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Critical elements in Carlin, epithermal, and orogenic gold deposits

Richard J. Goldfarb, Albert H. Hofstra and Stuart F. Simmons
Critical elements in Carlin, epithermal, and orogenic gold deposits (in Rare earth and critical elements in ore deposits, Philip L. Verplanck (editor) and Murray W. Hitzman (editor))
Reviews in Economic Geology (January 2016) 18: 217-244


Carlin, epithermal, and orogenic gold deposits, today mined almost exclusively for their gold content, have similar suites of anomalous trace elements that reflect similar low-salinity ore fluids and thermal conditions of metal transport and deposition. Many of these trace elements are commonly referred to as critical or near-critical elements or metals and have been locally recovered, although typically in small amounts, by historic mining activities. These elements include As, Bi, Hg, In, Sb, Se, Te, Tl, and W. Most of these elements are now solely recovered as by-products from the milling of large-tonnage, base metal-rich ore deposits, such as porphyry and volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits. A combination of dominance of the world market by a single country for a single commodity and a growing demand for many of the critical to near-critical elements could lead to future recovery of such elements from select epithermal, orogenic, or Carlin-type gold deposits. Antimony continues to be recovered from some orogenic gold deposits and tellurium could potentially be a primary commodity from some such deposits. Tellurium and indium in sphalerite-rich ores have been recovered in the past and could be future commodities recovered from epithermal ores. Carlin-type gold deposits in Nevada are enriched in and may be a future source for As, Hg, Sb, and/or Tl. Some of the Devonian carbonaceous host rocks in the Carlin districts are sufficiently enriched in many trace elements, including Hg, Se, and V, such that they also could become resources. Thallium may be locally enriched to economic levels in Carlin-type deposits and it has been produced from Carlin-like deposits elsewhere in the world (e.g., Alsar, southern Macedonia; Lanmuchang, Guizhou province, China). Mercury continues to be recovered from shallow-level epithermal deposits, as well as a by-product of many Carlin-type deposits where refractory ore is roasted to oxidize carbon and pyrite, and mercury is then captured in air pollution control devices.

ISSN: 0741-0123
EISSN: 2374-443X
Serial Title: Reviews in Economic Geology
Serial Volume: 18
Title: Critical elements in Carlin, epithermal, and orogenic gold deposits
Title: Rare earth and critical elements in ore deposits
Author(s): Goldfarb, Richard J.Hofstra, Albert H.Simmons, Stuart F.
Author(s): Verplanck, Philip L.editor
Author(s): Hitzman, Murray W.editor
Affiliation: China University of Geosciences, Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, Beijing, China
Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO, United States
Pages: 217-244
Published: 20160101
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Economic Geologists, Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 9781629490922
References: 264
Accession Number: 2020-013148
Categories: Geochemistry of rocks, soils, and sedimentsEconomic geology, geology of ore deposits
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, sketch map
N24°00'00" - N33°00'00", E100°00'00" - E110°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Hot Solutions, NZL, New Zealand
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 202009
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