The Balmat-Edwards Zn-Pb district in New York is in Mid-Proterozoic Grenville marbles. Tabular to podiform, generally conformable massive sphalerite-galena orebodies occur at various horizons in the approx 1 km-thick marbles. Metamorphism obscured or obliterated most primary characteristics, whose reconstruction is attempted through detailed S, C, and O isotope studies of the Fowler orebody, and trace element and S isotope studies of sphalerite concentrates and composite ore samples from 22 orebodies. Sulphur isotope data reflect equilibration at near peak metamorphism with some indication of re-equilibration during retrograde metamorphism. The carbon and oxygen isotope composition of gangue carbonates suggests derivation from the host marbles. The oxygen isotope composition of gangue quartz is compatible with a chert origin or metamorphism-equilibration with other minerals. Sulphur and lead isotopes and sulphide mineralogy suggests that the ore fluids were evolved basin brines, chemically like those responsible for Mississippi Valley-type deposits. The large stratigraphic span (> 600 m) of the Balmat orebodies may be due to basin dewatering of million-year intervals. Stratigraphically increasing 34S values of evaporite-anhydrite are postulated to record hydrothermal events and to imply bacterial sulphate reduction on an unusually large scale. Such a stratigraphic increase may be a general exploration guide where sediment-hosted exhalative deposits or Mississippi Valley-type deposits occur.-G.J.N.
Additional publication details
The Balmat-Edwards zinc-lead deposits-synsedimentary ore from Mississippi valley-type fluids.