effect on the feasibility of sourcing raw materials from the technosphere. The supply side of primary materials is influenced by increasing lead times for new production and by relatively low flexibility in responding to changing demand.
Keywords: Mineral supply; Feedback cycle; Metal markets; Criticality; Supply risk
Heterogeneous Os isotope compositions in the Kalatongke sulfide deposit, NW China: the role of crustal contamination by Jian-Feng Gao; Mei-Fu Zhou; Peter C. Lightfoot; Wenjun Qu (731-738).
Re–Os isotope compositions of mantle-derived magmas are highly sensitive to crustal contamination because the crust and mantle have very different Os isotope compositions. Crustal contamination may trigger S saturation and thus the formation of magmatic Ni–Cu–(PGE) sulfide deposits. The ∼287-Ma Kalatongke norite intrusion of NW China are hosted in carboniferous tuffaceous rocks and contain both disseminated and massive sulfide mineralization. The Re–Os isotope compositions in the intrusion are highly variable. Norite and massive sulfide ores have γ Os values ranging from +59 to +160 and a Re–Os isochron age of 239 ± 51 Ma, whereas disseminated sulfide ores have γ Os values from +117 to +198 and a Re–Os isochron age of 349 ± 34 Ma. The variability of Os isotope compositions can be explained as the emplacement of two distinct magma pulses. Massive sulfide ores and barren norite in the intrusion formed from the same magma pulse, whereas the disseminated sulfide ores with more radiogenic Os isotopes formed from another magma pulse which underwent different degrees of crustal contamination. Re–Os isotopes may not be suitable for dating sulfide-bearing intrusions that underwent variable degrees of crustal contamination to form magmatic sulfide deposits.
Keywords: Re–Os isotopes; Sulfides; Sulfide-bearing intrusions; Crustal contamination; Sulfide segregation
Metallogeny of precious and base metal mineralization in the Murchison Greenstone Belt, South Africa: indications from U–Pb and Pb–Pb geochronology by J. Jaguin; M. Poujol; P. Boulvais; L. J. Robb; J. L. Paquette (739-747).
The 3.09 to 2.97 Ga Murchison Greenstone Belt is an important metallotect in the northern Kaapvaal Craton (South Africa), hosting several precious and base metal deposits. Central to the metallotect is the Antimony Line, striking ENE for over 35 km, which hosts a series of structurally controlled Sb–Au deposits. To the north of the Antimony Line, hosted within felsic volcanic rocks, is the Copper–Zinc Line where a series of small, ca. 2.97 Ga Cu–Zn volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS)-type deposits occur. New data are provided for the Malati Pump gold mine, located at the eastern end of the Antimony Line. Crystallizations of a granodiorite in the Malati Pump Mine and of the Baderoukwe granodiorite are dated at 2,964 ± 7 and 2,970 ± 7 Ma, respectively (zircon U–Pb), while pyrite associated with gold mineralization yielded a Pb–Pb age of 2,967 ± 48 Ma. Therefore, granodiorite emplacement, sulfide mineral deposition and gold mineralization all happened at ca. 2.97 Ga. It is, thus, suggested that the major styles of orogenic Au–Sb and the Cu–Zn VMS mineralization in the Murchison Greenstone Belt are contemporaneous and that the formation of meso- to epithermal Au–Sb mineralization at fairly shallow levels was accompanied by submarine extrusion of felsic volcanic rocks to form associated Cu–Zn VMS mineralization.
Keywords: Gold mineralization; VMS deposit; Antimony Line; Kaapvaal Craton; Murchison range; South Africa
A basement-interacted fluid in the N81 deposit, Pine Point Pb-Zn District, Canada: Sr isotopic analyses of single dolomite crystals by Paulina Gromek; Sarah A. Gleeson; Antonio Simonetti (749-754).
