Disseminated gold–sulfide mineralization at the Zhaima deposit, eastern Kazakhstan

K. R. Kovalev, O. N. Kuzmina, B. A. Dyachkov, A. G. Vladimirov, Yu A. Kalinin, E. A. Naumov, M. V. Kirillov, I. Yu Annikova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The Zhaima gold–sulfide deposit is located in the northwestern part of the West Kalba gold belt in eastern Kazakhstan. The mineralization is hosted in Lower Carboniferous volcanic and carbonate rocks formed under conditions of marginal-sea and island-arc volcanic activity. The paper considers the mineralogy and geochemistry of primary gold–sulfide ore and Au-bearing weathering crusts. Au-bearing arsenopyrite–pyrite mineralization formed during only one productive stage. Disseminated, stringer–disseminated, and massive rocks are enriched in Ti, Cr, V, Cu, and Ni, which correspond to the mafic profile of basement. The main ores minerals are represented by finely acicular arsenopyrite containing Au (up to few tens of ppm) and cubic and pentagonal dodecahedral pyrite with sporadic submicroscopic inclusions of native gold. The sulfur isotopic composition of sulfides is close to that of the meteoritic standard (δ34S =–0.2 to +0.2). The 40Ar/39Ar age of three sericite samples from ore veinlets corresponds to the Early Permian: 279 ± 3.3, 275.6 ± 2.9, and 272.2 ± 2.9 Ma. The mantle source of sulfur, ore geochemistry, and spatial compatibility of mineralization with basic dikes allow us to speak about the existence of deep fluid–magmatic systems apparently conjugate with the Tarim plume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-133
Number of pages18
JournalGeology of Ore Deposits
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


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