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Mineralogy and geochemistry of El Dorado epithermal gold deposit, El Sauce district, central-northern Chile

AuthorsCarrillo-Rosúa, J.; Morales, Salvador; Morata, Diego; Boyce, A. J.; Belmar, Mauricio; Fallick, A.E.; Hach-Alí, P. Fenoll
Issue DateMar-2008
CitationMineralogy and Petrology 92(3-4): 341-360 (2008)
AbstractThe El Dorado Au-Cu deposit is located in an extensive intra-caldera zone of hydrothermal alteration affecting Upper Cretaceous andesites of the Los Elquinos Formation at La Serena ( 29 470S Lat., 70 430W Long., Chile). Quartz-sulfide veins of economic potential are hosted by N25W and N20E fault structures associated with quartz-illite alteration (þsupergene kaolinite). The main ore minerals in the deposit are pyrite, chalcopyrite fahlore (As=(AsþSb): 0.06–0.98), with electrum, sphalerite, galena, bournonite-seligmanite (As=(AsþSb): 0.21–0.31), marcasite, pyrrhotite being accessory phases. Electrum, with an Ag content between 32 and 37 at.%, occurs interstitial to pyrite aggregates or along pyrite fractures. Pyrite commonly exhibits chemical zonation with some zones up to 1.96 at.% As. Electron probe microanalyses of pyrite indicate that As-rich zones do not exhibit detectable Au values. Fluid inclusion microthermometry shows homogenization temperatures between 130 and 352 C and salinities between 1.6 and 6.9 wt.% NaCl eq. Isotope data for quartz, ankerite and phyllosilicates and estimated temperatures show that 18O and D for the hydrothermal fluids were between 3 and 10ø and between 95 and 75ø, respectively. These results suggest the mineralizing fluids were a mixture of meteoric and magmatic waters. An epithermal intermediate-sulfidation model is proposed for the formation of the El Dorado deposit.
Description20 pages, 2 tables, 8 figures.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00710-007-0203-7
Appears in Collections:(IACT) Artículos
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