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Geochemical modeling of gold precipitation conditions in the Bloco do Butiá Mine, Lavras do Sul/Brazil

Author(s): Mexias André S. | Berger Gilles | Gomes Márcia E.B. | Formoso Milton L.L. | Dani Norberto | Frantz José C. | Bongiolo Everton M.

Journal: Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
ISSN 0001-3765

Volume: 77;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 717;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: geochemical modeling | gold | pyrite | sulfur | fluid-rock interaction

A geochemical modeling of gold deposition was performed using the EQ3/EQ6 software package using conditions inferred from geological, petrographic, geochemical and fluid inclusion data from the Bloco do Butiá gold mine, Lavras do Sul, RS. Gold in the mine occurs only in the pyrite structure (invisible gold). The pyrite occurs associated with white mica (phengite) in the zone of phyllic alteration. The process of gold deposition showed to be related to temperature and pH decrease. The pH decrease was fundamental to gold deposition by destabilization of sulfur species [Au(HS)2- , HAu(HS)2(0) and Au(HS)0] dissolved in the aqueous solution, being Au(HS)0 the main gold transporting complex. The addition of KCl is hard to accept as cause of gold precipitation because no Cl- was detected in phengite. However, the geochemical mass balance calculation resulted in the gain of some potassium in the zone of phyllic alteration. The precipitation of pyrite (? auriferous) may have been strongly influenced by iron availability resulting from dissolution of ferrous chlorites by the fluids responsible for phengite deposition. The low salinity in quartz grain fluid inclusions from the propylitized wall rock also indicates the little importance of chlorine as gold transporting agent. Sulfur, and not chlorine, compounds must have dominated the gold transporting complexes in the Bloco do Butiá gold area.
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