This study evaluates the effect of organic matter impurities on pyrite Re-Os dating, using the giant Jinding sediment-hosted Zn-Pb deposit in China as an example. The Jinding deposit is hosted in a Paleocene evaporite dome that was a hydrocarbon reservoir before mineralization. Pyrite in Jinding formed in two stages: pre-ore (py1) and syn-ore (py2). Two types of py1 are recognized, organic matter-free and organic matter-bearing. The organic matter-free py1 contains homogeneously distributed low concentrations of Re (<2.5 ppb) that yields an isochron age of 51 ± 1 Ma (mean square of weighted deviates [MSWD] = 3.2). This date is interpreted to be the age of py1 formation. The organic matter-bearing py1 contains organic matter inclusions trapped during py1 growth and synchronous with bacterial reduction of sulfate. Elemental mapping with laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) shows that the organic matter inclusions have Re signals 1 to 4 orders of magnitude higher than those of pyrite, revealing that organic matter is the major host for Re. Such pyrite separates contain 37 to 1,145 ppb Re. The Re-Os data of organic matter-bearing py1 yield an isochron age of 72.9 ± 0.5 Ma (MSWD = 0.2). This age is older than the actual py1 formation age of 51 ± 1 Ma but overlaps with previously dated bitumen Re-Os isochron age of 68 ± 5 Ma at Jinding, indicating that organic matter inclusions can significantly influence the Re-Os dates of pyrite and likely other sulfides. This study demonstrates that in order to date sulfides formed in organic-rich environments using the Re-Os method, it is necessary to determine the distribution of Re in samples using detailed petrography and LA-ICP-MS trace element mapping plus spot analysis.

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