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Isotopic constraints on the age and source of ore-forming fluids of the Bou Azzer arsenide ores (Morocco)
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2022 (English)In: Ore Geology Reviews, ISSN 0169-1368, E-ISSN 1872-7360, Vol. 143, p. 104769-104769, article id 104769Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Bou Azzer district in Morocco has a long mining history since the beginning of the XXst century during which it has become the only world producer of Co from primary, hydrothermal Co arsenide ores. Orebodies are structurally controlled, and mainly distributed along fault contacts between Cryogenian ophiolite-related serpentinite bodies and intrusive quartz diorite or, locally, ophiolitic gabbros or Ediacaran volcanic rocks. Ore formation took place through a multi-stage mineralizing process that included an early stage composed by gold, quartz, chlorite, muscovite and calcite, followed by the main arsenide and sulfarsenide stage (subdivided into three substages, IIa: Ni-rich, Co ores, IIb: Co-Fe ores and IIc: Fe-Co ores), and ending with an epithermal stage characterized by the precipitation of sulfides along with quartz and calcite. Field relations and most previous geochronologic dating pointed to a post Pan-African age of ore formation, mainly coincident with the Hercynian orogeny.

The isotopic study presented in this paper includes S, Pb, Rb/Sr and Sm/Nd data of a set of ore mineral samples from three deposits (Aghbar, Tamdrost and Aït Ahmane), as well as of regional samples representative of the different lithologies occurring in the Bou Azzer area. The isotope data set was completed with S isotope analyses of arsenide and sulfarsenide minerals from five ore deposits (Filon 7/5, Aghbar, Tamdrost, Ightem and Aït-Ahmane) and of some whole-rock regional samples. Results show that ores formed during multi-episodic hydrothermal events connected with hercynian reactivation of Devonian-Carboniferous faults, supporting previous geochronologic dating. The obtained Pb, Sr, Nd and S isotopic signatures of ore minerals and regional rocks further show that ophiolite-related lithologies became isotopically modified by interaction with crustal material and afterwards acted as the main source of ore-forming elements. Nevertheless, isotopic data do not fully concur with such a simple scenario but are quite consistent with a rather complex interpretation based on multi-source origin of some elements and isotopes scavenged from a number of isotopically different lithologies both from the inferred basement and the volcanic and sedimentary cover.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 143, p. 104769-104769, article id 104769
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Geology
Research subject
The changing Earth
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URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-4928DOI: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2022.104769OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-4928DiVA, id: diva2:1716734
Available from: 2022-12-06 Created: 2022-12-06 Last updated: 2022-12-19Bibliographically approved

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