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Arsenic minerals commonly occurring in Carlin-type gold deposits include orpiment and realgar and, more rarely, native arsenic and arsenopyrite. Other arsenic-bearing phases present include arsenian pyrite and stibnite and a number of thallium and mercury sulfides. Under conditions of constant temperature and pressure, the relative stability of arsenic minerals is a function of sulfur activity. At high sulfur activity, orpiment is the stable phase. As sulfur activity is decreased, more sulfur-deficient arsenic phases become stable with the progressive formation of realgar, native arsenic, arsenopyrite, and finally, loellingite at very low sulfur activity. Three univariant equilibrium assemblages: orpiment plus realgar, realgar plus native arsenic and native arsenic plus arsenopyrite are useful indicators of sulfur activity and commonly occur in the epithermal environment.
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ARSENIC MINERALS AS INDICATORS OF CONDITIONS OF GOLD DEPOSITION IN CARLIN-TYPE GOLD DEPOSITS.
Journal of Geochemical Exploration
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Explor for Ore Dep of the North Am Cordillera, Sel Pap of the Symp of the Assoc of Explor Geochem