Characteristics of orogenic-gold deposits in the Northcote district, Hodgkinson Province, north Queensland: implications for tectonic evolution

I.M.A. Vos, Frank Bierlein

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    Abstract

    We report results of metallogenic, structural, petrological and fluid-inclusion studies that characterise the nature of gold mineralisation in the Northcote district of the Hodgkinson Goldfield, one of the major goldfields in the Palaeozoic Hodgkinson Province of northeastern Queensland, Australia. Gold-arsenic and gold-antimony-arsenic deposits in the Northcote district are spatially associated with distinctive northwest-trending faults and shear zones suggesting a strong structural control on their development during several phases of deformation in the Late Devonian to Carboniferous. Field evidence, as well as petrographic, scanning electron microscope and fluid-inclusion analysis of mineralised samples, indicates the occurrence of two stages of gold genesis. Gold associated with the earlier of the two mineralising episodes exists mainly in solid solution with acicular arsenopyrite. SEM analysis indicated that minor sphalerite, galena and tetrahedrite formed during this episode of mineralisation, Gold deposited during the second mineralising episode has a strong association with antimony. Fluid-inclusion studies of quartz vein samples record minimum homogenisation temperatures between 108 and 312 degrees C, and salinities of up to 13 wt% NaCl equivalent. Little to no difference in the nature of the fluids is observed between samples related to the two gold-forming stages. The style of gold mineralisation in the Northcote district is compatible with orogenic-gold deposits that form primarily during compressional and transpressional deformation along convergent plate margins.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)469-484
    JournalAustralian Journal of Earth Sciences
    Volume53
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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