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TitleIron-oxide trace element fingerprinting of iron oxide copper-gold and iron oxide-apatite deposits: a review
AuthorHuang, X W; Beaudoin, G; De Toni, A F; Corriveau, LORCID logo; Makvandi, S; Boutroy, E
SourceMineral systems with iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) and affiliated deposits; Geological Association of Canada, Short Course Notes no. 52, 2022 p. 347-364
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20190058
PublisherGeological Association of Canada
File formatpdf
SubjectsScience and Technology; Nature and Environment; metallic minerals; iron oxides; gold; copper; mineral deposits
Illustrationsdiagrams; cross-plots
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-5) Uranium ore systems
Released2022 07 01
AbstractIron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) and iron oxide-apatite (IOA) deposits are two important deposit types formed in iron oxide and alkali-calcic alteration ore systems. They are important copper, gold, uranium, rare earths and iron resources. These deposits are commonly spatially and temporally associated with one another (e.g. Chilean Iron Belt and Canadian Great Bear magmatic zone), are characterized by significant amounts of magnetite and/or hematite, and form within systems with the same alteration facies (Na, high-temperature Ca-Fe, and K-Fe, and low-temperature K-Fe). Magnetite and hematite form a wide range of partial to complete solid-solutions, are resistant to supergene weathering, and their trace element chemistry vary according to deposit types/subtypes and host alteration facies (barren and fertile). They thus have significant potential as a mineral exploration tool. Temporal and spatial variations of trace elements in iron oxides at the mineral, paragenesis and deposit scale can shed light on fluid evolution and thus help understand ore-forming processes especially when combined with studies of iron, oxygen, and osmium isotopes of iron oxides and associated minerals. However, recent research demonstrates that iron oxides can reequilibrate during metasomatism through coupled dissolution-reprecipitation processes and as such, rocks affected by distinct alteration facies can have iron oxides with mixed signatures. As alteration facies are best assessed at the megascopic scale, in situ chemical analysis of iron oxides needs to be combined with detailed textural characterization and paragenetic studies at the thin section to outcrop scale. Future work on iron oxide fingerprinting should include the discrimination of ore-related and barren alteration facies and linking iron oxide chemistry with physical properties related to geophysical exploration.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This scientific paper is a chapter for the Short course Note 21 volume of the Geological Association of Canada. The chapter is realised as part of a project from Laval University to which the Geological Survey of Canada collaborates. The chapter synthesises known relationships between trace element chemistry of magnetite and host alteration types and deposit subtypes and the discrimination diagrams available for mineral exploration and process studies. The research optimises results from the Uranium systems project of the Targeted Geoscience Initiative.

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