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TitleControls on groundwater selenium, arsenic and base metals in groundwater around a selenium-bearing volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit: constraints from stable isotopes, trace elements, and redox controls
AuthorLeybourne, M IORCID logo; Layton-Matthews, DORCID logo; Peter, J MORCID logo; Kidder, J AORCID logo
SourceGeochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis vol. 22, 2022 p. 1-20,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210383
PublisherGeological Society of London
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Lat/Long WENS-136.0000 -128.0000 64.0000 60.0000
Subjectsgeochemistry; groundwater; selenium; selenium geochemistry; isotopes; stable isotope studies; mineral exploration
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs; plots; tables
Released2022 03 03
AbstractUnderstanding the controls on the behaviour of metalloids (Se, As) and metals (Cu, Zn, Pb) in natural aqueous systems is vital to interpreting hydrogeochemical data in environmental and mineral exploration applications. Geochemical, isotopic and redox measurements of a suite of groundwaters sampled from around the ABM zone of the Kudz Ze Kayah (KZK) volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposit in the Yukon, Canada are presented and contrasted with other case studies from a variety of mineral deposit types. This deposit has atypically high As (up to 4.3 wt%, average 2457 ppm) and Se (up to 2620 ppm, average 157 ppm) contents in the sulfide mineralization. As a relatively undisturbed deposit (unmined), it is an ideal site to study the mobility and solubility of trace metals in groundwaters. Herein we present field measurements (pH, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, oxidation-reduction potential and temperature), major ion, trace element, anion (Cl, Br, SO4, PO4), and stable isotope (d2H, d13CDIC, d18O, d18OSO4, d34S) data. Waters are dominantly low-salinity HCO3 to HCO3-SO4-type waters with variable sulfate (4.83 to 601 mg l-1), Ca (23- 235 mg l-1) Mg (3.1-96.8 mg l-1), Na (0.30-66.9 mg l-1) and K (0.55 to 6.25 mg l-1) concentrations. These waters also have variable trace element concentrations that include As (0.01 to 148 ug l-1), Se (<0.02 to 1.01 ug l-1), Fe (0.01 to 3.84 mg l-1), Zn (<0.2 to 1070 ug l-1), Pb (<0.01 to 8.4 ug l-1), Cu (0.03 and 24.5 ug l-1) and Sb (0.01 to 54.4 ug l-1). Some waters also have elevated concentrations (compared to most meteoric waters) of Nb (up to 0.3 ug l-1), Y (up to 1.42 ug l-1), Zr (up to 18 ug l-1), and the rare-earth elements (REEs) (REE up to 2.04 ug l-1). The d18O (-22.8 to -20.9 per mil) and d2H (-174 to -158 per mil), together with the d13CDIC (-10.6 to +1.9 per mil), d34S (+10 to +12 per mil) and d18OSO4 (15.5 to -4.75 per mil) all suggest that local meteoric water has interacted with massive sulfide mineralization at the ABMzone. Our results demonstrate the requirement for the use of multiple techniques in hydrogeochemical studies, with dissolved concentrations of major and trace elements coupled with a suite of stable isotopes that help define a larger geochemical footprint for the KZK deposit. Water-mineral interaction between groundwater aquifers and VMS deposits like the ABM zone are distinctly different from dispersion halos described from other deposit types (i.e. Cu porphyry, unconformity U).
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Groundwaters collected from around the Kudz Ze Kayah VMS deposit in Yukon. The tracing of element dispersion in groundwaters from base metal deposits is greatly improved using multiple analytical approaches, including major and trace element geochemistry and stable isotopes

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