Hydrothermal alteration and mineralization in the Faina greenstone belt: evidence from the Cascavel and Sertão orogenic gold deposits

Jessica Bogossian, Steffen G. Hagemann, Vinicius G. Rodrigues, Lydia Maria Lobato, Malcolm Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Faina greenstone belt is located in central Brazil and contains the Cascavel and Sertão gold deposits (500,000 oz Au total resource and past production). The bulk of the gold is hosted in quartzite and biotite schist at Cascavel, and carbonaceous schist and banded iron formation at Sertão. The metamorphic grade of the host rocks is greenschist facies. Cascavel is a vein-hosted gold deposit with orebodies mainly controlled by F2 fold hinges, with minor mineralization in D3 shear zones. Hydrothermal alteration in quartzite is characterized by distal quartz-K-feldspar ± muscovite, intermediate quartz-fuchsitic mica-biotite-pyrite, and proximal quartz-white mica-pyrite ± chalcopyrite. The biotite schist is characterized by distal quartz-chlorite-calcite and proximal white mica-biotite-tourmaline-siderite-pyrite. Native gold is located within intensely deformed quartz veins, and locally as free gold disseminated in proximal alteration zones. Sertão is a shear zone-hosted gold deposit with orebodies controlled by D3 shear zones including gold-bearing shear veins and surrounding hydrothermally altered wallrocks. Hydrothermal alteration is characterized by distal quartz-ankerite-chlorite-pyrite ± chalcopyrite and proximal quartz-white mica-siderite-pyrite-arsenopyrite ± chalcopyrite. Gold is in equilibrium with arsenopyrite and within arsenopyrite disseminated in the proximal alteration zone. Chlorite geothermometry suggests temperatures of 335–407 °C and 328–397 °C for the gold-bearing hydrothermal fluids in the Sertão and Cascavel deposits, respectively. Arsenopyrite geothermometry on arsenopyrite within gold-bearing veins in the Sertão deposit yields temperatures between 310 and 480°C. Structures controlling hydrothermal alteration and gold mineralization in both deposits are developed during a regional D2 event and subsequently deformed during a D3 event. Hydrothermal alteration minerals are consistently replacing metamorphic minerals. The alteration assemblages in both deposits are similar, albeit their modal mineralogy is controlled by the host rock composition. Therefore, both the Cascavel and Sertão deposits are interpreted as orogenic, mesozonal gold systems comparable with other orogenic gold systems in Brazil and worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103293
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Volume119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

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