Sediment-hosted or Carlin-type gold deposits are currently thought to have been generated at shallow levels in geothermal systems, the gold having been scavenged from host sedimentary sequences by meteoric hydrothermal fluids. In contrast, we propose that gold was contributed by magmatic hydrothermal fluids and was deposited on the peripheries of base and precious-metal districts, up to several kilometres from progenitor intrusions. Support for our model is provided by relations at Bau in eastern Malaysia, Bingham in Utah, and elsewhere, combined with geologic, chronologic, and metallogenic observations from the three principal alignments of gold-bearing deposits in Nevada. The proposed model has important exploration implications, and can be tested.

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