IANIGLA   20881
INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
artículos
Título:
The Don Sixto mining project: a low sulfidation Au-Ag deposit of permian-triasic age, Mendoza, Argentina. Mineralogy, fluid inclusions, stable isotopes and 40AR/39AR age results
Autor/es:
MUGAS LOBOS, ANA CECILIA; MÁRQUEZ ZAVALÍA, MARÍA FLORENCIA; GALLISKI, MIGUEL ÁNGEL
Revista:
BOLLETTINO DI GEOFISICA TEORICA ED APPLICATA
Editorial:
ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI OCEANOGRAFIA E DI GEOFISICA
Referencias:
Lugar: Trieste; Año: 2013 vol. 54 p. 291 - 291
ISSN:
0006-6729
Resumen:
The Don Sixto deposit, formerly known as El Pantanito and La Cabeza, is located in the southeastern Mendoza Province, in the San Rafael massif, and is one of the few epithermal gold mineralizations related to the Permian-Triassic magmatism in central western Argentina. Don Sixto is a low sulfidation Au-Ag deposit The local geology includes the Late Carboniferous Agua Escondida Formation consisting of alternating beds of sandstone and shale. These rocks are uncomformably overlain by the volcanic-pyroclastic units of the Choique Mahuida Formation (Early Permian-Late Triassic) with rhyolite, rhyolitic ignimbrite, and pyroclastic lenticular deposits. The rhyolitic subvertical dikes of the El Portillo Group (Late Permian- Early Triassic) crosscut the previous sequences, mainly with a NW-SE and N-S strike . Minor irregular bodies corresponding to Don Sixto and Silicea breccias are locally significant. The hydrothermal alteration is widespread and affects the ignimbrites and rhyolites that are strongly to moderately silicified and moderately to strongly sericitized; argillic and propillitic alterations are weakly to moderately developed. The mineralization occurs as Au-quartz veins and Au-dissemination in the volcanic-pyroclastic units. Detailed studies allowed the identification of seven stages of mineralization. The first sixth stages are quartz veins and the last stage is represented by fluorite; most of these stages have banded, colloform, and comb infilling textures. The presence of quartz veins with bladed calcite replacement texture (bladed quartz) and quartz veins with adularia crystals are indicative of boiling processes in the hydrothermal system. The microthermometric studies were performed in quartz and fluorite samples, in petrographically defined fluid inclusion assemblages. Small (<10 μm), primary, mainly irregular, biphasic (liquid-vapor) fluid inclusions were analyzed to obtain melting (Tm) and homogeneization (Th) temperatures. For the quartz veins, the salinity and homogenization temperatures have their maximum value in the stage 4, related to a boiling process, with values up to 4.96% NaCl eq. and <286.9ºC respectively. In fluorite, the salinity and homogenization temperatures have lower average values with 1.05% NaCl eq. and 173.1ºC respectively. As a complement, stable isotope studies for oxygen and sulfur were performed in quartz and pyrite samples from the vein system. For the oxygen, the δ18O values for the different quartz stages are in the range of 1.11 to 4.41?, relative to VSMOW and the calculated δ value for the fluid is in the range of δ18OH2O=-6.92 to - 3.08?; these final results indicate a meteoric source for the oxygen in the hydrothermal fluid. For the sulfur, the obtained δ34S values were 2.37 and 1.77?, relative to VCDT. As an approximation, the calculated δ value in the fluid is δ34SH2S = 1.09?, which indicates a possible magmatic or even a mixed source. The ore mineral association in Don Sixto includes major amounts of pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite, with lesser pyrrhotite, galena, marcasite, magnetite, bornite, boulangerite and polybasite. The precious metal bearing minerals are represented by gold of variable fineness, silver, acanthite, uytenbogaardtite, stromeyerite and a selenium-enriched mineral association with acanthite, polybasite and naumannite, together with the tellurium-enriched stutzite and cervelleite. The main precious metal mineralization occurred in the stage 4, associated to the boiling process. Chalcocite, digenite and covellite, together with supergenic hematite, goethite and anglesite were recognized. The age of the alteration-mineralization process was obtained from adularia crystals by the 40Ar/39Ar multiple step heat method, giving a result of 252.7±1.3 Ma; this age directly links the mineralization at Don Sixto to their hosting Permian-Triassic magmatic rocks
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