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2.7 Ga plume associated VHMS mineralization in eastern goldfields superterrane, Yilgarn Craton: insights from the low temperature and shallow water, Ag-Zn-(Au) nimbus deposit


Hollis, SP and Mole, DR and Gillespie, P and Barnes, SJ and Tessalina, S and Cas, RAF and Hildrew, C and Pumphrey, A and Goodz, MD and Caruso, S and Yeats, CJ and Verbeeten, A and Belford, SM and Wyche, S and Martin, LAJ, 2.7 Ga plume associated VHMS mineralization in eastern goldfields superterrane, Yilgarn Craton: insights from the low temperature and shallow water, Ag-Zn-(Au) nimbus deposit, Precambrian Research, 291 pp. 119-142. ISSN 0301-9268 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Crown Copyright

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2017.01.002


Economic volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VHMS) deposits of the Archaean Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia are restricted to zones of juvenile crust as revealed through regional Nd, Pb and Hf isotopic variations and the geochemistry of felsic volcanic rocks. Interpreted as Archaean paleo-rift zones, one of these runs N-S through the Eastern Goldfields Superterrane (broadly coincident with the Kurnalpi Terrane) and is associated with the high grade ca. 2690 Ma Teutonic Bore, Jaguar and Bentley deposits, plus sub-economic VHMS mineralization further south. To date, only small historic Cu occurrences (e.g. Anaconda) and barren pyritic lenses have been recognized in the older >2.7 Ga plume-dominated lower stratigraphy of the Eastern Goldfields Superterrane. The Nimbus Ag-Zn-(Au) deposit (12.1 Mt at 52 g/t Ag, 0.9% Zn and 0.2 g/t Au) is located approximately 10 km east of Kalgoorlie, near the margin of the Kurnalpi Terrane. Its origin has been contentious for a number of years, with previous models favouring seafloor/sub-seafloor VHMS mineralization or a high sulfidation fault-hosted system. We present a detailed account of the deposit, its host stratigraphy and associated hydrothermal alteration, plus two new SHRIMP U-Pb zircon ages, Pb isotope (galena), and O isotope (zircon) constraints. Compared to other VHMS occurrences in the Yilgarn Craton, the Nimbus deposit is unusual in terms of its tectono-stratigraphic position, the geochemistry of its host sequence (i.e. FI-affinity felsic volcanic rocks, ocean-plateau-like low-Th basalts), mineralogy (e.g. abundance of Ag-Sb-Pb-As bearing sulfosalts, high Hg, low Cu) and quartz-carbonate-sericite dominated alteration assemblages. Classification of Nimbus as a shallow water and low temperature VHMS deposit with epithermal characteristics (i.e. a hybrid bimodal-felsic deposit) is consistent with its position near the margin of the Kurnalpi paleo-rift zone and radiogenic μ (238U/204Pb) values. The recognition that the Nimbus deposit is associated with c. 2705 Ma plume magmatism opens new areas for VHMS exploration in the Eastern Goldfields Superterrane over a strike length exceeding 500 km.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:volcanic-hosted massive sulfide, archaean, mantle plume, subduction, greenstone, oxygen isotope
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Mineralogy and crystallography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Cas, RAF (Professor Ray Cas)
UTAS Author:Hildrew, C (Mr Christopher Hildrew)
ID Code:125395
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:CODES ARC
Deposited On:2018-04-16
Last Modified:2018-05-10

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