Mineralogy, fluid inclusion, and C-O-sr isotope geochemistry to unravel the evolution of the magmatic-hydrothermal system at the igoudrane silver-rich deposit (imiter district, eastern anti-atlas, morocco)

Mamadoudjan Diallo, Mohammed Bouabdellah, Gilles Levresse, Johan Yans, Francesca Castorina, Andreas Klügel, Mohamed Mouhagir, Salim El Mouden, Lhou Maacha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Igoudrane mine with a total production of 700,000 t of ore grading 485 g/t Ag is currently one of the most productive mines in the Imiter district of the eastern Anti-Atlas in Morocco. The silver-rich ± base metal deposit occurs dominantly as vein- and hydrothermal breccia-hosted orebodies at the interface between the lower Ediacaran turbidites of the Saghro Group and the unconformably overlying, dominantly felsic volcanic, and volcaniclastic rocks of the late Ediacaran Ouarzazate Group. Higher-grade ores are lithologically hosted by the uppermost organic-rich black shale unit and structurally controlled by the intersection of subvertical NW- and NE-trending fault systems. Ore-related hydrothermal alteration includes, in order of decreasing abundance, carbonatization, silicification, sericitization, and chloritization. Three primary paragenetic stages of veining and associated silver ± base metal mineralization have been recognized: (1) early pyrite + quartz + Ag-bearing sulfides and sulfosalts; (2) main Ag-bearing sulfides and sulfosalts + calcite ± fluorite ± dolomite; and (3) late quartz + calcite + base-metal sulfides (galena, sphalerite, pyrite, chalcopyrite). Irrespective of the ore stage, the dominant Ag-bearing ore minerals are Ag-Hg amalgam, argentite, freibergite, acanthite, polybasite, pyrargyrite, and proustite. Fluid inclusion data show a trend of decreasing temperatures with time, from the main silver stage (Th = 180 ± 12 °C) to late base-metal stage (Th = 146 ± 7 °C), consistent with fluid mixing, cooling, and/or dilution. The coexistence of aqueous-rich and vapor-rich fluid inclusions together with variations in bulk salinity (NaCl + CaCl2) of the mineralizing fluids during the main silver stage, at similar temperatures, indicate that boiling and subsequent degassing occurred during the main ore-forming event due to a pressure decrease. Calculated δ18Ofluid values along with REE+Y and Sr isotope constraints suggest that the ore-forming fluids originated from a predominantly magmatic source, although incursion of meteoric waters during collapse of the hydrothermal system could have contributed to deposition. The post-ore, base-metal quartz-carbonate-dominated mineralization was deposited from dilute Ca-Na-Cl-bearing fluids at temperature below 150 °C. Overall, fluid-rock interaction with the black shales along major faults and thin permeable horizons, boiling-degassing-with subsequent fluid mixing, cooling, and/or dilution-were the main mechanisms of silver deposition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number997
JournalMinerals
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Anti-atlas (morocco)
  • Boilingcooling- fluid mixing
  • C-O-Sr isotope geochemistry
  • Fluid inclusion
  • Igoudrane silver-rich deposit

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