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Russian Geology and Geophysics

2018 year, number 8

ORE-BEARING FLUIDS OF THE ELDORADO GOLD DEPOSIT (Yenisei Ridge, Russia)

N.A. Gibsher1, A.A. Tomilenko1, A.M. Sazonov1, T.A. Bul’bak1, M.O. Khomenko1, M.A. Ryabukha1, E.O. Shaparenko1, S.A. Sil’yanov2, N.A. Nekrasova2
1V.S. Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, pr. Akademika Koptyuga 3, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
2Institute of Mining, Geology, and Geotechnology, Siberian Federal University, pr. Svobody 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041, Russia
Keywords: Quartz, gold, ore-forming fluid, hydrocarbons, δ34S, 3He/4He, Ar-Ar age

Abstract

The Eldorado low-sulfide gold-quartz deposit, with gold reserves of more than 60 tons, is located in the damage zone of the Ishimba Fault in the Yenisei Ridge and is hosted by Riphean epidote-amphibolite metamorphic rocks (Sukhoi Pit Group). Orebodies occur in four roughly parallel heavily fractured zones where rocks were subject to metamorphism under stress and heat impacts. They consist of sulfide-bearing schists with veins of gray or milky-white quartz varieties. Gray quartz predominating in gold-bearing orebodies contains graphite and amorphous carbon identified by Raman spectroscopy; the contents of gold and amorphous carbon are in positive correlation. As inferred from thermobarometry, gas chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and Raman spectroscopy of fluid inclusions in sulfides, carbonates, and gray and white quartz, gold mineralization formed under the effect of reduced H2O-CO2-HC fluids with temperatures of 180 to 490 °C, salinity of 9 to 22 wt.% NaCl eq, and pressures of 0.1 to 2.3 kbar. Judging by the presence of 11% mantle helium (3He) in fluid inclusions from quartz and the sulfur isotope composition (7.1-17.4 ‰ δ34S) of sulfides, ore-bearing fluids ascended from a mantle source along shear zones, where they «boiled». While the fluids were ascending, the metalliferous S- and N-bearing hydrocarbon (HC) compounds they carried broke down to produce crystalline sulfides, gold, and disseminated graphite and amorphous carbon (the latter imparts the gray color to quartz). Barren veins of milky-white quartz formed from oxidized mainly aqueous fluids with a salinity of <15 wt.% NaCl eq at 150-350 ºC. Chloride brines (>30 wt.% NaCl eq) at 150-260 ºC impregnated the gold-bearing quartz veins and produced the lower strata of the hydrothermal-granitoid section. The gold mineralization (795-710 Ma) was roughly coeval to local high-temperature stress metamorphism (836-745 Ma) and intrusion of the Kalama multiphase complex (880-752 Ma).