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Geological setting and timing of the Chah Zard breccia-hosted epithermal gold-silver deposit in the Tethyan belt of Iran


Kouhestani, H and Ghaderi, M and Zaw, K and Meffre, S and Emami, MH, Geological setting and timing of the Chah Zard breccia-hosted epithermal gold-silver deposit in the Tethyan belt of Iran, Mineralium Deposita: International Journal of Geology, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry of Mineral Deposits, 47, (4) pp. 425-440. ISSN 0026-4598 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 Springer-Verlag

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00126-011-0382-3


The breccia-hosted epithermal gold–silver deposit of Chah Zard is located within a high-K, calc-alkaline andesitic to rhyolitic volcanic complex in the central part of the Urumieh-Dokhtar Magmatic Arc (UDMA), west central Iran. The total measured resource for Chah Zard is ∼2.5 million tonnes of ore at 12.7 g/t Ag and 1.7 g/t Au (28.6 t Ag, 3.8 t Au), making it one of the largest epithermal gold deposits in Iran. Magmatic and hydrothermal activity was associated with local extensional tectonics in a strike-slip regime formed in transtensional structures of the Dehshir-Baft strike-slip fault system. The host rocks of the volcanic complex consist of Eocene sedimentary and volcanic rocks covered by Miocene sedimentary rocks. LA-ICP–MS U–Pb zircon geochronology yields a mean age of 6.2±0.2 Ma for magmatic activity at Chah Zard. This age represents the maximum age of mineralization and may indicate a previously unrecognized mineralization event in the UDMA. Breccias and veins formed during and after the waning stages of explosive brecciation events due to shallow emplacement of rhyolite porphyry. Detailed systematic mapping leads to the recognition of three distinct breccia bodies: volcaniclastic breccia with a dominantly clastic matrix; gray polymict breccia with a greater proportion of hydrothermal cement; and mixed monomict to polymict breccia with clay matrix. The polymictic breccias generated bulk-mineable ore, whereas the volcaniclastic breccia is relatively impermeable and largely barren. Precious metals occur with sulfide and sulfosalt minerals as disseminations, as well as in the veins and breccia cements. There is a progression from pyrite-dominated (stage 1) to pyrite-base metal sulfide and sulfosalt-dominated (stages 2 and 3) to base metal sulfide-dominated (stage 4) breccias and veins. Hydrothermal alteration and deposition of gangue minerals progressed from illite-quartz to quartz-adularia, carbonate, and finally gypsum-dominated assemblages. Free gold occurs in stages 2 and 4, principally intergrown with pyrite, quartz, chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite, and Ag-rich tennantite–tetrahedrite, and also as inclusions in pyrite. High Rb/Sr ratios in ore-grade zones are closely related to sericite and adularia alteration. Positive correlations of Au and Ag with Cu, As, Pb, Zn, Sb, and Cd in epithermal veins and breccias suggest that all these elements are related to the same mineralization event.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Epithermal gold . Breccia .U–Pb geochronology. Hydrothermal alteration . Chah Zard . Iran
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Resource geoscience
Objective Division:Mineral Resources (Excl. Energy Resources)
Objective Group:Mineral exploration
Objective Field:Copper ore exploration
UTAS Author:Zaw, K (Professor Khin Zaw)
UTAS Author:Meffre, S (Professor Sebastien Meffre)
ID Code:74816
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Centre for Ore Deposit Research - CODES CoE
Deposited On:2011-12-14
Last Modified:2013-04-03
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