Abstract

As a contribution to the World Minerals Geoscience Database Project, an index-level database comprising information on 142 SEDEX Pb-Zn deposits and occurrences was constructed in Microsoft Access 95 format. Although consisting of only basic information, the compilation, with full referencing of all data, is possibly the largest non-corporate SEDEX Pb-Zn database in the world. It thus provides an opportunity to make geoscience queries of SEDEX Pb-Zn deposits on a scale not previously available. This report provides a summary of the results of a few such queries both as a contribution to a better understanding of SEDEX lead-zinc deposits and as a demonstration of what even such a simple database can offer. During the compilation process, it became apparent that SEDEX Pb-Zn deposits could be assigned to one of the following three sub-types: Type 1 (53.5% of total) in which sulfide minerals are the only exhalative components; Type 2 (33.1%) in which the exhalative components are sulfides plus chert, siderite/ankerite, and/or barite; Type 3 (13.4%) which contains any components of Types 1 and 2 plus abundant iron-oxide minerals (commonly magnetite) and/or is associated with iron oxide-rich sedimentary rocks. Highlights of systematic queries of the database reveal that: 1. a majority (84%) of the world's SEDEX Pb-Zn deposits are not underlain by a discordant footwall feeder zone or vent complex; 2. 63.6% of deposits occur in Proterozoic strata followed by a second peak in the Devonian (16.8%). Of those in the Proterozoic, 83% of Type 3 deposits occur in the Gondwanaland supercontinent, whereas only 42% of Type 2 and 39% of Type 1 are located in this large paleo-landmass; 3. median (Pb+Zn) grades in Types 1 and 2 fall between 9% and 10% with a majority clustering within this range. Type 3 grades, however, range from approximately 1% to approximately 20% (Pb+Zn) with a median of 5%; 4. median size of Type 3 deposits is approximately 33 Mt, whereas Type 1 and 2 median sizes are approximately 7 Mt and approximately 8 Mt, respectively. The report concludes with a brief discussion of how an index-level database such as this can be used in conjunction with other, similar databases to reveal interesting and instructive relationships for guiding both research and exploration.

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