Abstract

Reflectance measurements and organic petrography were used to study altered organic matter in the dolomitic Middle Jurassic Beddiane sequence hosting the Beddiane lead–zinc deposit. Organic matter occurs in the lower dolostone units of the formation where zinc sulfide mineralization prevails. The upper units, where lead sulfide mineralization is dominant, contain lesser amounts of organic matter. The organic matter in the Beddiane sequence consists of macerals, amorphous kerogen, and solid bitumen, inertinite and vitrinite are ubiquitous. The amount of exinite increases toward mineralized areas but the ratio exinite/kerogen remains constant. Two types of vitrinite are considered on the basis of their reflectance: Vt1 with low reflectance values (0.3–0.5%) and Vt2 with higher values (0.7–1.25%). The ratio Vt1/Vt2 increases and the reflectance values for Vt1 decrease toward the zinc-prevailing units, Organic matter associated with the mineralization exhibits features such as oxidation halos and desiccation cracks, together with a low-fluorescent exinite. The association of the kerogen content, the trend in reflectance values, and the alteration features of the Mississippi Valley-type Beddiane deposit support the hypothesis that the regional flow of hot brines associated with the mineralization process was the cause of anomalous heating, that the occurrence of exinite maceral and its associated gas played a role in the ore deposition, and that the new chemical equilibrium reached by the zinc-dominant host rock after ore deposition is responsible for the suppressed reflectance values within and near the ore deposits.

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