We evaluated the effectiveness of iron oxide-rich fracture coatings as a geochemical sampling medium for disseminated gold deposits, as compared with conventional lithogeochemical methods, for samples from the Pinson mine and Preble prospect in southeastern Humboldt County, Nevada. That disseminated gold mineralization is associated with Hg, As, and Sb is clearly demonstrated in these deposits for both fracture coatings and rock chip samples. However, the relationship is more pronounced for fracture coatings. Fracture coatings at Pinson contain an average of 3.61, 5.13, 14.37, and 3.42 times more Au, As, Sb and Hg, respectively, than adjacent rock samples. At Preble, fracture coatings contain 3.13, 9.72, 9.18, and 1.85 times more Au, As, Sb and Hg, respectively, than do adjacent rock samples. Geochemical anomalies determined from fracture coatings are thus typically more intense than those determined from rock samples for these elements. The sizes of anomalies indicated by fracture coatings are also somewhat larger, but this is less obvious. In both areas, Sb anomalies are more extensive in fracture coatings. At Preble, some Hg and Au anomalies are also more extensive in fracture coatings. In addition to halos formed by the Hg, As and Sb, high values for Au/Ag and Zn/(Fe + Mn) are closely associated with gold mineralization at the Pinson mine. The large enhancement in geochemical response afforded by fracture coatings indicates a definite potential in the search for buried disseminated gold deposits. ?? 1984.
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A comparison of iron oxide-rich joint coatings and rock chips as geochemical sampling media in exploration for disseminated gold deposits