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Book Chapter

Overview of Epithermal Gold Mineralization in Kyushu, Japan

By
Eiji Izawa
Eiji Izawa
Department of Earth Resources Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan
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Koichiro Watanabe
Koichiro Watanabe
Department of Earth Resources Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan
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Published:
January 01, 2001

Abstract

Epithermal gold deposits are the principal source of gold in Japan, and mesothermal vein gold or by-product gold from skarn deposits, VMS (the Kuroko type and the Besshi type), and polymetallic veins contribute historically only 10 percent of domestic gold production. Gold production from epithermal gold deposits of Kyushu amounts to 284 tonnes and comprises about 40 percent of total Japanese gold production, 576 tonnes, from the Meiji Restoration (1868) to present (1999). The silver/gold ratio of ores in Kyushu is less than three and differs from the value that exceeds 10 in other areas (Fig. 1). The Yamagano mine in the Edo era and later the Taio and Kushikino mines were the largest gold-silver mines in Kyushu before the discovery of the Hishikari deposit. At present the Hishikari underground operation and three opencut mines of the Nansatsu-type gold deposits at Kasuga, Iwato, and Akeshi are producing gold.

The major gold deposits in Kyushu, typically of the low- sulfidation vein type and locally the high-sulfidation Nansatsu type, occur in extinct or waning geothermal systems of the Pliocene and Pleistocene volcanic areas. The young formation ages relate to the well-preserved shallow bonanza zones and overlying thick argillic alteration zones, and in places surface expression of hydrothermal activity, such as sinters and nearby acid alteration related to steam- heated acid hot springs.

This contribution aims to present supplementary data to a previous review paper (Izawa and Urashima, 1989), which described the relationship

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Contents

Society of Economic Geologists Guidebook Series

Epithermal Gold Mineralization and Modern Analogues, Kyushu, Japan

Craig A. Feebrey
Craig A. Feebrey
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Toshihiko Hayashi
Toshihiko Hayashi
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Sachihiro Taguchi
Sachihiro Taguchi
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
34
ISBN electronic:
9781934969878
Publication date:
January 01, 2001

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