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How the Neoproterozoic S-isotope record illuminates the genesis of vein gold systems: an example from the Dalradian Supergroup in Scotland

By
Nyree J. Hill
Nyree J. Hill
Department of Geology, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
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Gawen R. T. Jenkin
Gawen R. T. Jenkin
Department of Geology, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
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Adrian J. Boyce
Adrian J. Boyce
Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, Rankine Avenue, Scottish Enterprise Technology Park, East Kilbride G75 0QF, UK
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Christopher J. S. Sangster
Christopher J. S. Sangster
Scotgold Resources Limited, Upper Station, Tyndrum, Stirlingshire FK20 8RY, UK
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David J. Catterall
David J. Catterall
Farscape Exploration (FarEx) Botswana, Plot 431, Disaneng, Maun, PO Box 777, Botswana
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David A. Holwell
David A. Holwell
Department of Geology, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
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Jonathan Naden
Jonathan Naden
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK
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Clive M. Rice
Clive M. Rice
Geology and Petroleum Geology, Kings College, University of Aberdeen, Meston Building, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2015

Abstract

The genesis of quartz vein-hosted gold mineralization in the Neoproterozoic–early Palaeozoic Dalradian Supergroup of Scotland remains controversial. An extensive new dataset of S-isotope analyses from the Tyndrum area, together with correlation of the global Neoproterozoic sedimentary S-isotope dataset to the Dalradian stratigraphy, demonstrates a mixed sedimentary and magmatic sulphur source for the mineralization. δ34S values for early molybdenite- and later gold-bearing mineralization range from −2 to +12‰, but show distinct populations related to mineralization type. Modelling of the relative input of magmatic and sedimentary sulphur into gold-bearing quartz veins with δ34S values of +12‰ indicates a maximum of 68% magmatic sulphur, and that S-rich, SEDEX-bearing, Easdale Subgroup metasedimentary rocks lying stratigraphically above the host rocks represent the only viable source of sedimentary sulphur in the Dalradian Supergroup. Consequently, the immediate host rocks were not a major source of sulphur to the mineralization, consistent with their low bulk sulphur and lack of metal enrichment. Recent structural models of the Tyndrum area suggest that Easdale Subgroup metasedimentary rocks, enriched in 34S, sulphur and metals, are repeated at depth owing to folding, and it is suggested that these are the most likely source of sedimentary sulphur, and possibly metals, for the ore fluids.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Ore Deposits in an Evolving Earth

G. R. T. Jenkin
G. R. T. Jenkin
University of Leicester, UK
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P. A. J. Lusty
P. A. J. Lusty
British Geological Survey, UK
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I. Mcdonald
I. Mcdonald
Cardiff University, UK
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M. P. Smith
M. P. Smith
University of Brighton, UK
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A. J. Boyce
A. J. Boyce
Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, UK
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J. J. Wilkinson
J. J. Wilkinson
Natural History Museum and Imperial College London, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
393
ISBN electronic:
9781862396692
Publication date:
January 01, 2015

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