Discriminant diagrams for iron oxide trace element fingerprinting of mineral deposit types

Mineralium Deposita (Impact Factor: 2.67). 04/2011; 46(4):319-335. DOI: 10.1007/s00126-011-0334-y

ABSTRACT Magnetite and hematite are common minerals in a range of mineral deposit types. These minerals form partial to complete solid
solutions with magnetite, chromite, and spinel series, and ulvospinel as a result of divalent, trivalent, and tetravalent
cation substitutions. Electron microprobe analyses of minor and trace elements in magnetite and hematite from a range of mineral
deposit types (iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG), Kiruna apatite–magnetite, banded iron formation (BIF), porphyry Cu, Fe-Cu skarn,
Fe-Ti, V, Cr, Ni-Cu-PGE, Cu-Zn-Pb volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) and Archean Au-Cu porphyry and Opemiska Cu veins) show
compositional differences that can be related to deposit types, and are used to construct discriminant diagrams that separate
different styles of mineralization. The Ni + Cr vs. Si + Mg diagram can be used to isolate Ni-Cu-PGE, and Cr deposits from
other deposit types. Similarly, the Al/(Zn + Ca) vs. Cu/(Si + Ca) diagram can be used to separate Cu-Zn-Pb VMS deposits from
other deposit types. Samples plotting outside the Ni-Cu-PGE and Cu-Zn-Pb VMS fields are discriminated using the Ni/(Cr + Mn)
vs. Ti + V or Ca + Al + Mn vs. Ti + V diagrams that discriminate for IOCG, Kiruna, porphyry Cu, BIF, skarn, Fe-Ti, and V deposits.

KeywordsMagnetite–Hematite–Mineral deposit–Electron microprobe–Mineral chemistry–Discriminant diagram

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