Abstract

The textural and paragenetic relationships of sulphide and sulphosalt minerals within Cu-Pb-Sb-Bi hydrothermal vein mineralization at the Apollo mine, Siegerland, Germany, are interpreted in terms of various reaction sequences. An earlier primary sulphide mineralization hosted within a siderite vein of the Siegerland type, with pyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite and galena as main component phases, has been overprinted by Sb-,Bi- and Cu-rich fluids. This superposition resulted in the formation of new quartz-stibnite veins, and various mineral reactions with the primary sulphides including the formation of the sulphosalt minerals semseyite, tetrahedrite, meneghinite, jaskolskiite, boulangerite, bournonite and zinkenite. Based on microprobe analyses of reaction pairs and determination of mineral proportions in some cases, a series of quantitative data for each mineral reaction may be generated. This, in turn, allows for the construction of isocon diagrams permitting the relative mobility and immobility of all chemical elements involved in each reaction to be discussed. Two stages of reactive replacement are identified, characterized by immobile behaviour of S and supply of Sb and Cu during the first stage and relative immobility of S and Sb with no further supply of metals during the second stage. Formation of sulphosalts inside the siderite vein during the first stage in interpreted as a decrease of disequilibrium between hydrothermal fluids and pre-existing vein minerals. Replacement processes of the second stage are interpreted as an equilibration of geochemical contrasts between different points within the siderite vein and also between the siderite and quartz-stibnite vein systems. The geochemical evolution of fluid composition during the entire mineralizing event may therefore be modelled, based on the transfer of chemical components reflected in the succession of mineral reactions. Such an approach has applications to comparable polyphase mineralization sequences, in which an understanding of fluid evolution patterns may greatly assist in the development of genetic models for mineral deposits. Solid-state diffusion and grain-boundary diffusion are considered to be the dominant mechanisms for short-range mass transport, whereas diffusion of ionic and complex species through the fluid is considered to be of major importance in long-range mass transport.

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