Abstract

The distribution of Au and associated trace elements in pyrite and arsenopyrite from late Archean Hutti and Hira-Buddini orogenic gold deposits, eastern Dharwar Craton, southern India was investigated by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. X-ray element maps acquired by electron probe microanalyser reveal oscillatory zoning of Co and As indicating the crystallization of pyrite and arsenopyrite in an episodic fluid flow regime in which fluid salinity fluctuated due to fault-valve actions. The absence of any relationship between Au and As in pyrite obviate the role of As in the incorporation of Au into pyrite, particularly here and may be generally the case in orogenic gold deposits. On the other hand, positive correlations of Au with Cu, Ag and Te suggest possible influence of these chalcophile elements in the enhanced gold concentration in sulfides. Pb-Bi-Te-Au-Ag bearing micro-particles (<2 µm) are observed exclusively in micro-fractures and pores in arsenopyrite. The absence of replacement features and element gradient suggests direct precipitation of Pb, Bi, Te, Au and Ag from a fluid that was unreactive towards arsenopyrite. An intermittent fall in fluid pressure caused by the fault-valve action would have resulted in the sporadic precipitation of Au, Pb, Ag, Bi and Te.

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