Marymia: an Archean, amphibolite facies-hosted, orogenic lode-gold deposit overprinted by Palaeoproterozoic orogenesis and base metal mineralisation, Western Australia

N.M. Vielreicher, J.R. Ridley, David Groves

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    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Marymia gold deposit, comprising two orebodies, Keillor 1 and Keillor 2, is at the northern end of the Plutonic Well greenstone belt in the Marymia Inlier, in the southern Capricorn Orogen, just north of the Yilgarn craton. The Marymia Inlier is a discrete fault-bounded Archean gneiss-granitoid-greenstone domain surrounded by sedimentary basins that were formed and variably metamorphosed and deformed during several Palaeoproterozoic orogenic cycles. The greenstone sequence at Marymia is stratigraphically and geochemically similar to greenstone sequences in the Yilgarn craton, but was subjected to further deformation and metamorphism in the Palaeoproterozoic. Late Archean deformation (D1-D2) was ductile to brittle-ductile in style, whereas Palaeoproterozoic deformation was predominantly brittle. Equilibrium mineral assemblages indicate that peak amphibolite-facies metamorphism (540-575 degreesC, <3 kb) was overprinted by greenschist-facies metamorphism (300-360 degreesC). Petrographic textures indicate that prograde metamorphism was coeval with D1-D2, with peak metamorphism early to syn D2. Gold mineralisation at Marymia is hosted in metamorphosed tholeiitic basalts and banded iron formation. On a gross scale, the distribution of gold is controlled by D2 folds and shear zones. Lithological contacts with strong rheological or chemical contrasts provide local controls. Gold-related alteration comprises subtle millimetre- to centimetre-wide zones of silicification with variable amounts of quartz, hornblende, biotite, K-feldspar, plagioclase, calcite/siderite, scheelite, titanite, epidote, sulfide and telluride minerals. Quartz veins are generally narrow and discontinuous with low total volume of quartz. Gold is sited in the wall rock, at vein salvedges or within stringers of wall rock within veins. There are two distinct opaque-mineral assemblages: pyrite-pyrrhotite-chalcopyrite-galena and hessite-petzite-altaite-Bi-telluride-galena. Ore samples are variably enriched in Ag, Te, Pb, W, Cu, S and Fe reflecting heterogeneity of the ore mineralogy. Structural timing and temperature of formation of alteration and ore minerals support deposition of gold during late peak amphibolite-facies metamorphism from neutral to alkaline (pH = 5-6), moderately oxidising (log f(O2)approximate to21-22) and CO2-bearing (X(CO2)approximate to0.2) fluids. The total sulfur content of the fluid is estimated at 1mSigmaS. Lead isotope compositions support derivation of lead from within the local greenstone sequence. Gold lodes were deformed by faults and shear zones in the Palaeoproterozoic, with only limited remobilisation. Subeconomic, carbonate vein- and breccia-hosted base metal mineralisation is locally hosted within Palaeoproterozoic fault zones, which clearly cut gold lodes. Base-metal-related alteration is characterised by intense carbonatisation, chloritisation, and albitisation of the mafic host rocks. Mineral assemblages are consistent with formation at greenschist facies conditions. Lead isotope compositions support crystallisation at ca. 1.7 Ga from lead that is similar in composition to earlier gold-related galena.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)737-764
    JournalMineralium Deposita
    Volume37
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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