Abstract

Fuchsite and other Cr-rich phyllosilicates, paragenetic with dolomite, are present in some ultramafic enclaves from the ‘frailesca’ rock (a lapilli- to block-size pyroclastic lithic-tuff), in the Almadén mercury mining district, Spain. Analyses (EMPA and TEM) of fuchsite and Cr-chlorite showed a relatively large range in levels of Cr2O3. Petrographic relationships between these phyllosilicates and primary relics of Cr-spinel crystals, as well as their high Cr content, indicate that these Cr-rich minerals originated from primary chromian spinels through an early hydrothermal alteration stage. The hydrothermal fluids accounting for this early alteration would be of relatively high temperature, high aCO2 and aK, and variable aNa/K. In a later alteration stage, fuchsite was partially or totally replaced by illite and Cr-illite, giving rise to an argillitic alteration.

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