Multi-stage fluid incursion in the Palaeozoic basement-hosted Saint-Salvy ore deposit (NW Montagne Noire, southern France)

Munoz, M., Boyce, A. J. , Courjault-Rade, P., Fallick, A. E. and Tollon, F. (1994) Multi-stage fluid incursion in the Palaeozoic basement-hosted Saint-Salvy ore deposit (NW Montagne Noire, southern France). Applied Geochemistry, 9(6), pp. 609-626. (doi: 10.1016/0883-2927(94)90022-1)

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The Saint-Salvy vein-hosted Zn (+Ge) deposit occurs in an E–W fault system which flanks the southern margin of the late Variscan Sidobre granite, and cross-cuts Cambrian black shales of the Palaeozoic basement. Comprehensive mineralogical and geochemical studies of vein samples have revealed four mineralizing events (M1–M4) related to late and post-Variscan tectonic events. A further late-stage event may be related to weathering.

M1 (=skarn deposits) and M2 (=patchily mineralized quartz veinlets) are associated with granite emplacement. Quartz contains low salinity, H2OCO2(NaCl)-dominated fluids(⩽6wt% NaCl equiv.) of relatively high temperature (300–580°C), trapped under moderate to high pressure. Estimated M1 fluid δD and calculated fluidδ18O plot within the metamorphic water field. There appears to be no involvement of magmatic fluids.

By contrast, M3 (= barren quartz) and M4 (= zinciferous economic mineralization) stages have H2OCO2NaClCaCl2 fluid inclusions with high salinities (23–25 wt% NaCl equiv.) and low temperatures(∼ 80–140°C), which were trapped under low-pressure conditions. The high salinity and NaCl + CaCl2 content of both M3 and M4 indicates that their parent fluids leached evaporitic salts. M3 fluids are meteoric water dominated, falling close to the meteoric water line (δD andδ18O averaging −64 and −8‰, respectively). M4 fluids have highly distinctive δD averaging −101‰, and calculated fluidδ18O varying from−1.2to+7.1‰. The unusually low δD composition of M4 suggests the involvement of “organic” fluids, in which H is derived directly or indirectly from organic matter. The relatively highδ18O of M4 fluids indicates that considerable isotopic exchange with sedimentary material took place, displacing theδ18O from the meteoric water line. The data imply interaction of meteoric waters with evaporite and hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary sequences, most probably the adjacent Aquitain Basin.

The main economic mineralization (M4 stage) took place during a tensional event, probably coincident with the Lias-Dogger transition.

Calculatedδ34SH2S of M4 sulphide(+5.4to+8.2‰) is almost identical toδ34S of local Cambrian sulphides(+4.7to+9.4‰) suggesting a genetic link. Abundant siderite associated with M4 sphalerite hasδ13C ranging from−2.6to−4.4‰ indicating that carbon was sourced from sedimentary carbonate mobilized by, or equilibrated with the hydrothermal fluid.

Late-stage sulphides exhibit extraordinary and highly distinctiveδ34S. Sphalerite has extremely low δ34S(−42.5to−50.5‰), whereas pyrite has an extraordinary large range from−33.2‰to+74.3‰. Closed system sulphate reduction is held to be responsible for the extremely highδ34S: whereas more open system reduction produces the very low values. The coincidence of isotopically lowδ13C(−7.6to−11.9‰) for co-genetic calcite suggests the involvement of organic matter in the reduction process.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyce, Professor Adrian and Fallick, Professor Anthony
Authors: Munoz, M., Boyce, A. J., Courjault-Rade, P., Fallick, A. E., and Tollon, F.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Applied Geochemistry
ISSN (Online):1872-9134

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