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Geochemistry of pyritic mudstones from the Singa formation, Malaysia: insights into gold potential, source of sulfur and organic matter


Makoundi, C and Endut, Z and Large, RR and Zaw, K and Lounejeva, E and Leman, MS and Mohamed, KR and Basori, MB, Geochemistry of pyritic mudstones from the Singa formation, Malaysia: insights into gold potential, source of sulfur and organic matter, Geosciences, 11, (7) Article 279. ISSN 2076-3263 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright: © 2021 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/geosciences11070279


Major trace element analyses, including pyrite chemistry of pyritic mudstones of shallow-marine Singa Formation of Pennsylvanian–Early Permian age have been carried out to assess gold potential, the source of sulfur and organic matter. Regionally, Singa Formation spatially correlates with the Bohorok Formation (Sumatra, Indonesia), the Kaeng Krachang group (Thailand), and the Lebyin group (Burma or Myanmar). In Southeast Asia, this formation is important because it has a record of glacial processes that occurred along the northern margin of Gondwana in the Late Paleozoic age. This study has revealed that mudstones of the Singa Formation, which contain lonestones of glacial origin, deposited under suboxic–oxic conditions in shallow marine environment during Pennsylvanian–Early Permian time. The black mudstones contain total organic carbon which ranges from 0.1 to 0.7 wt.%, and gold content varying from 40 to 62 ppb, making them gold source rocks. This study has revealed diagenetic gold presence in the early pyrite generations (pyrites 1, 2, and 3) in these mudstones with gold content ranging up to 1.6 ppm Au which is indicative of early enrichment of gold. Conversely, late generations of pyrite (pyrites 4, 5, and 6) in these mudstones record low gold content up to 0.5 ppm Au. The δ34S values for pyrite grains range from −24.6‰ to +6.2‰ likely indicate a combination of magmatic and biogenic source of sulfur. Organic carbon isotope composition of the pebbly mudstone samples shows a wide range from −23.9‰ to −5.8‰ indicating a mixed terrestrial and marine source.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gold, source rock, X-ray fluorescence analysis, geochemistry, Malaysia
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geochemistry
Research Field:Exploration geochemistry
Objective Division:Mineral Resources (Excl. Energy Resources)
Objective Group:Mineral exploration
Objective Field:Mineral exploration not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Makoundi, C (Mr Charles Makoundi)
UTAS Author:Large, RR (Professor Ross Large)
UTAS Author:Zaw, K (Professor Khin Zaw)
UTAS Author:Lounejeva, E (Ms Elena Lounejeva)
ID Code:145194
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:CODES ARC
Deposited On:2021-07-08
Last Modified:2021-09-29

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