Abstract

Bonanza-style mineralization of palladiferous gold in specular hematite-rich lodes engendered the most important gold rush in Brazilian history, which took place at the end of the seventeenth century in the province that became known as Minas Gerais. The timing of this itabirite-hosted vein mineralization, locally referred to as jacutinga, is controversial; different views have ascribed jacutinga to one of the two orogenic events recorded in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero of Minas Gerais, the ~2.0 Ga Transamazonian event and the ~0.6 Ga Brasiliano event. This controversy is due mainly to the absence of reliable age data for hydrothermal minerals. Here we report the first U-Pb age for a jacutinga lode, obtained by laser ablation-sector field-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-SF-ICP-MS) on monazite grains recovered from the Conceição Fe-ore deposit within the Itabira district. The monazite analyses yield a precise Late Cambrian age of 495.6 ± 2.2 Ma, which is well within the time period between ca. 524 and 444 Ma, suggested by recently published geochronologic data on regionally distributed similar hydrothermal systems. The age of 496 Ma for the jacutinga monazite corroborates an orogen-scale hydrothermal overprint at later stages of the Brasiliano event. This hydrothermal overprint also affected surrounding Neoarchean rocks of the Minas Supergroup, as well as younger rocks of the southern Serra do Espinhaço, along the platiniferous Au-Pd belt of Minas Gerais.

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