The Big Mike deposit is a massive sulphide lens entirely within a carbonaceous argillite of the Palaeozoic Havallah pelagic sequence. The massive ore contains two generations of pyrite, a fine- and a coarse-grained variety; framboidal pyrite occurs in the surrounding carbonaceous argillite. Coarse grained pyrite is largely recrystallized fine-grained pyrite and is proportionately more abundant toward the margins of the lens. Chalcopyrite and sphalerite replace fine-grained pyrite and vein-fragmented coarse-grained pyrite. Quartz fills openings in the sulphide fabric. S-isotope data are related to sulphide mineralogy and textures. Isotopically light S in the early fine-grained pyrite was probably derived from framboidal biogenic pyrite. The S-isotope values of the later coarse-grained pyrite and chalcopyrite probably reflect a combination of reduced sea-water sulphate and igneous S. Combined S- and O-isotope and textural data accord with precipitation of fine-grained pyrite from a hydrothermal plume like those at the East Pacific Rise spreading centre at lat. 21oN. The primary material was recystallized and mineralized by later fluids of distinctly different S-isotope composition. -G.J.N.
Additional publication details
Textural and stable isotope studies of the Big Mike cupriferous volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit, Pershing County, Nevada.