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Geochemistry of shale and sedimentary pyrite as a proxy for gold fertility in the Selwyn basin area, Yukon

Sack, PJ, Large, RR and Gregory, DD 2018 , 'Geochemistry of shale and sedimentary pyrite as a proxy for gold fertility in the Selwyn basin area, Yukon' , Mineralium Deposita, vol. 53, no. 7 , pp. 997-1018 , doi:

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Selwyn basin area strata contain sedimentary pyrite with Au above background levels when analyzed by laser ablation-inductively coupled mass spectrometry. Hyland Group rocks contain framboidal pyrite contents of 670ppb Au, 1223ppm As, and 5.3ppm Te; the mean of all types of sedimentary pyrite in the Hyland Group is 391ppb Au, 1489ppm As, and 3.8ppm Te. These levels are similar to sedimentary pyrite in host lithologies from major orogenic gold districts in New Zealand and Australia. Comparison of whole rock and pyrite data show that rocks deposited in continental slope settings with significant terrigenous input contain pyrite that is consistently enriched in Au, As, Te, Co, and Cu. Although data are limited, whole rock samples of stratigraphic units containing Au-rich pyrite also contain high Au, indicating that most of the Au is within sedimentary pyrite. Based on geologic characteristics and comparison of pyrite chemistry data with whole rock chemistry, Selwyn basin area strata have the necessary ingredients to form orogenic gold deposits: Au-enriched source rocks, metamorphic conditions permissive of forming a metamorphic ore fluid, and abundant structural preparation for channeling fluids and depositing ore.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Sack, PJ and Large, RR and Gregory, DD
Keywords: pyrite, shale, orogenic gold deposits, Selwyn basin, laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, LA-ICPMS
Journal or Publication Title: Mineralium Deposita
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0026-4598
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2018 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature

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