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  • The Qiyugou gold deposit, located in the Xiong’ ershan area of the North China Craton, contains abundant bismuth-sulfosalts that are closely associated with gold mineralization. Pyrite is the dominant Au-hosted mineral, and has been formed in three generations (Py1, Py2, and Py3). Py1 grains, generally intergrown with milky quartz, are coarse (>1 mm), euhedral in shape, and Au-depleted in composition. In contrast, subhedral Py2 grains, associated with light gray quartz, are medium to coarse (0.2–3 mm) and are enriched in gold that is both invisible and visible. Py3 grains (0.1–0.5 mm), intergrown with abundant sulfide minerals, are relatively fine and Au-depleted. The time-resolved LA-ICP-MS depth profiles of the Py2 grains indicate that invisible gold occurs as either solid solution or nano-particles of native gold and electrum. Visible gold occurs as small blebs in the Py2 grains where inclusions of native bismuth, galenobismutite, lillianite homologs, tetradymite, and galena are also present. In addition, it is common that electrum in microfracture infillings or along grain boundaries of the Py1 and Py2, are intergrown with bismuthinite derivatives, Bi-Cu sulfosalts, emplectite, tetradymite, chalcopyrite, galena, and Py3. Based on textural relationships and mineral assemblages, calculation of physicochemical conditions show that gold was formed in conditions of fTe2 = ~10−11 and fS2 = ~10−11 to 10−12 for Py2, and fTe2 = ~10−9 to 10-11and fS2 = ~10−10 to 10−11 for Py3. We thus proposed that such physicochemical conditions may have triggered the precipitation of Bi melt, and sulfidation driven by cooling or increase in sulfur content results in the transformation of the Au-Bi liquid into a stable assemblage of native gold and bismuthinite. These bismuth minerals are associated with native gold/Au-bearing minerals, indicating that the Au mineralization of the Qiyugou gold deposit might be genetically associated with Bi melt. The present study highlights the role of Bi as important gold scavengers in arsenic-deficient ore-forming fluid.

Last update from database: 4/22/24, 12:37 AM (UTC)


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