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Serie correlación geológica

On-line version ISSN 1666-9479

Abstract

GALLARD-ESQUIVEL, María Cecilia; URBINA, Nilda Esther; SRUOGA, Patricia  and  JAPAS, María Silvia. Low-sulfidation epithermalbase-metalsulfide-rich deposits, La Carolina gold-bearing district, San Luis, Argentina. Ser. correl. geol. [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.1, pp. 91-102. ISSN 1666-9479.

La Carolina gold-bearing district is located at the western end of the Metallogenetic Belt of San Luis, which is spatially and genetically related to the mesosilicic volcanism of mio-pliocene age. The volcanic arc experienced an eastward migration, due to the flattening of the Nazca plate in the segment 27°-33°S, known as the Pampean flat-slab. At La Carolina, the volcanic activity occurred between 8.2 and 6.3 Ma. It encompasses lavas and pyroclastics of andesitic, dacitic, latitic and trachytic composition. The mesosilicic magmas belong to normal to high-k calc-alkaline and shoshonitic suites. Structural analysis shows that previous structures have strongly controlled the emplacement of volcanic rocks and related mineral deposits at La Carolina allowing to define a pull-apart. In this gold-bearing district there are eigth small mineralized prospects. The mineralogy consists of pyrite, arsenic rich pyrite, galena, sphalerite, marcasite, melnikovite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, arsenopyrite, tennantite-tetrahedrite, digenite, covellite, bornite, pyrargiryte, hessite, silvanite, pearceite, argirodite, gold, silver, greigite, boulangerite, jamesonite and electrum. The gangue consists of quartz, calcite, chalcedony and minor adularia. The hydrothermal alteration is widespread and comprise phyllic and argillic mineral assemblages characterized by sericite, illite, interstratified I/S, and silicic; propylitic alteration is also present as an outer halo. Fluid inclusions studies show that the formation temperatures range between 230º to 330º C. Boiling and mixing with meteoric water led to mineral precipitation. Based on the mineralogy, textures, hydrothermal alteration, formation temperatures, fluid chemistry and prospective geochemistry the mineralizations have been classified as low-sulfidation epithermal base-metal sulfide-rich deposits.

Keywords : Low-sulfidation epithermal deposits; Pull apart; La Carolina gold-bearing district; San Luis; Argentina.

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