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Spectroscopic geochemical study of vanadiferous marine sediments of the Gibellini claims, southern Fish Creek Range, Eureka County, Nevada

Open-File Report 81-32

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Abstract

Samples of cuttings from three drill holes in the Gibellini claims were analyzed by emission spectroscopic techniques for a large suite of major and trace elements. Unoxidized siliceous "black shale" from drill hole NGA 7 is strongly enriched in Cd, Mo, Sb, Se, V, and Zn, and also contains relatively high concentrations of As, Ba, Cu, Ni, and Tl compared with nonmetalliferous shales. Analyses of 103 samples plotted against depth in drill holes NGA, NG31, and NGA7, and selected XRD data, show the following:

1. Groups of elements with distinct distribution patterns define most of major mineralogic components of the rocks. The "normal shale" component, which includes several detrital and authigenic phases, is indicated by covariations among Ti, Al, Fe, Na, Mg, K, B, Be, Co, Cr, Ga, La, Sc, Sr, and Zr. The shale component is diluted by varying amounts of the following minerals (and associated elements): silica (Si); dolomite (Mg, Ca, Mn, Sr); apatite (Ca, Be, Cr, La, Sr, Y); barite (Ba, Sr); sphalerite (Zn, Cd, Fe?); smithsonite (Cd, Co, Mn, Ni, Zn); bianchite (Cd, Ni, Zn) ; and bokite (V). Pyrite, gypsum, and jarosite were also identified.

2. The highly siliceous kerogenous metalliferous Gibellini facies is underlain by argillaceous and (or) dolomitic rocks. The transition zone deduced from the chemical data is not well defined in all instances, but probably represents the bottom of the black shale deposit.

3. Oxidation has reached to variable depths up to at least 150 ft, and has caused profound changes in the distributions of the enriched metals. Molybdenum, Se, and V have been partially removed from the upper parts of the sections and are concentrated near or slightly above the base of the Gibellini facies. Cadmium, Ni, and Zn have been strongly leached and now occur at or below the base of the Gibellini facies.

The variable depth of oxidation, the redistribution and separation of the metals, and the complex mineralogy of the deposit may make development of the claim complicated.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Spectroscopic geochemical study of vanadiferous marine sediments of the Gibellini claims, southern Fish Creek Range, Eureka County, Nevada
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
81-32
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1981
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iii, 37 p.