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Minerals 2018, 8(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8010022

The Proterozoic Vazante Hypogene Zinc Silicate District, Minas Gerais, Brazil: A Review of the Ore System Applied to Mineral Exploration

1
Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
2
Geoscience Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo05508-010, Brazil
3
Nexa Resources, Vazante 38780-000, Minas Gerais, Brazil
4
Department of Geoscience, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
5
Instituto de Geosciências, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília 70910-900, Federal District, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geology and Mineralogy of Zn-Pb Nonsulfide Deposits)
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Abstract

The Proterozoic Vazante zinc silicate district in Minas Gerais, Brazil, hosts world-class hypogene willemite deposits in dolomitic rocks interbedded with siliciclastic rocks deposited in subtidal to supratidal environments. Willemite ore bodies are structurally controlled along regional NE-trending structures which are interpreted as being active during the Neoproterozoic Brasiliano orogeny. The hydrothermal alteration is characterized by an early stage of Fe-dolomite, which replaced the host dolomitic rocks, followed by precipitation of minor sphalerite and then hematite and willemite. Elements commonly enriched in the zinc ore include As, Ba, Be, Bi, Cd, Co, Fe, Ge, In, Mo, Ni, Sb, Se, U, V and W. Mineralogical, fluid inclusion and isotopic data indicates that mixing of S-poor metalliferous saline fluids with meteoric water favored the formation of willemite ore. Carbonaceous phyllites from the underlying thick siliciclastic sequence show evidence of early enrichment in zinc (and ore-related metals) and remobilization, respectively, prior to and during the Brasiliano orogenic event. This unit is interpreted as a possible source of ore-related elements. It is proposed that during the Brasiliano orogeny, hot (T > 170 °C) saline fluids (>15 wt % eq. NaCl) leached metals from siliciclastic source rocks and precipitated willemite ore in the overlying dolomitic sequence along structures that favored mixing with oxidizing meteoric water. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypogene zinc silicate; willemite; Proterozoic dolomitic basin; Vazante district; mineral exploration; ore system model hypogene zinc silicate; willemite; Proterozoic dolomitic basin; Vazante district; mineral exploration; ore system model
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Olivo, G.R.; Monteiro, L.V.S.; Baia, F.; Slezak, P.; Carvalho, I.; Fernandes, N.A.; Oliveira, G.D.; Botura Neto, B.; McGladrey, A.; Silva, A.M.; Moura, M.A.; Layton-Matthews, D. The Proterozoic Vazante Hypogene Zinc Silicate District, Minas Gerais, Brazil: A Review of the Ore System Applied to Mineral Exploration. Minerals 2018, 8, 22.

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