Sulphur isotope composition of silurian shale-hosted PGE-Ag-Au- Zn-Cu mineralisations of the Prades Mountains (Catalonia, Spain)

Alfonso, P., Canet, C., Melgarejo, J.C. and Fallick, A.E. (2002) Sulphur isotope composition of silurian shale-hosted PGE-Ag-Au- Zn-Cu mineralisations of the Prades Mountains (Catalonia, Spain). Mineralium Deposita, 37(2), pp. 198-212. (doi: 10.1007/s00126-001-0217-8)

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Several Silurian metamorphosed shale-hosted sulphide occurrences have been studied in the Prades Mountains, southern part of the Coastal Catalonian Ranges. Most of the sulphides are found as stratiform or shale-disseminated occurrences. Pyrrhotite is the most abundant sulphide mineral. Chalcopyrite and arsenopyrite are less common. Gold, Pd-bearing lollingite (partly replaced by arsenopyrite), sperrylite, hessite, clausthalite, altaite, galena, sphalerite, molybdenite, scheelite, and V-Cr oxides and silicates are minor components. Sulphur isotopic analyses were made on three outcrops (Roca de portent, Coma Fosca and Sant Miquel) and in the Silurian black shales of the Sant Bernat series, in order to determine the origin of the sulphur which formed these deposits. The Coma Fosca and Sant Miquel outcrops yield a narrow range of delta(34)S values (-11.3 to -4.6parts per thousand), whereas the Roca de Ponent and Sant Bernat series have a wider range (- 19.9 to 7.6%. in pyrrhotite, and up to + 36parts per thousand. in pyrite from the top of the Sant Bernat series). In the Roca de Portent outcrop the delta(34)S values decrease with increasing stratigraphic height. All the deposits have a mean delta(34)S composition close to -9parts per thousand. Annealing of pyrrhotite took place during the Hercynian metamorphism. Later, during the retrograde metamorphism, pyrite replaced pyrrhotite, and arsenopyrite replaced lollingite. Large-scale compositional inhomogeneities survived metamorphism (from pyroxene to amphibolite facies). A hydrothermal source of S has been postulated for the Coma Fosca and Sant Miquel outcrops. Sulphur in these deposits is from leaching of sulphides from the underlying rocks. In the Roca de Portent outcrop and in the Sant Bernat series, sulphur was derived from a hydrothermal source and from biogenic reduction of seawater sulphate. The contribution of the latter source increased with time. Biogenic reduction of seawater sulphide in a closed or semi-closed system for sulphate is considered responsible of the high delta(34)S values of pyrite from the uppermost part of the Sant Bernal series. Based on textural and isotopic evidence, we propose an exhalative origin for the precious metals, cogenetic with the stratiform sulphides.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fallick, Professor Anthony
Authors: Alfonso, P., Canet, C., Melgarejo, J.C., and Fallick, A.E.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Mineralium Deposita
ISSN (Online):1432-1866

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