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Petrography and geochemistry of the least altered banded iron-formation of the Archean Carajas Formation, northern Brazil

Cornelis Klein and Eduardo A. Ladeira
Petrography and geochemistry of the least altered banded iron-formation of the Archean Carajas Formation, northern Brazil
Economic Geology and the Bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists (June 2002) 97 (3): 643-651

Abstract

The Carajas area is in the southeastern part of the state of Para, Brazil, and includes one of the largest iron ore deposits in the world, located about 600 km south-southwest of the city of Belem. The total iron ore resources are estimated at 17.8 billion tons with an average total Fe content of 66.1 percent. The iron ore deposits are hosted in the Carajas Formation, which is a 400-m-thick sequence of banded iron-formation (BIF) and minor dolomitic rocks, intruded by some irregular mafic rocks. Single zircon dates from a mafic still that cuts the sequence constrain the age to a minimum of 2740+ or -8 Ma. The samples of this study occur in the N4E deposit that lies at the northern limb of a synclinorium. The metamorphic grade is greenschist facies. The BIF occurs as relict, hard "jaspilite pods" (protore for the deposit) in the hematite open pit mines and is also intersected in places in diamond drill cores. The bulk chemistry of these BIF samples is very simple and consists mainly of SiO (sub 2) and Fe (sub 2) O (sub 3) . Their REE show an overall trend of relative enrichment in the light REE, a well-defined positive Eu anomaly in three of the samples and a slight hint of a positive Eu anomaly in one more sample. The REE profiles for the Carajas BIF have background trends similar to those reported for some other Archean BIFs such as Isua, Greenland, and the Nova Lima Group of Quadrilatero Ferrifero, Brazil. However, these background trends are quite different from those reported for the Early Proterozoic Transvaal BIFs in South Africa, which show a positive background slope with relative depletion in the light REE and relative enrichment in the heavier REE. The common presence of positive Eu anomalies in the Carajas BIFs is concluded to be the result of input from suboceanic hydrothermal solutions. These solutions are considered to have transported the iron and SiO (sub 2) to the BIFs, from deep-sea spreading center sources of the Carajas Rifted basin. Such a deep-sea hydrothermal origin is similar to that postulated for other Archean and Proterozoic BIFs worldwide.


ISSN: 0361-0128
EISSN: 1554-0774
Coden: ECGLAL
Serial Title: Economic Geology and the Bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists
Serial Volume: 97
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Petrography and geochemistry of the least altered banded iron-formation of the Archean Carajas Formation, northern Brazil
Affiliation: University of New Mexico, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Albuquerque, NM, United States
Pages: 643-651
Published: 200206
Text Language: English
Publisher: Economic Geology Publishing Company, Lancaster, PA, United States
References: 27
Accession Number: 2002-064875
Categories: Economic geology, geology of ore depositsGeochemistry of rocks, soils, and sediments
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, sketch maps
S09°49'60" - N02°40'00", W59°19'60" - W46°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, BRA, Brazil
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200220
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