Expressions describing the solubilities of metal sulfides in multicomponent hydrothermal solutions have been derived, taking into account the hydrolysis of the sulfide ion and the simultaneous complexing of the metal cation by one or more ligands. Complexing in both sulfur-rich and sulfur-deficient hydrothermal systems has been considered. Examples presented show that complex formation per se may not lead to the relative solubility of the base metal sulfides which can explain the zonal sequence identifiable in many hydrothermal deposits.

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