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The Tjårrojåkka apatite-iron and Cu (-Au) deposits, northern Sweden :products of one ore forming event

by Edfelt, Åsa, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
The Tjårrojåkka area is located about 50 km WSW of Kiruna, northern Sweden, and hosts one of the best examples of spatially related apatite-iron (Kiruna type) and Cu (-Au) deposits in Sweden. The results from this project show that the two deposits are genetically related and indicate the presence of a younger, previously unknown, 1780 Ma generation of apatite- iron ores in northern Sweden. The bedrock in the Tjårrojåkka area is dominated by intermediate and basic extrusive and intrusive rocks. The 1880 Ma intermediate volcanic rocks, belonging to the Porphyrite Group, formed in association with subduction- related magmatism in a volcanic arc environment close to the Archaean continental margin. The overlying basalts and related feeder dykes formed through extrusion of mantle derived magma during a local extensional event in a subaquatic back arc setting. The area was metamorphosed at epidote- amphibolite facies and deformed during at least three stages, creating NE- SW, E-W, and NNW-SSE striking structures. The Tjårrojåkka deposits can be considered as belonging to the Fe-oxide-Cu- Au (IOCG) group of deposits representing two "end-members" of the class. Several generations and overlapping hydrothermal alteration stages indicate a long, complex history of fluid activity between 1780 and 1700 Ma related to the formation and post ore modification of the deposits. The strongly altered host rock shows enrichment of alkalis related to mineralisation due to the formation of albite, scapolite, and K-feldspar. It is not obvious whether the massive part of the apatite-iron ore formed from an iron rich melt or through hydrothermal replacement, but a hydrothermal system was active at least at a late stage during the deposition of the iron ore, producing the apatite-magnetite-actinolite breccia, the copper mineralisation, as well as the extensive hydrothermal alterations. The ore forming fluids were CO2-bearing, moderately to highly saline CaCl2- NaCl-rich fluids of most likely magmatic origin. The magnetite ore deposited at around 500 to 650°C followed by the copper mineralisation between 150 and 450°C. Cooling along with decrease in salinity were important factors for metal precipitation at Tjårrojåkka. A NE trending shear zone acted as a major fluid channel and a structurally favourable location for the deposition of the copper (-gold) mineralisation. From apatite chemistry, it is evident that there is a fundamental difference between typical Kiruna type apatite-iron ores and copper mineralised apatite-iron deposits of IOCG character and could potentially be used as a tool for distinguishing copper mineralising apatite-iron systems from barren.
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School:Luleå tekniska universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

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Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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