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Gold and metal enrichment in natural granitic melts during fractional crystallization

Citation

Mustard, R and Ulrich, T and Kamenetsky, VS and Mernagh, T, Gold and metal enrichment in natural granitic melts during fractional crystallization, Geology, 34, (2) pp. 85-88. ISSN 0091-7613 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1130/G22141.1

Abstract

Metal evolution in a composite granitic pluton was tracked by analyzing melt inclusions in 11 quartz samples from 7 zones at the Timbarra gold deposit, Australia. We present the first quantitative microanalyses of gold (Au) in granitic silicate melt inclusions using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometry and show how Au and other metals become enriched during fractional crystallization in a granite intrusion. Au was enriched during fractionation from a monzogranite to a highly fractionated alkali-feldspar granite. Similar enrichment behavior for other metals implies that no gold-enriched precursor melt is required and fractional crystallization can enrich the Au concentration to economic levels. The low content of accessory oxides and sulfides, the absence of early Cl-bearing fluids, the volatile content in the melt, and a prolonged crystallization constitute important factors for extensive metal enrichment during crystal fractionation. These characteristics play a crucial role in felsic, highly fractionated plutons and their associated deposits such as intrusion-related Au deposits. The gold enrichment during fractionation also implies that Au is directly sourced from the granites. © 2006 Geological Society of America.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Ore Deposit Petrology
Objective Division:Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources)
Objective Group:Mineral Exploration
Objective Field:Precious (Noble) Metal Ore Exploration
Author:Kamenetsky, VS (Professor Vadim Kamenetsky)
ID Code:43376
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:38
Deposited By:Centre for Ore Deposit Research - CODES CoE
Deposited On:2006-08-01
Last Modified:2007-05-02
Downloads:0

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