Special Issue "Pyrite Varieties and LA-ICP-MS Geochemistry in Ore Genesis and Exploration"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ross R. Large
Website
Guest Editor
Centre of Ore deposits research (CODES), University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
Interests: exploration of ore deposits; reconstruction of global coevolution of trace elements in sedimentary pyrite with geotectonic, metallogenic, biological and chemical events in paleoocean- atmosphere systems
Prof. Dr. Valeriy V. Maslennikov
Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Mineralogy of Ore genesis at the South Ural Centre of Mineralogy and Geoecology, Ural Branch in Russian Academy of Science, Miass, Russia
Interests: mineralogical and trace element exploration of ore deposits; comparison of ancient and modern black smokers, sulfide and ferruginous sediments, and near vent biomineralization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

You are welcome to contribute papers to Special Issue “Pyrite Varieties and LA-ICP-MS Geochemistry in Ore Genesis and Exploration”.

The chemistry of pyrite represents a potentially promising new frontier for the research and exploration of different types of ore deposits. Pyrite is an additional source of high-tech (e.g. Co, Tl) and toxic elements (e.g. As, Sb, Te), or can provide a vector for ore deposit exploration and targeting. The application of pyrite in the characterization of ore deposits and exploration vectoring requires the use of progressive modern methods like LA-ICP-MS technology in the field of ore geology. The trace elements and the study of their isotopes is key to understanding ore fluid sources, temperature of deposition and their local alteration and global evolution. Interesting research on the crystal form of pyrite, paragenetic sequences of different pyrite types, and their evolution during hydrothermal and metamorphic events has been a focus of many studies in the last century. The development of LA-ICP-MS trace element mapping of pyrite aggregates has revolutionized our understanding of metal-sulfide paragenesis and is becoming a key technique in ore deposit genesis and geometallurgy.

This Special Issue invites contributions that deal with research into pyrite varieties, including modern exploration vectoring techniques and geometallugy. Studies on the range of ore systems is welcome, including: VHMS, porphyry copper, IOCG, stratiform zinc–lead–silver, MVT zinc, stratiform copper, Carlin-type gold, Witwatersrand-type gold, orogenic gold and other ore deposits. We are inviting contributions on high-resolution and new techniques to explore and characterize the mineralogy and geochemistry of strategic and critical metals like Se, Co, Ni, Te, Au, Ag and PGE concentrated in the pyrite of ore deposits. The LA-ICP-MS study could be useful for the detection of gold and other mineral micro-inclusions and substitution forms in pyrite. These and other techniques may be also used to characterize the physical and chemical parameters of pyrite deposition and deformation. We hope that new studies may reveal the use of pyrite chemistry as a geothermometer and geofugometer.

Contributions on genetic/evolutionary models of ore deposits based on pyrite compositions are also welcome. We especially welcome contributions on the comparison of trace elements and their isotopes in the different genetic origins of pyrite, including hydrothermal, hydrothermal sedimentary, biogenic, diagenetic and metamorphic varieties. We also welcome any new data on toxic trace element (e.g., Tl, As, Sb, Hg, Bi, Mn) concentration and distribution in pyrite to elaborate new criteria for the assessment and prediction of the hazards and risks associated with ore deposit exploitation. The reconstruction of global trace element evolution is another key point for the characterization of the formation of ore deposits. Mid-ocean ridges and back-arc ridges containing areas with hydrothermal activity and black smokers are important sites for the formation of a large variety of pyrite. The role of microorganisms in the formation of pyrite could also be a contribution to this Special Issue. The correlation of conductivity and trace element concentration in pyrite is another area of interest that impacts on the geophysical response of pyrite and geometallurgical recovery.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Prof. Dr. Ross R. Large
Prof. Dr. Valeriy V. Maslennikov
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Ore deposits
  • Exploration techniques
  • Pyrite varieties
  • High-tech and toxic trace elements
  • Isotopes
  • Modern and ancient massive sulfides
  • Gold deposits
  • Chemical and biological coevolution
  • Genetic and physicochemical models

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Pyrite Varieties at Pobeda Hydrothermal Fields, Mid-Atlantic Ridge 17°07′–17°08′ N: LA-ICP-MS Data Deciphering
Minerals 2020, 10(7), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10070622 (registering DOI) - 12 Jul 2020
Abstract
The massive sulfide ores of the Pobeda hydrothermal fields are grouped into five main mineral microfacies: (1) isocubanite-pyrite, (2) pyrite-wurtzite-isocubanite, (3) pyrite with minor isocubanite and wurtzite-sphalerite microinclusions, (4) pyrite-rich with framboidal pyrite, and (5) marcasite-pyrite. This sequence reflects the transition from feeder [...] Read more.
