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Behaviour of trace elements in arsenian pyrite in ore deposits

Deditius, A.P., Kesler, S.E., Ewing, R.C., Utsunomiya, S. and Walshe, J. (2009) Behaviour of trace elements in arsenian pyrite in ore deposits. In: 10th Biennial SGA Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, 17 - 20 August 2009, Townsville, Australia



As-bearing pyrite is one of the main hosts for Au and other trace elements in epithermal, Carlin and mesothermal (orogenic) Au deposits. A review of our own and published SIMS, EMPA, LA-ICP-MS and PIXE analyses of pyrite from these deposits suggests that the solubility of Ag, Te, Hg, Sb and Pb in arsenian pyrite is controlled by As-content in a manner similar to that previously reported for Au by Reich et al., (2005). The trace elements can be divided into two groups that exhibit different solubility limits: i) Au, Ag, Te, Hg and Bi ii) Sb and Pb. HRTEM and HAADF-STEM observations reveal nanoparticles with compositions of Sb-As-Fe-Ni, Sb-Pb-Te, Pb-Bi, PbS and Ag in arsenian pyrite above the solubility limit. Most nanoparticles are between 5 and 200 nm, with some containing Pb reaching 500 nm. Pyrite from Carlin-type and epithermal deposits contains larger amounts of Sb and/or As than pyrite from higher-temperature orogenic gold/mesothermal deposits. This suggests that the solubility of trace elements in pyrite appears to decrease with increasing temperature.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
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