Abstract

New U–Pb zircon ages from the Santa Olalla Igneous Complex have been obtained, which improve the knowledge of the precise timing of Variscan magmatism in the Ossa–Morena Zone, SW Iberia. This complex has a special relevance as it hosts the most important Ni–Cu–platinum group element (PGE) mineralization in Europe: the Aguablanca deposit. U–Pb zircon ages have been obtained for seven samples belonging to the Santa Olalla Igneous Complex and spatially related granites. With the exception of the Cala granite (352 ± 4 Ma), which represents an older intrusion, the bulk of samples yield ages that cluster around 340 ± 3 Ma: the Santa Olalla tonalite (341.5 ± 3 Ma), the Sultana hornblende tonalite (341 ± 3 Ma), a mingling area at the contact between the Aguablanca and Santa Olalla stocks (341 ± 1.5 Ma), the Garrote granite (339 ± 3 Ma), the Teuler granite (338 ± 2 Ma), and dioritic dykes from the Aguablanca stock (338.6 ± 0.8 Ma). The Bodonal–Cala porphyry, which has also been dated (530 ± 3 Ma), comprises a group of sub-volcanic rhyolitic intrusions belonging to the Bodonal–Cala volcano-sedimentary complex, which hosts the igneous rocks. The knowledge that emplacement of the Aguablanca deposit was related to episodic transtensional tectonic stages during the Variscan orogeny will be fundamental in future mineral exploration in the Ossa–Morena Zone.

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