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Petrology, geochemistry and U-Pb geochronology of magmatic rocks from the high-sulfidation epithermal Au-Cu Chelopech deposit, Srednogorie zone, Bulgaria


Chambefort, I and Mortiz, R and von Quadt, A, Petrology, geochemistry and U-Pb geochronology of magmatic rocks from the high-sulfidation epithermal Au-Cu Chelopech deposit, Srednogorie zone, Bulgaria, Mineralium Deposita, 42, (7) pp. 665-690. ISSN 0026-4598 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00126-007-0126-6


The Chelopech deposit is one of the largest European gold deposits and is located 60 km east of Sofia, within the northern part of the Panagyurishte mineral district. It lies within the Banat'Srednegorie metallogenic belt, which extends from Romania through Serbia to Bulgaria. The magmatic rocks define a typical calc-alkaline suite. The magmatic rocks surrounding the Chelopech deposit have been affected by propylitic, quartz-sericite, and advanced argillic alteration, but the igneous textures have been preserved. Alteration processes have resulted in leaching of Na2O, CaO, P2O5, and Sr and enrichment in K2O and Rb. Trace element variation diagrams are typical of subduction-related volcanism, with negative anomalies in high field strength elements (HFSE) and light element, lithophile elements. HFSE and rare earth elements were relatively immobile during the hydrothermal alteration related to ore formation. Based on immobile element classification diagrams, the magmatic rocks are andesitic to dacitic in compositions. Single zircon grains, from three different magmatic rocks spanning the time of the Chelopech magmatism, were dated by high-precision U-Pb geochronology. Zircons of an altered andesitic body, which has been thrust over the deposit, yield a concordant 206Pb/238U age of 92.21±0.21 Ma. This age is interpreted as the crystallization age and the maximum age for magmatism at Chelopech. Zircon analyses of a dacitic dome-like body, which crops out to the north of the Chelopech deposit, give a mean 206Pb/238U age of 91.95±28 Ma. Zircons of the andesitic hypabyssal body hosting the high-sulfidation mineralization and overprinted by hydrothermal alteration give a concordant 206Pb/238U age of 91.45±0.15 Ma. This age is interpreted as the intrusion age of the andesite and as the maximum age of the Chelopech epithermal high-sulfidation deposit. 176Hf/177Hf isotope ratios of zircons from the Chelopech magmatic rocks, together with published data on the Chelopech area and the about 92-Ma-old Elatsite porphyry-Cu deposit, suggest two different magma sources in the Chelopech-Elatsite magmatic area. Magmatic rocks associated with the Elatsite porphyry-Cu deposit and the dacitic dome-like body north of Chelopech are characterized by zircons with εHfT90 values of ∼5, which suggest an important input of mantle-derived magma. Some zircons display lower εHfT90 values, as low as -6, and correlate with increasing 206Pb/ 238U ages up to about 350 Ma, suggesting assimilation of basement rocks during magmatism. In contrast, zircon grains in andesitic rocks from Chelopech are characterized by homogeneous 176Hf/ 177Hf isotope ratios with εHfT90 values of ∼1 and suggest a homogeneous mixed crust-mantle magma source. We conclude that the Elatsite porphyry-Cu and the Chelopech high-sulfidation epithermal deposits were formed within a very short time span and could be partly contemporaneous. However, they are related to two distinct upper crustal magmatic reservoirs, and they cannot be considered as a genetically paired porphyry-Cu and high-sulfidation epithermal related to a single magmatic-hydrothermal system centered on the same intrusion. © Springer-Verlag 2007.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Geochronology
Objective Division:Mineral Resources (Excl. Energy Resources)
Objective Group:Mineral exploration
Objective Field:Precious (noble) metal ore exploration
UTAS Author:Chambefort, I (Dr Isabelle Chambefort)
ID Code:52904
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:Centre for Ore Deposit Research - CODES CoE
Deposited On:2008-10-09
Last Modified:2008-10-09

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