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Prof. Basem Ahmed Zoheir :: Publications:

Genesis of the Abu Marawat gold deposit, central Eastern Desert of Egypt
Authors: Zoheir, B.A, Akawy, A.
Year: 2010
Keywords: Not Available
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Issue: Not Available
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Local/International: International
Paper Link: Not Available
Full paper Basem Ahmed Zoheir_Abu Marawat, JAES_2010.pdf
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Gold mineralisation at the Abu Marawat mine, central Eastern Desert of Egypt, is related to a system of massive and sheared, milky quartz veins cutting a sequence of Neoproterozoic island arc metavolcanic/ volcaniclastic rocks and related banded iron formation (BIF). Sulphide-bearing quartz veins and related hydrothermal breccia bodies display a range of textures including sheared, boudinaged and recrystallised quartz, open space filling and microbreccia. These variable textures imply a complex history of crack-seal mechanism characterising the relation between mineral deposition and a major N–S-trending shear zone, during a late brittle–ductile deformation event which affected the area at about 550 Ma. Gold-base metal mineralisation is associated with brecciation and fracturing of the iron ore bands, close to silicified shears and related quartz veins. The auriferous quartz lodes are characterised by the occurrence of visible pyrite– chalcopyrite ± pyrrhotite ± sphalerite ± galena mineralisation. Gold is refractory in pyrite and chalcopyrite, but rare visible gold/electrum and telluride specks were observed in a few samples. Hydrothermal alteration includes pervasive silicification, pyritisation, sericitisation, carbonatisation confined to a delicate set of veins and altered shears, and a more widespread propylitic alteration assemblage (quartz + chlorite + pyrite + calcite ± epidote). Fluid inclusion petrography and microthermometric studies suggest heterogeneous trapping of a lowsalinity (1.4–6.7 wt.% eq. NaCl) aqueous solution and a carbonic fluid. Evidence for fluid immiscibility during ore formation includes variable liquid/vapour ratios in inclusions along individual trails and bulk inclusion homogenisation into liquid and occasionally to vapour at comparable temperatures. The trapping conditions of intragranular aqueous-carbonic inclusions approximate 264–378 C at 700–1300 bar. Similar temperature estimates have been obtained from Al-in-chlorite geothermometry of chlorite associated with sulphides in the mineralised quartz veins. Fracturing enhanced fluid circulation through the wallrock and related BIF, allowing reaction of the S-bearing ore fluid with iron oxides. This caused pyrite formation and concomitant Au precipitation, enhanced by fluid immiscibility as H2S partitioned preferentially into the carbonic phase. The ore fluids may have originated from granitoid intrusions (likely the post-Hammamat felsites, whereas gold and base metals might have been leached from the Abu Marawat basic metavolcanics.

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