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Identifying pathfinder elements for gold in bulk-rock geochemical data from the Cripple Creek Au-Te deposit; a statistical approach

Irene M. Kadel-Harder, Paul G. Spry, Audrey L. McCombs and Haozhe Zhang
Identifying pathfinder elements for gold in bulk-rock geochemical data from the Cripple Creek Au-Te deposit; a statistical approach
Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis (October 2020) Pre-Issue Publication

Abstract

The Cripple Creek alkaline igneous rock-related low-sulfidation epithermal gold telluride deposit, Colorado, is hosted in the 10 km wide Oligocene alkaline volcanic Cripple Creek diatreme in Proterozoic rocks. Gold occurs as native Au, Au-tellurides, and in the structure of arsenian pyrite, in potassically altered high-grade veins, and as disseminations in the host rocks. Correlation coefficients, principal component analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis, and random forests were used to analyze major and trace element compositions of 995 rock samples primarily from low-grade gold mineralization in drill core from three currently operating pits (Wild Horse Extension (WHEX), Globe Hill, and Schist Island) in the northwestern part of the Cripple Creek diatreme. These methods suggest that Ag, As, Bi, Te, and W are the best pathfinders to Au mineralization in low-grade disseminated ore. Although Mo correlates with gold in other studies and is spatially related to gold veins, molybdenite post-dated the formation of gold and is likely related to a late-stage porphyry overprint. These elements, in conjunction with mineralogical studies, indicate that tellurides, fluorite, quartz, carbonates, roscoelite, tennantite-tetrahedrite, pyrite, sphalerite, muscovite, monazite, bastnasite, and hubnerite serve as exploration guides to ore.


ISSN: 1467-7873
EISSN: 2041-4943
Serial Title: Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis
Serial Volume: Pre-Issue Publication
Title: Identifying pathfinder elements for gold in bulk-rock geochemical data from the Cripple Creek Au-Te deposit; a statistical approach
Affiliation: Iowa State University, Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Ames, IA, United States
Published: 20201026
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House, London, United Kingdom
References: 68
Accession Number: 2020-084377
Categories: Economic geology, geology of ore deposits
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables, sketch maps
N38°40'00" - N39°10'00", W105°19'60" - W104°55'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Microsoft Corporation, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 2020
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