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Controversies on the

Origin of World-class Gold Deposits

Carlin-type Gold Deposits in Nevada,


An Introduction

Jean S Cline
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Au+1 in CTGD

Reich, Kesler, Utsunomiya, Palenik, Chryssoulis, and Ewing , 2005


Au0 in CTGD

Reich, Kesler, Utsunomiya,Palenik, Chryssoulis, and Ewing , 2005


Rossi Barite
NorthCarlinTrend
Mine Circalate1960s

Image courtesy of Barrick


Goldstrike / Aerographics
U.S. GOLD PRODUCTION
12

10

6
4

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, 2004


U.S. GOLD PRODUCTION
12

10

6
4

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, 2004


NorthCarlinTrend
BetzePostpit
2002

BetzePostpit

Image courtesy of Barrick


Goldstrike / Aerographics
U.S. GOLD PRODUCTION
12

10

6
4

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, 2004


D.Sweetkind,U.S.G.S.andHofstraetal.,2003
District/Deposit Size

Cline, Hofstra, Muntean, Tosdal and Hickey, 2005


CTGD - What we know

large, epigenetic, sediment-hosted, disseminated Au


silty, pyritic, carbonaceous, calcareous host rocks
submicron Au in pyrite
low to high grade
alteration:
decarbonatization,
argillization, silicification
occur in trends and
districts
Age of Deposits
Galkhaite: (Cs,Tl)(Hg,Cu,Zn)6(As,Sb)4S12

~50 wt% Hg 20 wt% S


15 wt% As trace Au
200-300 ppm Rb trace Sr

39.0 + 2.1 Ma
(Rb-Sr)
Tretbar et al., 1999 PhotofromDaveTretbar

We can now relate the deposits to their


tectonic & structural setting
Primer
Carlin-type deposits in NV:
Carlin, Getchell & BME trends,
Jerritt Canyon, Alligator Ridge districts
Distal disseminated deposits (DDD, Cox & Singer,
1990, 1992):
Au deposits spatially and genetically related to
porphyry systems (Star Pointer, Smith et al., 1988;
Barneys Canyon, Cunnington et al., 2004)
Camp 1: NV Carlin-type deposits are DDD
Camp 2: NV Carlin-type deposits are not DDD
Carlin like deposits (Seedorff, 1991)
Essentially like DDD
CTGD - Models
Crystallizing magma
0.006 oz/t 1.42 oz/t produced heat +
hydrothermal fluids +
metals (Sillitoe & Bonham,
QuickTime and a
Photo - JPEG decompressor
are needed to see this picture.

1990; Henry & Ressel,


2000; Johnston & Ressel,
Wispy unit 2004)
Deeply circulating meteoric fluids leached and
remobilized metals (Ilchik & Barton, 1997;
Emsbo et al., 2003)
Metamorphism produced ore fluids that
transported metals (Seedorff, 1991;
Hofstra & Cline, 2000)
The Magmatic Connection

Henry and Ressel, 2000


Model Must Address:

Deposits restricted to Late Eocene of northern Nevada


Deposits restricted to Archean and transitional crust
Deposits aligned along trends related to continental
margin
Alteration: decarbonatization, argillization + silicification
Au restricted to submicron (invisible) particles in pyrite
TE suite: Au, As, Sb, Cu, Tl, Te + Pb, W, Ag
Model Must Address:

H isotopes indicate deep waters at some deposits and


meteoric waters at other deposits
S isotopes indicate sedimentary S at most deposits, but
magmatic S is permissive at some deposits
Ore fluid temperatures are low - 180-240C, and have low
salinities - 2-3 wt% NaCl equiv
Lack of strong elemental / alteration zoning
No spatial association with coeval hypabyssal stocks