A large body of zinc and copper mineralization is exposed in a line of low hills about 5 kilometers east of the small village of Vazante in the northwestern part of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Vazante area can be reached by roads leading north from the State of Sao Paulo, via Araxa; west from Balo Horizonte, Minas Gerais; and south from Paracatu, Minas Gerais.
The deposit is in branching, sub-parallel fault breccia zones. Calamine (H2Zn2SiO5), and willomite (ZnSiO4), along with small quantities of smithsonite (ZnCO3), form the matrix of the fault breccia. The zinc mineralization is cut by narrow veins of chalcocite in platy crystal aggregate thought to be pseudomorphous after covellite. The chalcocite veins contain small quantities of sphalterite, galena, covellite and calamine.
Faults that contain breccia zones displace shale and dolomite. The sedimentary rocks are thought to be Silurian in age. The fault breccia zones have a regional trend of N 40 degrees E and crop out over a strike length of more than four kilometers. The mineralization of the fault zones was observed to continue to the north for an additional four kilometers. The mineralized fault breccia zones range from a few meters to 60 meters in width. A large ore body is indicated that from available samples may average 35 percent zinc.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Zinc and copper mineralization of the Vazante area, Minas Gerais, Brazil