Cyclic variations of ??34S values over a range of at least 48??? in pyrite nodules from stratabound Ni-Mo-PGE(Au) ores of southern China are attributed to biogenic reduction of seawater sulfate in an anoxic, phosphogenic, and metallogenic basin. Cyclic introduction and mixing of normal seawater into typically stagnant basin waters led to extreme variations in ??34S values of aqueous sulfide species present at different times. Intermittent venting of metal-laden hydrothermal fluids into such a bacteriogenic sulfide-rich environment resulted in precipitation of metal sulfides as pseudomorphous replacements of organic debris and as sulfide sediments that record large ??34SCDT variations from -26 to +22???. Apatite and silica dominated the replacement of the organic debris when metals were not being introduced into the basin. The combination of abundant organic debris, localized topographic basins for accumulation of the debris, bacterial production of sulfide species, and introduction of metal-bearing hydrothermal fluids provided the environment necessary to form these unusually rich Ni-Mo ores. ?? 1994.
Additional publication details
Cyclic variations of sulfur isotopes in Cambrian stratabound Ni-Mo-(PGE-Au) ores of southern China