Abstract

Reconstruction of some aspects of the initial environment of ore deposition through detailed S, C, and O isotope studies of the Fowler orebody, and through reconnaissance trace element and S isotope studies of sphalerite concentrates and composite samples of ore from 22 orebodies; and (2) evaluation of the effects of high-grade metamorphism on the stable isotope geochemistry of both the ore and gangue minerals of a massive sulfide orebody. The delta 34 S values of pyrite, sphalerite, and galena in the Fowler orebody range from 11.5 to 17.5 per mil; anhydrite associated with ore ranges from 25.6 to 27.0 per mil. Average equilibration temperatures calculated from the delta 34 S differences between coexisting sulfur-bearing phases are 388 degrees C for pyrite-sphalerite, 338 degrees C for sphalerite-galena, 329 degrees C for pyrite-galena, and 602 degrees C for anhydrite-pyrite; all pairs display narrow temperature distributions. The delta 13 C and delta 18 O values of carbonates from the Fowler orebody range from -1.6 to 1.4 per mil and from 24.8 to 27.0 per mil, respectively; quartz delta 18 O values range from 23.0 to 27.0 per mil. The delta 34 S values of sphalerite concentrated from composite samples of the orebodies range from 12.7 to 14.7 per mil. This narrow range contrasts sharply with the wide variability of associated evaporitic anhydrite lenses, which range from 8 to 28 per mil. A stratigraphic increase in the delta 34 S value of the evaporitic anhydrite at Balmat, and large sulfide iron-formation occurrences near Balmat, imply that bacterial sulfate reduction occurred on an unusually large scale during Balmat sedimentation. The presence of such an increase in a sedimentary section may constitute a valuable exploration guide.--Modified journal abstract.

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