Abstract

The 0.8-Moz Round Hill shear zone-hosted gold deposit is one of several located on, or near, the Hyde-Macraes shear zone, Macraes Flat, New Zealand. Field relationships show stockwork veins are the oldest part of the hydrothermal system, followed by flat and ramp veins. Hanging-wall shear veins formed early but have been modified by late deformation.

Fluid inclusion microthermometric results for dominant type I inclusions show that flat and ramp veins have the same average wt percent NaCl equiv values (2.2± 0.6%) and were precipitated from the same fluid. Salinity data for these veins overlap with those from hanging-wall veins (average 1.3 ± 0.3%) and stockwork veins (1.6 ± 0.6% for vein margins; 0.9 ± 0.3% for vein centers), although both of the latter trend toward lower overall wt percent NaCl equiv values, suggesting mixing between relatively dilute and more saline end members. All of the above veins have similar temperatures of homogenization (Th), ranging between 110° and 188°C. Fluid inclusion trapping temperatures are considered to be ~300°C, equating to a ~10-km depth of formation. Carbon dioxide dissolved in the hydrothermal fluid is responsible for up to one third of fluid inclusion apparent salinities. Stockwork and hanging-wall veins thus have true salinities of <1 wt percent NaCl equiv (<0.17 molal) and flat and ramp veins have true salinities of <2 wt percent (<0.34 molal).

Fluid inclusion volatiles from Round Hill and other Macraes deposits are dominated by H2O (99.02–99.69 mol %), with lesser CO2 (0.14–0.76 mol %), N2 (0.03–0.32 mol %), and CH4 (0.06–0.17 mol %). Noticeable concentrations of hydrocarbons occur in many of the samples. Fluid inclusion cation and anion data show few components of relatively low concentration are dissolved in the hydrothermal fluid, consistent with CO2-corrected microthermometric measurements.

A range in fluid inclusion δDH2O values obtained for the Round Hill deposit is coincident with the different vein types and also indicates mixing between two fluids. One fluid is considered to be O isotope shifted meteoric water, as trapped by the early stockwork veins, and has the lowest δDH2O values of –80 per mil. The other fluid is represented by flat and/or ramp and hanging-wall veins that have δDH2O values up to –40 per mil. The Macraes δDH2O data show a trend toward the magmatic water end member for geothermal systems associated with convergent plate boundaries and are consistent with a 25 to 50 percent magmatic component in the Macraes hydrothermal system.

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