K/Ar dates and chemical data show that a Mesozoic gold-bearing hydrothermal system altered black shales of the Mississippian Great Blue Limestone throughout an area encompassing the Mercur gold district, Utah. K/Ar dates of illite veins and illite-rich, clay-sized separates of altered shales that are enriched in Au, As, Hg, Sc, and other heavy metals indicate that hydrothermal activity occurred from 193 to 122 Ma. Several ages from within the Mercur district cluster near 160 Ma and may date the minimum age of gold mineralization.

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