The massive sulfide ores of the Pobeda hydrothermal fields are grouped into five main mineral microfacies: (1) isocubanite-pyrite, (2) pyrite-wurtzite-isocubanite, (3) pyrite with minor isocubanite and wurtzite-sphalerite microinclusions, (4) pyrite-rich with framboidal pyrite, and (5) marcasite-pyrite. This sequence reflects the transition from feeder zone facies to seafloor diffuser facies. Spongy, framboidal, and fine-grained pyrite varieties replaced pyrrhotite, greigite, and mackinawite “precursors”. The later coarse and fine banding oscillatory-zoned pyrite and marcasite crystals are overgrown or replaced by unzoned subhedral and euhedral pyrite. In the microfacies range, the amount of isocubanite, wurtzite, unzoned euhedral pyrite decreases versus an increasing portion of framboidal, fine-grained, and spongy pyrite and also marcasite and its colloform and radial varieties. The trace element characteristics of massive sulfides of Pobeda seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) deposit are subdivided into four associations: (1) high temperature—Cu, Se, Te, Bi, Co, and Ni; (2) mid temperature—Zn, As, Sb, and Sn; (3) low temperature—Pb, Sb, Ag, Bi, Au, Tl, and Mn; and (4) seawater—U, V, Mo, and Ni. The high contents of Cu, Co, Se, Bi, Te, and values of Co/Ni ratios decrease in the range from unzoned euhedral pyrite to oscillatory-zoned and framboidal pyrite, as well as to colloform and crystalline marcasite. The trend of Co/Ni values indicates a change from hydrothermal to hydrothermal-diagenetic crystallization of the pyrite. The concentrations of Zn, As, Sb, Pb, Ag, and Tl, as commonly observed in pyrite formed from mid- and low-temperature fluids, decline with increasing crystal size of pyrite and marcasite. Coarse oscillatory-zoned pyrite crystals contain elevated Mn compared to unzoned euhedral varieties. Framboidal pyrite hosts maximum concentrations of Mo, U, and V probably derived from ocean water mixed with hydrothermal fluids. In the Pobeda SMS deposit, the position of microfacies changes from the black smoker feeder zone at the base of the ore body, to seafloor marcasite-pyrite from diffuser fragments in sulfide breccias. We suggest that the temperatures of mineralization decreased in the same direction and determined the zonal character of deposit. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pyrite Textures, Trace Elements and Sulfur Isotope Chemistry of Bijaigarh Shales, Vindhyan Basin, India and Their Implications
Minerals 2020, 10(7), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10070588 - 29 Jun 2020
Abstract
The Vindhyan Basin in central India preserves a thick (~5 km) sequence of sedimentary and lesser volcanic rocks that provide a valuable archive of a part of the Proterozoic (~1800–900 Ma) in India. Here, we present an analysis of key sedimentary pyrite textures [...] Read more.
