Oil-field brines are the most favored ore-forming solutions for the sediment-hosted Mississippi Valley-type ore deposits. Detailed inorganic and organic chemical and isotope analyses of water and gas samples from six oil fields in central Mississippi, one of the very few areas with high metal brines, were conducted to study the inorganic and organic complexes responsible for the high concentrations of these metals. The samples were obtained from production zones consisting of sandstone and limestone that range in depth from 1900 to 4000 m (70-120??C) and in age from Late Cretaceous to Late Jurassic. Results show that the waters are dominantly bittern brines related to the Louann Salt. The brines have extremely high salinities that range from 160,000 to 320,000 mg/l total dissolved solids and are NaCaCl-type waters with very high concentrations of Ca (up to 48,000 mg/l) and other alkaline-earth metals, but with low concentrations of aliphatic acid anions. The concentrations of metals in many water samples are very high, reaching values of 70 mg/l for Pb, 245 mg/l for Zn, 465 mg/l for Fe and 210 mg/l for Mn. The samples with high metal contents have extremely low concentrations (<0.02 mg/l) of H2S. Samples obtained from the Smackover Formation (limestone) have low metal contents that are more typical of oil-field waters, but have very high concentrations (up to 85 mg/l) of H2S. Computations with the geochemical code SOLMINEQ.87 give the following results: (1) both Pb and Zn are present predominantly as aqueous chloride complexes (mainly as PbCl42- and ZnCl42-, respectively); (2) the concentrations of metals complexed with short-chained aliphatic acid anions and reduced S species are minor; (3) organic acid anions are important in controlling the concentrations of metals because they affect the pH and buffer capacity of the waters at subsurface conditions; and (4) galena and sphalerite solubilities control the concentrations of Pb and Zn in these waters. ?? 1988.