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The Eocene Goldstrike system on the Carlin Trend in Nevada is the largest known Carlin-type gold system, with an endowment of 58 million ounces (Moz) distributed among several coalesced deposits in a structural window of gently dipping carbonate rocks below the regional Roberts Mountains thrust. The 3.5- × 2.5-km Goldstrike system is bounded to the east by the Post normal fault system and to the south by the Jurassic Goldstrike diorite stock and is partly hosted in the favorable slope-facies apron of the Bootstrap reef margin that passes through the system. The carbonate and clastic sedimentary sequence is openly folded, cut by sets of reverse and normal faults, and intruded by the Jurassic Goldstrike stock and swarms of Jurassic and Eocene dikes, establishing the structural architecture that controlled fluid flow and distribution of Eocene mineralization. A proximal zone of permeability-enhancing decarbonatization with anomalous gold (>0.1 ppm) extends a few hundreds of meters beyond the ore footprint and lies within a carbonate δ18O depletion anomaly extending ~1.4 km farther outboard. The full extent of the larger hydrothermal system hosting Goldstrike and adjacent deposits on the northern Carlin Trend is outlined by a 20- × 40-km thermal anomaly defined by apatite fission-track analyses. The bulk of the mineralization is hosted in decarbonatized sedimentary units with elevated iron contents and abundant diagenetic pyrite relative to background. Gold is associated with elevated concentrations of As, Tl, Hg, and Sb, and occurs in micron-sized arsenian pyrite grains or in arsenian pyrite overgrowths on older, principally diagenetic pyrite, with sulfidation of available iron as the main gold precipitation mechanism. The intersection of a swarm of Jurassic lamprophyre dikes with the edge of the limestone reef provided a favorable deeply penetrating structural conduit within which a Jurassic stock acted as a structural buttress, whereas the reef’s slope-facies apron of carbonate units, with high available iron content, provided a fertile setting for Carlin-type mineralization. The onset of Eocene extension coupled with a southwestward-sweeping Cenozoic magmatic front acted as the trigger for main-stage gold mineralization at 40 to 39 Ma. All these factors contributed to the exceptional size and grade of Goldstrike.

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