Abstract

The Northwest quartz-pyrite-gold veins are situated 500 m east of the Lepanto fault in Mankayan, Luzon, Philippines. Most vein mineralization is hosted by the Lepanto metavolcanic basement rocks at an elevation between 700 and 1,050 m. The earliest stage, stage 1, is characterized by sphalerite + chalcopyrite + pyrite ± magnetite veins cutting the host rocks that were altered to chlorite + illite + epidote. Precious metal deposition started in stage 2 as electrum, native gold, and gold-silver tellurides deposited with pyrite, quartz, and carbonate. Deposition of gold and silver tellurides continued in stage 3a with abundant pyrite and tennantite-tetrahedrite solid solution intergrown with chalcopyrite, bornite, and minor sphalerite. The stage 3a veins and host-rock alteration are characterized by abundant muscovite and quartz, while the stage 3b veins and alteration consist of quartz, pyrophyllite, alunite, and dickite. Enargite and luzonite are the dominant sulfide minerals in stage 4, which are either disseminated in silicified host rock or within wide quartz veins. Lesser amounts of quartz and abundant pyrite with inclusions of enargite and luzonite were precipitated in stage 5.

Microthermometry on fluid inclusions in quartz of stages 2, 3a, and 4 indicates boiling of the hydrothermal fluids. Bulk gas analysis on fluid inclusions in quartz shows that the stage 2 and 4 fluids had components derived from basaltic and andesitic magma, respectively. Fluids that formed stage 4 quartz were more diluted by meteoric water than the fluids that formed the stage 2 veins. Radiometric 40Ar/39Ar dating on alunite separated from the stage 3b advanced argillic alteration zone yielded 2.2 ± 0.1 Ma. Sulfur isotope compositions of the Northwest quartz-pyrite-gold deposit reveal a bulk δ34S of approximately 5‰, similar to the calculated value for the adjacent Far Southeast porphyry deposit. Calculated oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios of the fluids of the Northwest quartz-pyrite-gold deposit stage 3b dickites are similar to those that formed the illite alteration in the Far Southeast porphyry deposit but are higher in δ18O when compared to the fluids that formed the kandites in the Lepanto enargite deposit. The northward cooling of mineralizing fluids previously reported in the Lepanto enargite deposit is not consistent with the mineralogic indications in the Northwest quartz-pyrite-gold deposit. These data indicate multiple mineralization events in the Mankayan district, which is one of the largest mineral districts in the western Pacific.

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