The Mississippi Valley-type Pb-Zn deposits of the Pine Point district (Northwest Territories, Canada) are located close to the eastern edge of the present day Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. The deposits are thought to have formed as the result of basin-wide fluid flow in the Presqu’ile Barrier, the host to the ore deposits. A laser ablation multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometric study of 87Sr/86Sr ratios of ore-related dolomites from the N81 deposit at Pine Point indicates that at least two sources of Sr were present in the mineralizing system. One fluid has a range in Sr isotopic values from 0.07073 to 0.71200 and is interpreted to be derived from Middle Devonian seawater that interacted with clastic units in the basin. The second fluid has higher Sr isotopic values (up to 0.71520), similar to those found in some Canadian Shield brines, and is interpreted to represent an evaporated seawater-derived brine which has interacted with crystalline basement rocks. Reactivation of old structures in the basement may have provided a pathway for cross-formation fluid flow to the site of mineralization. The data suggest that the stratigraphic location of the Pine Point District, near the interface between the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and its basement, may have exerted a fundamental control on the formation of these deposits.
Keywords: Strontium isotopes; Dolomite; Laser MC-ICP-MS; Basement; Shield brines; Pine Point
Use of Cu isotopes to distinguish primary and secondary Cu mineralization in the Cañariaco Norte porphyry copper deposit, Northern Peru by Ryan Mathur; Joaquin Ruiz; Michael J. Casselman; Peter Megaw; Robert van Egmond (755-762).
A significant proportion of the copper in the Cañariaco Norte porphyry copper deposit in northern Peru occurs in chalcocite and covellite-rich veins and disseminations that exist from the surface to depths greater than 1 km. The overall range of Cu isotopic ratios of 42 mineral separates from Cañariaco varies from −8.42 to 0.61 ‰, with near-surface chalcocite and Fe oxides having isotopically depleted values compared to chalcocite, covellite, and chalcopyrite from deeper levels. The majority (34 of 36) of measured Cu sulfides have a typical hypogene copper isotope composition of δ65Cu = 0.18 ± 0.38 ‰, with no enriched isotopic signature existing in the Cañariaco Norte sulfide data. Thus, the copper isotope data indicate that most of the chalcocite and covellite formed from high-temperature hypogene mineralization processes and that only a minor portion of the deposit is enriched by supergene processes. The nonexistence of an enriched δ65Cu reservoir suggest the presence of an undiscovered lateral/exotic Cu occurrence that enriched 65Cu that remained in solution during weathering. Regardless of the cause, the comparative analysis of the Cu isotope dataset reveals that little exploration potential for an extensive supergene enrichment blanket exists because the weathering history at Cañariaco Norte was not conducive to preservation of enriched Cu at depth beneath the leach cap.
Keywords: Cu isotope; Supergene; Hypogene; Porphyry copper; Cañariaco; Peru
Origin of the Maoduan Pb–Zn–Mo deposit, eastern Cathaysia Block, China: geological, geochronological, geochemical, and Sr–Nd–Pb–S isotopic constraints by Yan-Jun Li; Jun-Hao Wei; Hua-Yong Chen; Jun Tan; Le-Bing Fu; Gang Wu (763-780).
