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The Mineralogy and Petrology of Telluride-Sulfosalt-Sulfide Replacement Deposits in the Leadville Dolomite, Buckeye Gulch, Colorado

By
Demetrius C. Pohl
Demetrius C. Pohl
Department of Mineral Sciences, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West, New York, New York 10024
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David W. Beaty
David W. Beaty
2900 Alder Place, Fttlterton, California 92635
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Published:
January 01, 1990

Abstract

Pyritic replacement deposits in the Mississippian Leadville Dolomite at Buckeye Gulch (8 km north of Leadville, Colorado) are rich in gold (as much as 74 ppm), silver (as much as 797 ppm), and tellurium (as much as 1,500 ppm). The pyrite grains contain small, sporadically distributed, ovoid mineral inclusions 5 to 50 μm in diameter. Textural relations suggest that the inclusions formed before pyrite. In some samples, the inclusions are predominantly composed of bornite and pyrrhotite with minor sphalerite and tetrahedrite-tennantite. In other samples the inclusions contain telluride minerals, chalcopyrite, uative tellurium, sphalerite, and rare tennantite-tetrahedrite. Eleven different telluride minerals have been identified, all of which are found iu single samples: altaite (PbTe), hessite (Ag2Te), stuetzite (Ag5-xTe3), petzite (Ag3AuTe2), sylvauite (AuAgTe4, kostovite (AuCuTe4), coloradoite (HgTe), rickardite (Cu3Te2), weissite (Cu2Te), an unnamed telluride mineral (Ag1.9Te) which appears to be the γphase of Kiukkola aud Wagner (1957), Cabri (1965), and Kracek et al. (1966), and a possibly new telluride miueral (composition close to (Ag,Fe)Te3 with Ag/Fe = 8-11). Within individual inclusions the maximum number of telluride phases is four, equilibrium texture is typical, and incompatible mineral pairs are absent. This suggests that the inclusions initially formed with different bulk chemistry and were then isolated within pyrite. The native tellurium-sylvanite-stuetzite geothermometer of Cabri (1965) was applied to these samples, giving geologically consistent temperatures of 320° to 330°C.

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Economic Geology Monograph Series

Carbonate-Hosted Sulfide Deposits of the Central Colorado Mineral Belt

David W. Beaty
David W. Beaty
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Gary P. Landis
Gary P. Landis
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Tommy B. Thompson
Tommy B. Thompson
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
7
ISBN electronic:
9781629490021
Publication date:
January 01, 1990

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