Trace mineral assemblages in the bornite- and chalcopyrite-rich Cu-Fe zone of the Ocna de Fier-Dognecea skarn deposits, Banat, SW Romania provide additional constraints on the genesis of this classic zoned skarn system. Observed assemblages substantiate a model, in which the Cu-Fe zone forms the proximal fluid-plume root of the system. Observed trace mineral assemblages in the magnesian forsterite-bearing skarns crystallized at ~650°C in a volatile-rich environment, evidenced by widespread phlogopite, ludwigite, valleriite and apatite. The entire assemblage thus belongs to the initial stage of skarn formation. Prolonged cooling led to sequential exsolution of trace mineral phases from bornite and chalcopyrite during the retrograde stage, although still at temperatures in excess of 500°C. Bornite is typified by the abundance of exsolved phases along cleavage planes and along crystal margins, notably chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite, but also cobalt pentlandite, carrollite, wittichenite, galena, mawsonite, silver and electrum. Chalcopyrite hosts cobalt pentlandite, carrollite, wittichenite, galena and a sequence of Se- and Te-bearing minerals (kawazulite, bohdanowiczite, hessite, volynskite), along, although not restricted to, grain margins. The assemblage bornite-chalcopyrite-magnetite, with the trace phases, cobalt pentlandite, carrollite, wittichenite and various Se- and Te-bearing minerals represents a characteristic assemblage common to a disparate range of deposits formed at temperatures in excess of 500°C in the presence of volatiles and typified by relatively low fs2fluids.

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