Abstract

New analytical developments have made radiogenic helium (4He) applicable to archeological gold artifacts for age determinations. Here we report the application of the U/Th–4He method to the direct dating of gold from the historically important gold deposit in Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The U/Th–4He age of 515 ± 55 Ma for the Diamantina gold is corroborated by a new U/Pb age of 524 ± 16 Ma for rutile recovered from auriferous pockets. These ages tie the Diamantina gold mineralization to the Brasiliano orogenic event, in the context of the Gondwana amalgamation. Our results indicate that U/Th–4He dating of gold is possible, opening new perspectives for the dating of gold deposits without assuming contemporaneity between gold and datable hydrothermal minerals.

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