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Alkali metals control the release of gold from volatile-rich magmas


Zajacz, Z and Seo, JH and Candela, PA and Piccoli, PM and Heinrich, CA and Guillong, M, Alkali metals control the release of gold from volatile-rich magmas, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 297, (1-2) pp. 50-56. ISSN 0012-821X (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2010.06.002


Magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposits are a major resource of gold. Volatiles exsolving from magmas rising through the Earth's crust are the key agent for enrichment of gold in these deposits. We report the first experimental determination of gold solubilities in the magmatic volatile phases at conditions typical of most magmas associated with gold deposits (T=1000°C, P=150MPa). We show that gold hydrosulfide complexes supersede gold chloride complexes, and more importantly, that the stability of gold hydrosulfide complexes is greatly increased by the presence of minute concentrations of KCl or NaCl (0.1-0.5mol/kg H 2O). The amplifying effect of alkali chlorides on the solubility of gold in H 2S bearing volatiles may explain the preferential association of many giant hydrothermal gold deposits with high-potassium alkaline mafic to intermediate igneous rocks, which exsolve volatiles that simultaneously contain both H 2S and alkali chlorides in significant concentrations. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Igneous and metamorphic petrology
Objective Division:Mineral Resources (Excl. Energy Resources)
Objective Group:Mineral exploration
Objective Field:Precious (noble) metal ore exploration
UTAS Author:Guillong, M (Dr Marcel Guillong)
ID Code:67974
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:99
Deposited By:Centre for Ore Deposit Research - CODES CoE
Deposited On:2011-03-08
Last Modified:2011-04-08

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