Gold deposition in structurally controlled deposits is triggered by changes in the mineralizing fluid conditions. Recent research has demonstrated that in deposits with a well-established paragenesis, the processes that control the ore-forming fluid conditions, and thus the gold timing and deposition, can be inferred from the study of both textural and chemical characteristics of ore-bearing minerals such as sulfides, which are ubiquitous in almost every gold deposit type. In this contribution, we carried out a coupled investigation of (1) microscopic-scale expression of regional deformation, (2) textures of mineralized veins and pyrite generations, and (3) laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) trace element concentrations in pyrite from the Neoproterozoic Central Zone gold deposit, located in the poorly studied Gabgaba gold district, central Keraf suture, Sudanese Nubian shield.
The Central Zone gold mineralization is associated with late-collisional Keraf strike-slip shearing. It is expressed by visible gold-bearing quartz-ankerite-(albite) conjugate veins hosted by metagranitoids surrounded by metasediments. Some structurally lattice-bound gold occurs in proximal As-Au-Ni–enriched pyrite associated with sericite-albite-ankerite alteration. Vein textures and proximal pyrite oscillatory zoning and geochemical signatures indicate that vein infilling occurred as a response to sudden pressure drops and boiling of the mineralizing fluid. We therefore interpret the Central Zone deposit as a typical orogenic gold deposit, with microtextural evidence and geochemical data supporting the existence of earthquake-induced fault-valve processes.