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High-temperature gold-copper extraction with chloride flux in lava tubes of Tolbachik volcano (Kamchatka)


Kamenetsky, VS and Belousov, A and Sharygin, VV and Zhitova, LM and Ehrig, K and Zelenski, ME and Chaplygin, I and Yudovskaya, MA and Nesterenko, PN and Zakharov, SM, High-temperature gold-copper extraction with chloride flux in lava tubes of Tolbachik volcano (Kamchatka), Terra Nova, 31, (6) pp. 511-517. ISSN 0954-4879 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/ter.12420


Subvolcanic environments in supra-subduction zones are renowned for hosting epithermal deposits that often contain electrum and native gold, including bonanza examples. This study examined mineral assemblages and processes occurring in shallow-crust volcanic settings using recent eruption (2012"2013) of the basaltic Tolbachik volcano in the Kamchatka arc. The Tolbachik eruptive system is characterized by an extensive system of lava tubes. After cessation of magma input, the tubes maintained the flow of hot oxidized gases that episodically interacted with the lava surfaces and sulphate-chloride precipitates from volcanic gases on these surfaces. The gas-rock interaction had strong pyrometamorphic effects that resulted in the formation of molten salt, oxidized (tenorite, hematite, Cu-rich magnesioferrite) and skarn-like silicate mineral assemblages. By analogy with experimental studies, we propose that a combination of these processes was responsible for extraction of metals from the basaltic wall rocks and deposition of Cu-, Fe- and Cu-Fe-oxides and native gold.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Tolbachik volcano, lava tubes, chloride melt, gold, tenorite, gas-rock interaction
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Volcanology
Objective Division:Mineral Resources (Excl. Energy Resources)
Objective Group:Mineral exploration
Objective Field:Precious (noble) metal ore exploration
UTAS Author:Kamenetsky, VS (Professor Vadim Kamenetsky)
ID Code:134736
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:CODES ARC
Deposited On:2019-08-31
Last Modified:2020-05-01

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