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Gold deposition by sulfidation of ferrous Fe in the lacustrine sediments of the Pueblo Viejo district (Dominican Republic): The effect of Fe-C-S diagenesis on later hydrothermal mineralization in a Maar-Diatreme complex

Chemical Geology

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, , , , , and
DOI: 10.1016/0009-2541(92)90029-5

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Abstract

The Pueblo Viejo district, located in the Cordillera Central of the Dominican Republic, contains large Au-Ag deposits associated with acid-sulfate alteration within spilites, conglomerates and carbonaceous sedimentary rocks that were deposited in a maar-diatreme complex. Much of the Au mineralization occurs in pyritic, carbonaceous siltstones of the Pueblo Viejo Maar-Diatreme Member of the Cretaceous Los Ranchos Formation. Pyrite is the only Fe-bearing phase in mineralized rock, whereas siderite is the dominant Fe-bearing phase in siltstones distal to mineralization. Disseminated pyrite occurs as framboids, cubes, pyritohedra, concretions and cement. Early framboids occur throughout the district. Au occurs as inclusions in later non-framboid disseminated pyrite (NFDP); an occurrence that is interpreted to be indicative of contemporaneous deposition. Pyrite framboids exhibit a wide range of ??34Scdt-values (-17.5 to +4.8???) and are interpreted to have formed during biogenic reduction of pore-water sulfate. The NFDP yield restricted ??34Scdt-values ( x ?? = -5.2???, s = ??2.4???, n = 43) similar to those obtained from later vein pyrite ( x ?? = -6.4???, s = ??1.5???, n = 12). Alunite and barite have ??34S-values ranging from +18.8 to +21.6???. The interpretation that the NFDP, vein pyrite, alunite and barite, and possibly even the framboidal pyrite share a common source of igneous sulfur is supported by the ??34S data. Siderite occurs as concretions and cement, contains abundant Mg (Fe0.75Mg0.19Mn0.03Ca0.02CO3) and has ??13Cpdb- and ??18Osmow-values ranging from -2.5 to +1.1%. and +14.6 to +19.5???, respectively. These data are consistent with the interpretation that the siderite formed in lacustrine sediments and that the carbonate in the siderite is probably methanogenic, although contributions from oxidation of organic matter during biogenic sulfate reduction, thermal decarboxylation of organic matter, or magmatic vapor cannot be ruled out. Disseminated Au mineralization in the sedimentary rocks formed when a hydrothermal fluid encountered reactive Fe2+ in diagenetic siderite. The ensuing pyrite deposition consumed H2S and destabilized the Au (HS)-2 complex, leading to precipitation of Au. The capacity of the sedimentary rocks to consume H2S and precipitate Au was controlled by the amount of non-pyrite Fe present as siderite. The abundance of siderite was controlled by the extent of pyrite formation during diagenesis. ?? 1992.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Gold deposition by sulfidation of ferrous Fe in the lacustrine sediments of the Pueblo Viejo district (Dominican Republic): The effect of Fe-C-S diagenesis on later hydrothermal mineralization in a Maar-Diatreme complex
Series title:
Chemical Geology
DOI:
10.1016/0009-2541(92)90029-5
Volume
99
Issue:
1-3
Year Published:
1992
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Chemical Geology
First page:
29
Last page:
50
Number of Pages:
22