The Vindhyan Basin in central India preserves a thick (~5 km) sequence of sedimentary and lesser volcanic rocks that provide a valuable archive of a part of the Proterozoic (~1800–900 Ma) in India. Here, we present an analysis of key sedimentary pyrite textures and their trace element and sulfur isotope compositions in the Bijaigarh Shale (1210 ± 52 Ma) in the Vindhyan Supergroup, using reflected light microscopy, LA-ICP-MS and SHRIMP-SI, respectively. A variety of sedimentary pyrite textures (fine-grained disseminated to aggregates, framboids, lags, and possibly microbial pyrite textures) are observed reflecting quiet and strongly anoxic water column conditions punctuated by occasional high-energy events (storm incursions). Key redox sensitive or sensitive to oxidative weathering trace elements (Co, Ni, Zn, Mo, Se) and ratios of (Se/Co, Mo/Co, Zn/Co) measured in sedimentary pyrites from the Bijaigarh Shale are used to infer atmospheric redox conditions during its deposition. Most trace elements are depleted relative to Proterozoic mean values. Sulfur isotope compositions of pyrite, measured using SHRIMP-SI, show an increase in δ34S as we move up stratigraphy with positive δ34S values ranging from 5.9‰ (lower) to 26.08‰ (upper). We propose limited sulphate supply caused the pyrites to incorporate the heavier isotope. Overall, we interpret these low trace element signatures and heavy sulfur isotope compositions to indicate relatively suppressed oxidative weathering on land during the deposition of the Bijaigarh Shale. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Metalliferous Potential of Framboidal and Nodular Pyrite Varieties from the Oil-Bearing Jurassic Bazhenov Formation, Western Siberia
Minerals 2020, 10(5), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10050449 - 17 May 2020
Abstract
In the Bazhenov Formation, framboidal clusters and nodular pyrite formed in the dysoxic–anoxic interface within organic-rich sediments. Some nodule-like pyritized bituminous layers and pyrite nodules are similar to pyritized microbial mat fragments by the typical fine laminated structure. Framboidal pyrite of the Bazhenov [...] Read more.
In the Bazhenov Formation, framboidal clusters and nodular pyrite formed in the dysoxic–anoxic interface within organic-rich sediments. Some nodule-like pyritized bituminous layers and pyrite nodules are similar to pyritized microbial mat fragments by the typical fine laminated structure. Framboidal pyrite of the Bazhenov Formation is enriched in redox-sensitive elements such as Mo, V, Au, Cu, Pb, Ag, Ni, Se, and Zn in comparison with the host shales and nodular pyrite. Nodular pyrite has higher concentrations of As and Sb, only. Strong positive correlations that can be interpreted as nano-inclusions of organic matter (Mo, V, Au), sphalerite (Zn, Cd, Hg, Sn, In, Ga, Ge), galena (Pb, Bi, Sb, Te, Ag, Tl), chalcopyrite (Cu, Se) and tennantite (Cu, As, Sb, Bi, Te, Ag, Tl) and/or the substitution of Co, Ni, As and Sb into the pyrite. On the global scale, pyrite of the Bazhenov Formation is very similar to pyrite from highly metalliferous bituminous black shales, associated, as a rule, with gas and oil-and-gas deposits. Enrichment with Mo and lower Co and heavy metals indicate a higher influence of seawater during formation of pyrite from the Bazhenov Formation in comparison to different styles of ore deposits. Transitional elements such as Zn and Cu in pyrite of the Bazhenov Formation has resulted from either a unique combination of the erosion of Cu–Zn massive sulfide deposits of the Ural Mountains from one side and the simultaneous manifestation of organic-rich gas seep activity in the West Siberian Sea from another direction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Invisible Gold Paragenesis and Geochemistry in Pyrite from Orogenic and Sediment-Hosted Gold Deposits
Minerals 2020, 10(4), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10040339 - 09 Apr 2020
Abstract
LA-ICPMS analysis of pyrite in ten gold deposits is used to determine the precise siting of invisible gold within pyrite, and thus the timing of gold introduction relative to the growth of pyrite and related orogenic events. A spectrum of invisible gold relationships [...] Read more.
LA-ICPMS analysis of pyrite in ten gold deposits is used to determine the precise siting of invisible gold within pyrite, and thus the timing of gold introduction relative to the growth of pyrite and related orogenic events. A spectrum of invisible gold relationships in pyrite has been observed which suggests that, relative to orogenic pyrite growth, gold introduction in some deposits is early at the start of pyrite growth; in other deposits, it is late toward the end of pyrite growth and in a third case, it may be introduced at the intermediate stage of orogenic pyrite growth. In addition, we report a distinct chemical association of invisible gold in pyrite in the deposits studied. For example, in the Gold Quarry (Carlin type), Mt Olympus, Macraes and Konkera, the invisible gold is principally related to the arsenic content of pyrite. In contrast, in Kumtor and Geita Hill, the invisible gold is principally related to the tellurium content of pyrite. Other deposits (Golden Mile, Bendigo, Spanish Mountain, Witwatersrand Carbon Leader Reef (CLR)) exhibit both the Au-As and Au-Te association in pyrite. Some deposits of the Au-As association have late orogenic Au-As-rich rims on pyrite, which substantially increase the value of the ore. In contrast, deposits of the Au-Te association are not known to have Au-rich rims on pyrite but contain nano- to micro-inclusions of Au-Ag-(Pb-Bi) tellurides. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Authigenesis at the Urals Massive Sulfide Deposits: Insight from Pyrite Nodules Hosted in Ore Diagenites
Minerals 2020, 10(2), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10020193 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The pyrite nodules from ore diagenites of the Urals massive sulfide deposits associated with various background sedimentary rocks are studied using optical and electron microscopy and LA-ICP-MS analysis. The nodules are found in sulfide–black shale, sulfide–carbonate–hyaloclastite, and sulfide–serpentinite diagenites of the Saf’yanovskoe, Talgan, [...] Read more.
