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Role of Sulfidation in Deposition of Gold, Twin Creeks Sediment-Hosted Micron Gold Deposit, Nevada

By
David P. Stenger
David P. Stenger
Department of Geological Sciences, University of MichiganAnn Arbor, MI 48109Southern Star ResourcesOne Northwest Center, 1700 Lincoln St., Suite 1950, Denver, CO 80203
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Stephen E. Kesler
Stephen E. Kesler
Department of Geological Sciences, University of MichiganAnn Arbor, MI 48109
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John Fortuna
John Fortuna
Department of Geological Sciences, University of MichiganAnn Arbor, MI 48109
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Dean R. Peltonen
Dean R. Peltonen
Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation, Twin Creeks MineP.O. Box 69, Golconda, NV 89414
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Published:
January 01, 1997

Abstract

Despite important advances in our understanding of sediment-hosted micron gold deposits, debate continues over the processes that deposited their gold. Possible processes include cooling or boiling of the ore fluid, dilution, oxidation or other changes caused by mixing two fluids, or wallrock reactions such as carbonate dissolution and sulfidation. Several recent studies have called attention to the role of sulfidation in deposition of SHMG ores. At Jerritt Canyon, support for fluid mixing and sulfidation was provided by the relation between δ18O values and gold grades in ore-stage jasperoids (Northrop et al, 1987) and chemical reaction-path modeling of ore and alteration mineralogy (Hofstra et al, 1991). At Carlin, studies of fluid inclusions by Kuehn and Rose (1995) suggested that mineralization accompanied by sulfidation took place when an acidic, CO2-rich, mineralizing fluid mixed with cooler, gas-poor meteoric(?) water as it underwent episodic leakage from a deep overpressured reservoir.

The best way to assess the role of sulfidation in SHMG deposits is through comparison of the abundance and distribution of elements at the scale of a deposit. We report here the results of comparisons of this type based on a database comprised of 20-foot composite samples from hundreds of drillholes at Twin Creeks, all of which were analyzed for Au, Fe, S (total and reduced) and other elements of interest and labeled according to rock type and degree of oxidation. From the standpoint of chemical compositions, one of the most important differences among the depositional mechanisms listed above is the degree to which

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Contents

Society of Economic Geologists Guidebook Series

Carlin-Type Gold Deposits Field Conference

Peter Vikre
Peter Vikre
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Tommy B. Thompson
Tommy B. Thompson
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Keith Bettles
Keith Bettles
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Odin Christensen
Odin Christensen
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Ron Parratt
Ron Parratt
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
28
ISBN electronic:
9781934969816
Publication date:
January 01, 1997

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