Precious-Metal Mineralization and Formation Conditions of the Biche-Kadyr-Oos Epithermal Au-Ag Ore Occurrence (Eastern Sayan, Russia)

Renat V. Kuzhuget, Natalia N. Ankusheva, Ailai K. Hertek, Yuri A. Kalinin, Bulat B. Damdinov, Franco Pirajno, Yuri V. Butanaev, Nadezhda V. Suge-Maadyr, Sholban N. Soldup

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The Biche-Kadyr-Oos epithermal Au-Ag ore occurrence is a prospective object in the Ak-Sug porphyry copper ore cluster (Eastern Sayan) in the northern part of the Central Asian orogenic belt (CAOB). The mineralization consists of gold-sulfide-quartz and gold-polysulfide-carbonate-quartz veins with argillic zones in the Lower Cambrian volcanic-sedimentary rocks. The origin of the Au-Ag ore occurrence is still debatable. To determine the origin, we examined the mineralogical and geochemical features, conditions of formation, and fluid sources of the Biche-Kadyr-Oos ore. A mineralogical and geochemical investigation outlines three stages of mineral formation: early argillic stage; gold-sulfide-quartz stage with pyrite, marcasite, pyrrhotite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, less frequently sphalerite, hessite, gold, and electrum; and late gold-polysulfide-carbonate-quartz stage with gold, electrum, Hg-electrum, Se-acanthite, Se-galena, bornite, tennantite, tetrahedrite, hessite, tellurobismuthite, bismuthinite, matildite, jamesonite, ourayite, native Bi, and barite. Fluid inclusion study (thermometry, Raman spectroscopy) in quartz and mineral thermometry (electrum and sphalerite paragenesis) determined that ore veins were formed at P~0.5 kbar from CO2-water Na-K-chloride fluid (4.9–9.6 wt % NaCl eqv) and temperatures from 300 to 200 °C (early gold-sulfide-quartz veins at 300–230 °C, and late gold-polysulfide-carbonate-quartz veins at 290–200 °C) and variations in fO2, fS2, fSe2 and fTe2. The S isotopic composition in sulfides and δ34SH2S values of the fluid are +1.3‰ and +4.7‰, respectively, (T = 300–275 °C) indicating magmatic S in ore formation. The oxygen isotope data indicate that during the formation of veins, the magmatic fluid mixed with meteoric water (δ18Ofluid is from +3.4 to +6.4‰). The isotopic data that were obtained combined with mineralogical and geochemical features and conditions of ore formation indicate the similarity of Biche-Kadyr-Oos ore occurrence with epithermal Au-Ag deposits of intermediate sulfidation (IS) type. The presence of epithermal Au-Ag mineralization of the Biche-Kadyr-Oos IS type in ore cluster of the Ak-Sug Cu-Au-Mo porphyry deposit indicates the existence of a single porphyry-epithermal ore-magmatic system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1529
Number of pages17
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2023


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