Valunistoe Epithermal Au–Ag Deposit (East Chukotka, Russia): Geological Structure, Mineralogical–Geochemical Peculiarities and Mineralization Conditionsстатья

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[1] Valunistoe epithermal au–ag deposit (east chukotka, russia): Geological structure, mineralogical–geochemical peculiarities and mineralization conditions / A. V. Volkov, V. Y. Prokofiev, S. F. Vinokurov et al. // Geology of Ore Deposits. — 2020. — Vol. 62, no. 2. — P. 97–121. The Valunistoe Au–Ag deposit is the third largest among epithermal deposits in Chukotka after the Kupol and Dvoinoe. It is located at the western closing of the East Chukotka flank zone of the Okhotsk-Chukotka volcanic belt. Volcanic domes (Pravogornenskaya, Zhil’ninskaya, Shakhskaya, Valunistaya, Shalaya, and Oranzhevaya, each is 3–6 km in diameter) have the main ore-controlling significance in the area; they form a chain elongated to the northeast, along the Kanchalan fault zone. Near the deposit, Upper Cretaceous volcanics are widespread: ignimbrites, lavas and tuffs ranging from rhyolite to basaltic composition, and lenses and interbeds of sedimentary rocks, subvolcanic bodies and dikes of andesites, basalts, and dacites. The structure of the deposit is caused by its localization within the limits of the eponymous (Valunistaya) volcanic dome. Twelve ore-bearing vein zones with thicknesses ranging from several to several tens of meters have been revealed at the deposit. The Glavnaya (Main) and Novaya (New) vein zones have been studied in detail; they are traced along their strikes to a distance of more than 1500 m and consist of en echelon veins 1.0 m thick on average, with lengths varying from 100 to 400 m. Based on the sampling data, Au and Ag contents in ores are 0–474.3 and 0–3794.23 g/t, respectively. Colloform-banded structures are frequently encountered, often combined with breccia structures. The main vein minerals are quartz and adularia; calcite, chlorite, fluorite, sericite, pyrophyllite, kaolinite, montmorillonite, gypsum, and epidote are less frequent. The main ore minerals are pyrite, acanthite, chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite; secondary ore minerals are native Au and Ag and polybasite; rare ore minerals are pearceite, magnetite, hematite, marcasite, freibergite, tetrahedrite, bournonite, hessite, matildite, and others. Ores are characterized by an Au/Ag ratio from 1 : 5 to 1 : 10 and sulfidity (0.5–5%). Ores are enriched in many elements (Au, Ag, Sb, Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Te, and Cr), with enrichment factors ranging from several times (Se, Mo, Te, and Cr), to tenfold (Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn) and hundredfold (Sb) levels, reaching an excess of tens and hundreds thousand times for Au and Ag (Fig. 7). Ores are characterized by a low total REE and demonstrate positive Eu anomalies. Geochemical features are consistent with the mineral composition of ores. Full homogenization of fluid inclusions in quartz occurs at temperatures of 203–284oC and 174–237oC in calcite, while the salt concentration in both cases is from 0.2 to 0.7 wt % NaCl equiv. Fluid density changes from 0.87 to 0.56 g/cm3. The results give grounds to attribute the Valunistoe deposit to the low-sulfidized epithermal class. The data provided in the article are of practical value for regional forecast–metallogenic maps and can be used in searching for and appraising epithermal Au–Ag deposits. [ DOI ]

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