Fluid signature of the shear zone–controlled Veio de Quartzo ore body in the world-class BIF-hosted Cuiabá gold deposit, Archaean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Brazil: a fluid inclusion study

Carolin Kresse, Lydia M. Lobato, Rosaline C. Figueiredo e Silva, Steffen G. Hagemann, David Banks, André L.A. Vitorino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The world-class Cuiabá gold deposit of the Archaean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt in Brazil is hosted in banded iron formation containing carbonaceous matter and carbonate, within the reclined, isoclinal Cuiabá fold. Mineralised quartz veins are hosted in andesite in the stratigraphic footwall of the banded iron ores and form some of the more recently discovered ore bodies. Fluid inclusion data of the quartz vein–associated “Veio de Quartzo” ore body are obtained from four quartz types (Qz1, Qz2, Qz3, Qz5) in gold-mineralised V1 shear vein and V2 extensional veins, barren V3 extensional vein array, and V4 breccia-style veins, all developed during the Archaean D1 event. Three fluid types are distinguished: (i) aqueous fluids of low salinity (1.8–3.8 wt% NaCl equiv), homogenisation (into liquid) at 220 to 230 °C; (ii) aqueous fluids of moderate salinity (5.3–12.7 wt% NaCl equiv), and homogenisation at 250 to 290 °C; and (iii) aqueous-carbonic fluids of moderate salinity (6.0–15.1 wt% NaCl equiv), with 30–91 mol% CO2, 8–41 mol% CH4 and up to 28 mol% N2 and decrepitation (into vapour) at 280 to 310 °C. Based on an independent pressure estimate, a pressure correction was applied to aqueous fluid inclusions, resulting in minimum trapping temperatures at 360 °C for V1 veins, 330 °C for V2 veins, 300 °C for V3 veins and 270 °C for the late-stage V4 veins. Ion chromatography analyses reveal a Br/Cl ratio of 0.7 × 10−3 in Qz1-V1, from 1.4 to 1.5 × 10−3 in Qz2-V2, 0.3 to 0.4 × 10−3 in Qz3-V3 and 0.7 to 0.9 × 10−3in Qz5-V4 veins. Zinc, Pb and Cu are relatively enriched with ~ 100 to 1000 ppm in aqueous and aqueous-carbonic fluid inclusion assemblages in all vein and quartz types, which is similar to other orogenic gold deposits hosted in the Rio das Velhas greenstone belt. The fluid inclusion data are consistent with a model invoking a metamorphic origin for the mineralising fluid. A two-step model of hydrothermal fluid flow and gold enrichment is suggested to have developed during the Archaean D1 event, with an early, aqueous-carbonic fluid pulse of relatively high temperature (from V1 up to V3) and an evolved, aqueous-carbonic fluid pulse of lower temperature (V4, breccia-style veins). The Rio das Velhas greenstone belt is dominated by regionally metamorphosed metasedimentary rocks, resulting in a complex hydrothermal fluid evolution and related gold mineralisation such as the shear zone–controlled Veio de Quartzo ore body.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMineralium Deposita
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jan 2020

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