The pyrite nodules from ore diagenites of the Urals massive sulfide deposits associated with various background sedimentary rocks are studied using optical and electron microscopy and LA-ICP-MS analysis. The nodules are found in sulfide–black shale, sulfide–carbonate–hyaloclastite, and sulfide–serpentinite diagenites of the Saf’yanovskoe, Talgan, and Dergamysh deposits, respectively. The nodules consist of the core made up of early diagenetic fine-crystalline (grained) pyrite and the rim (±intermediate zone) composed of late diagenetic coarse-crystalline pyrite. The nodules are replaced by authigenic sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galena, and fahlores (Saf’yanovskoe), sphalerite, chalcopyrite and galena (Talgan), and pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite (Dergamysh). They exhibit specific accessory mineral assemblages with dominant galena and fahlores, various tellurides and Co–Ni sulfoarsenides in sulfide-black shale, sulfide–hyaloclastite–carbonate, and sulfide-serpentinite diagenites, respectively. The core of nodules is enriched in trace elements in contrast to the rim. The nodules from sulfide–black shale diagenites are enriched in most trace elements due to their effective sorption by associated organic-rich sediments. The nodules from sulfide–carbonate–hyaloclastite diagenites are rich in elements sourced from seawater, hyaloclastites and copper–zinc ore clasts. The nodules from sulfide–serpentinite diagenites are rich in Co and Ni, which are typical trace elements of ultramafic rocks and primary ores from the deposit. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Typomorphic Characteristics of Pyrites from the Shuangwang Gold Deposit, Shaanxi, China: Index to Deep Ore Exploration
Minerals 2019, 9(6), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9060383 - 25 Jun 2019
Abstract
The large Shuangwang gold deposit (>80 t gold) is located in the Western Qinling Orogen (WQO) of central China. It is an orogenic-type gold deposit hosted in an NW-extending breccia belt in the Devonian Xinghongpu Formation. Gold mineralization of the Shuangwang deposit is [...] Read more.
The large Shuangwang gold deposit (>80 t gold) is located in the Western Qinling Orogen (WQO) of central China. It is an orogenic-type gold deposit hosted in an NW-extending breccia belt in the Devonian Xinghongpu Formation. Gold mineralization of the Shuangwang deposit is featured by hydrothermal breccia ores with strata fragments cemented by hydrothermal minerals dominated by ankerite, quartz, and pyrite with minor amounts of calcite and albite. Pyrite is the major gold-hosting sulfide and the most abundant ore mineral. Crystal habits, thermoelectricity, and trace-element composition of pyrites from the main ore-forming stage of the Shuangwang gold deposit were studied by microbinocular, BHTE-06 thermoelectric coefficient measuring instrument, and high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HR-ICP-MS). Spatial distribution of the above data for pyrites was delineated by contour maps of morphology index, P-type frequency, and primary halo elements (e.g., supraore halo elements Ba and Sb; near-ore halo elements Pb, Zn, and Cu; and subore halo elements Co, Mo, and Bi). Based on the above results, four target areas (areas between prospecting lines 0 and 1, between lines 14 and 18 below orebody KT9; areas between prospecting lines 30 and 34, between lines 44 and 46 below orebody KT8) were put forward for deep gold exploration in the future. These targets are consistent with the depth extrapolation of proven gold orebodies, indicating the practicality of typomorphic characterization of pyrites as vector to deep/concealed gold orebodies. The effectiveness of the pyrite typomorphic parameter for deep gold prediction seems to be chemical composition, crystal habits, and then thermoelectricity. Full article
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