Typomorphic features of placer gold from the Bystrinsky ore field with Fe-Cu-Au skarn and Mo-Cu-Au porphyry mineralization (Eastern Transbaikalia, Russia)

A. A. Savichev, P. A. Nevolko, V. V. Kolpakov, Yu O. Redin, V. P. Mokrushnikov, T. V. Svetlitskaya, V. P. Sukhorukov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Eastern Transbaikalia is one of the oldest gold-producing regions in Siberia, and for over 300 years it has been the largest source of the most important raw minerals in Russia. A large number of gold, gold-bearing complex, antimony, mercury and other mineral deposits are known within this region. The orogenic, intrusion-related, and epithermal deposits are important in the balance of gold reserves and gold production. Au-Cu-Fe-skarn deposits are located mainly in the northeastern and southeastern parts of the area, wherein the skarn Kultuma, Lugokan, and skarn- porphyry Bystrinsky deposits are the largest deposits. Herein, we studied the the Bystraya River gold placers and tributaries, which are located to the east of the Bystrinsky massif near the Bystrinsky deposit. In this study, a microchemical characterization technique was applied to gold grains to facilitate the classification of alluvial gold localities in terms of the style or styles of source mineralization, thereby permitting a comprehensive interpretation of regional gold mineralization. In total, 55 samples were collected from four placers and processed for more than 1500 analyses of the native gold. In the alluvial placers of the Bystrinsky deposit areas, weakly rounded native gold either prevails or is significantly present. A low portion of supergenically transformed of gold grains in the placers indicates that the placers formed directly from endogenous gold mineralization. The native gold from the Bystraya River catchment can be divided into 3 types and 1 subtype: (1) Cu-bearing gold grains with a fineness of 800 − 995‰, and a copper impurity of up to 0.73%; (2) Hg-bearing gold grains with a fineness of 800 − 995‰, and an impurity of Hg up to 4.68%; (2.1) Hg-poor gold grains with a fineness of 800 − 995‰, containing the same mineral microinclusions assemblages as the Type 2 gold grains; and (3) gold with a fineness of 400 − 770‰, containing up to 8.5% Hg. The distinguished types of gold grains are manifested to varying degrees at the Bystraya, Left, and Right placers. At at the Yakovlevsky placer, there is no Hg-bearing low fineness and poorly occurring Cu-bearing native gold. Comparing of the obtained data with gold grain composition data from the hypogene deposits allows us to infer bedrock sources. The Cu-bearing high-fineness type of placer gold can be compared with the Cu-bearing native gold of the Bystrinsky, Lugokan, and Kultuma deposits. Hg-bearing low-fineness placer gold grains related to erosion of the Au-bearing base metal mineralization occurred at the Novoshirokinsky and Kultuma deposits. However, Hg-bearing high-fineness gold grains, which most widely occurring in the studied placers, are absent in the in-situ mineralization. Therefore, we suppose that the bedrock source of this gold grain type is linked to the completely eroded upper levels of the Bystrinsky deposit. Thus, our study shows that it is possible to speculate on the nature of eroded material from the gold particle signature. Hense, this generic approach informs regional metallogeny in a way that even detailed field-based classical geology/geochemistry cannot.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103948
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Volume129
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Bedrock source
  • Bystrinsky deposit
  • EasternTransbaikalia
  • Placer gold
  • Typomorphism

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