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Book Chapter

Copper: Product of Diagenesis in Rifted Basins

By
J. B. Maynard
J. B. Maynard
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Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

Sediment-hosted copper deposits make up about a third of world production. They have also been the source of much controversy about the timing of ore formation. Syngenetic or early diagenetic models for the introduction of the copper to the sediments have long been popular and have been summarized recently by Mendelsohn (1989) and by Haynes and Bloom (1987a, b). Evidence is emerging, however, that for three major districts—the Kupferschiefer in Poland, White Pine in Michigan, and the African copper- belt—the dominant mineralization occurred during later diagenesis, after deposition of a considerable thickness of overlying strata. We will consider each of these areas in turn, then discuss the common features of their basin evolution.

The Permian of central and western Europe contains a series of unusual beds that have attracted scientific curiosity for many years (see Vaughan et al., 1989). The evaporites of the Zechstein sequence are prominent, as is a thin, carbon- rich, dolomitic shale beneath them known as the Kupfer- schiefer in continental Europe and the Marl Slate in England. Only a meter or so thick, this unit must mark some major event in the Permian evolution of the continent (see "Black Shales" in Chapter 6 for a discussion of anoxic events). It has been mined for copper since the Middle Ages in Germany. Most of these mines are long since abandoned, but recent discoveries in the Lubin district of Poland have added vast new reserves. Silver, lead, and zinc are recovered as well as copper, and there appears

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Contents

Reviews in Economic Geology

Sedimentary and Diagenetic Mineral Deposits: A Basin Analysis Approach to Exploration

Eric R. Force
Eric R. Force
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J. James Eidel
J. James Eidel
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J. Barry Maynard
J. Barry Maynard
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
5
ISBN electronic:
9781629490120
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

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