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Genesis and tectonic setting of the hypozonal Fäboliden orogenic gold deposit, northern Sweden

by Bark, Glenn

Abstract (Summary)
The well-known Skellefte Ore District, northern Sweden, hosts a large number of massive sulphide deposits, a few porphyry-type-deposits and a number of gold deposits in different geological settings. Southwest of this district a new ore province, the so called Gold Line, is presently being uncovered. During the past decade a number of gold occurrences have been discovered in this area. Only one deposit is in production, the Svartliden gold deposit (2 Mton at 4.3 ppm Au). However, with regards to tonnage the Fäboliden gold deposit stands out with a known mineral resource of c. 16 Mton with 1.33 ppm Au. Additional 24.5 Mton with 1.5 ppm Au is indicated down to a depth of 350 m. The late- to post-orogenic, c. 1.81-1.77 Ga, Revsund granite constitutes the main rock type in the Fäboliden area and surrounds a narrow belt of metavolcanic rocks and metagreywackes. The metasedimentary rocks are strongly deformed, within a roughly N-S trending subvertical shear zone, with boudinaged competent horizons that indicate E-W shortening and a suggested dextral sense of shear within the shear zone. The mineralization at Fäboliden constitutes a 30-50 m wide, N-S striking, steeply dipping ore zone. The mineralization is commonly hosted in arsenopyrite-bearing quartz-veins, which parallel the main foliation, within the metagreywackes in the shear zone. The fine-grained (2-40 µm) gold is closely associated with arsenopyrite-löllingite and stibnite and found in fissures and as intergrowths in the arsenopyrite-löllingite. Gold is also seen as free grains in the silicate matrix of the metagreywacke host rock. Microprobe analysis shows that the gold occurs as electrum (Au:Ag 2:1). The proximal ore zone display enrichment in Ca, total S, As, Ag, Au, Sb, Sn, W, Pb, Bi, Cd, Se, and Hg, whereas K and Na are slightly depleted. The hydrothermal alteration assemblage in the proximal ore zone is diopside, calcic amphibole, biotite, and minor andalusite and tourmaline. This type of assemblage is commonly recognized in hypozonal orogenic gold deposits worldwide. The c. 1.3 km long ore body (lode) is steeply dipping and known to a depth of 150 m, with a few deeper boreholes indicating a continuation of the mineralization towards depth. The mineralization is also open towards north and south. The fabric that hosts the mineralization is also found in the outer margin of the surrounding Revsund granite. It is therefore suggested that at least the final stages of the gold mineralization are late- or post-orogenic in age, and the maximum age for the mineralization is constrained at c. 1.80 Ga (Revsund age). The mineralizing fluids were composed of CO2-CH4-H2S. Gold, arsenopyrite- löllingite, and graphite were precipitated from this fluid. The crystal structure of the graphite, enclosed in the gold related quartz veins, indicates a maximum temperature of 520-560ºC for the mineralizing event, temperature conditions equal to mid-amphibolite facies. These temperatures indicate pressure conditions of c. 4 kbar for the mineralizing event. During deformation mineralizing fluids are often concentrated into deformation zones. Therefore, the potential for economic mineralization in the Lycksele-Storuman region is regarded as very high since the initial results from this project have indicated the existence of several larger ductile to semi-ductile shear zones and accompanied silica alteration in the studied area. During 2004 the project strongly assisted in locating a new gold target in the Gold Line area. For more effective future exploration in this area a better understanding of the structural conditions and evolution is a key factor.
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School:Luleå tekniska universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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