The Maoduan Pb–Zn–Mo deposit is in hydrothermal veins with a pyrrhotite stage followed by a molybdenite and base metal stage. The Re–Os model ages of five molybdenite samples range from 138.6 ± 2.0 to 140.0 ± 1.9 Ma. Their isochron age is 137.7 ± 2.7 Ma. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) zircon U–Pb dating of the nearby exposed Linggen granite porphyry gave a 206Pb/238U age of 152.2 ± 2.2 Ma and the hidden Maoduan monzogranite yielded a mean of 140.0 ± 1.6 Ma. These results suggest that the intrusion of the Maoduan monzogranite and Pb–Zn–Mo mineralization are contemporaneous. δ 34S values of sulfide minerals range from 3.4‰ to 4.8‰, similar to magmatic sulfur. Four sulfide samples have 206Pb/204Pb = 18.252–18.432, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.609–15.779, and 208Pb/204Pb = 38.640–39.431, similar to the age-corrected data of the Maoduan monzogranite. These isotope data support a genetic relationship between the Pb–Zn–Mo mineralization and the Maoduan monzogranite and probably indicate a common deep source. The Maoduan monzogranite has geochemical features similar to highly fractionated I-type granites, such as high SiO2 (73.7–75.2 wt.%) and alkalis (K2O + Na2O = 7.8–8.9 wt.%) and low FeOt (0.8–1.3 wt.%), MgO (~0.3 wt.%), P2O5 (~0.03 wt.%), and TiO2 (~0.2 wt.%). The granitic rocks are enriched in Rb, Th, and U but depleted in Ba, Sr, Nb, Ta, P, and Ti. REE patterns are characterized by marked negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.2–0.4). The Maoduan monzogranite, having (87Sr/86Sr) t = 0.7169 to 0.7170 and εNd(t) = −13.8 to −13.7, was probably derived from mixing of partial melts from enriched mantle and the Paleoproterozoic Badu group in an extensional tectonic setting.
Keywords: Lead–zinc–molybdenum deposit; Sr–Nd–Pb–S isotope geochemistry; Cathaysia block; China
Synmetamorphic carbon mobility and graphite enrichment in metaturbidites as a precursor to orogenic gold mineralisation, Otago Schist, New Zealand by Anicia Henne; Dave Craw (781-797).
The Macraes orogenic gold deposit is hosted by a graphitic micaceous schist containing auriferous porphyroblastic sulphides. The host rock resembles zones of unmineralised micaceous graphitic pyritic schists, derived from argillaceous protoliths, that occur locally in background pelitic Otago Schist metasediments. This study was aimed at determining the relationship between these similar rock types, and whether the relationship had implications for ore formation. Argillites in the protolith turbidites of the Otago Schist metamorphic belt contain minor amounts of detrital organic matter (<0.1 wt.%) and diagenetic pyrite (<0.3 wt.% S). The detrital organic carbon was mobilised by metamorphic–hydrothermal fluids and redeposited as graphite in low-grade metaturbidites (pumpellyite–actinolite and greenschist facies). This carbon mobility occurred through >50 million years of evolution of the metamorphic belt, from development of sheared argillite in the Jurassic, to postmetamorphic ductile extension in the Cretaceous. Introduced graphite is structurally controlled and occurs with metamorphic muscovite and chlorite as veins and slicken-sided shears, with some veins having >50% noncarbonate carbon. Graphitic foliation seams in low-grade micaceous schist and metamorphic quartz veins contain equant graphite porphyroblasts up to 2 mm across that are composed of crystallographically homogeneous graphite crystals. Graphite reflectance is anisotropic and ranges from ~1% to ~8% (green light). Texturally similar porphyroblastic pyrite has grown in micaceous schist (up to 10 wt.% S), metamorphic quartz veins and associated muscovite-rich shears. These pyritic schists are weakly enriched in arsenic (up to 60 ppm). The low-grade metamorphic mobility and concentration of graphite in micaceous schists is interpreted to be a precursor process that structurally and geochemically prepared parts of the Otago Schist belt for later (more restricted) gold mineralisation. Economic amounts of gold, and associated arsenic, were subsequently introduced to carbonaceous sulphidic schists in the Macraes gold deposit by a separate metamorphic fluid derived from high-grade metaturbidites. Fluid flow at all stages in these processes occurred at metamorphic rates (mm/year), and fluids were broadly in equilibrium with the rocks through which they were passing.
Keywords: Macraes mine; Graphite; Porphyroblast; Pyrite; Otago Schist; New Zealand; Arsenic; Gold
Structural and geochronological studies on the Liba goldfield of the West Qinling Orogen, Central China by Qingtao Zeng; T. Campbell McCuaig; Craig J. R. Hart; Fred Jourdan; Janet Muhling; Leon Bagas (799-819).
The Liba goldfield, located to the northeast of the Zhongchuan Granite in the West Qinling Orogen (WQO) of mainland China, contains the largest known gold resource of 2.8 Moz in the Zhongchuan area. Devonian metasedimentary rocks host the structurally controlled gold mineralization, which is associated with silica–sericite–chlorite–carbonate alteration. Two major styles of mineralization occurred at the goldfield, which are disseminated sediment-hosted and quartz vein hosted types. Pyrite, arsenopyrite, and arsenian pyrite are major gold carriers and gold also occurs as native gold grains and electrum spatially associated with the sulfides. Numerous felsic/intermediate dykes have a similar structural control as the mineralization, and their contacts with host rocks are recognized as favorable zones for mineralization. Detailed fieldwork in conjunction with geochronological studies has helped to define the deformation history and gold metallogenesis of the goldfield. Three major phases of deformation have been recognized in the Zhongchuan area. The first deformation (D1) event was compressional in broadly a N–S orientation, the second (D2) event was also compressional and orientated in a NE–SW direction, and the third (D3) event was post-mineralization and was associated with the emplacement of barren calcite and anhydrite veins. Compression related to D2 is the key process that controlled the distribution of igneous dykes and gold mineralization in the Liba goldfield. Both igneous and hydrothermal fluids preferentially focused along dilational jogs under local trans-extension, which took place during the late stage of D2. Precise dating with high-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) U–Pb on zircon and 40Ar/39Ar on muscovite, biotite, hornblende, and plagioclase of crosscutting pre-mineralization granitic porphyry and diorite dykes have constrained the mineralization age to after ca. 227 Ma. 40Ar/39Ar analysis of minerals formed in hydrothermal alteration zones associated with gold mineralization indicates that there was a widespread ca. 216 Ma hydrothermal event that affected almost all lithologies in the area. This detailed investigation is the first study to tightly constrain the timing of gold mineralization in the WQO. The broadly overlapping timing and similar structural control of the mineralization and igneous dykes show a promising correlation, which could be potentially used to map this Late Triassic gold mineralization event in the WQO.
Keywords: Geochronology; Gold mineralization; Liba goldfield; Qinling Orogen; China
Fluid evolution of the Hub Stock, Horní Slavkov–Krásno Sn–W ore district, Bohemian Massif, Czech Republic by Zdeněk Dolníček; Miloš René; Walter Prochaska; Michal Kovář (821-833).
The Horní Slavkov–Krásno Sn–W ore district is hosted by strongly altered Variscan topaz–albite granite (Krudum granite body) on the northwestern margin of the Bohemian Massif. We studied the fluid inclusions on greisens, ore pockets, and ore veins from the Hub Stock, an apical expression of the Krudum granite. Fluid inclusions record almost continuously the post-magmatic cooling history of the granite body from ∼500 to <50°C. Rarely observed highest-temperature (∼500°C) highest-salinity (∼30 wt.% NaCl eq.) fluid inclusions are probably the result of secondary boiling of fluids exsolved from the crystallizing magma during pressure release which followed hydraulic brecciation of the gneissic mantle above the granite cupola. The greisenization was related to near-critical low-salinity (0–7 wt.% NaCl eq.) aqueous fluids with low amount of CO2, CH4, and N2 (≤10 mol% in total) at temperatures of ∼350–400°C and pressures of 300–530 bar. Crush-leach data display highly variable and negatively correlated I/Cl and Br/Cl values which are incompatible with both orthomagmatic and/or metamorphic origin of the fluid phase, but can be explained by infiltration of surficial and/or sedimentary fluids. Low fluid salinity indicates a substantial portion of meteoric waters in the fluid mixture that is in accordance with previous stable isotope data. The post-greisenization fluid activity associated with vein formation and argillitization is characterized by decreasing temperature (<350 to <50°C), decreasing pressure (down to ∼50–100 bar), and mostly also decreasing salinity.
Keywords: Horní Slavkov; Czech Republic; Greisen; Sn–W mineralization; Fluid inclusions; Halogens