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Type: Journal article
Title: Fluid inclusion and stable isotope constraints on the heavy rare earth element mineralisation in the Browns Range Dome, Tanami Region, Western Australia
Author: Nazari-Dehkordi, T.
Huizenga, J.
Spandler, C.
Oliver, N.
Citation: Ore Geology Reviews, 2019; 113:103068-1-103068-16
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 0169-1368
Statement of
Teimoor Nazari-Dehkordi, Jan Marten Huizenga, Carl Spandler, Nicholas H.S. Oliver
Abstract: This study reports on fluid inclusion and oxygen isotope compositions of mineralised and barren hydrothermal quartz veins and hosting metasedimentary rocks associated with the heavy rare earth element (HREE) mineralisation in the Browns Range Dome of the Tanami Region, Western Australia. The HREE mineralisation consists of quartz and xenotime-bearing hydrothermal veins and breccias that occur along sub-vertical faults within Archean to Paleoproterozoic metasedimentary rocks. Based on analysis of nearly 550 quartz-hosted primary fluid inclusions, three fluid inclusion types were identified in the mineralised samples: type I low-salinity H₂O-NaCl (largely <5 wt% NaCl; consistent with meteoric water), type II medium-salinity H₂O-NaCl (12–18 wt% NaCl), and type III low- to high-salinity H₂O-CaCl₂-NaCl (1 to ca. 24 wt% NaCl + CaCl₂). Homogenisation temperatures of all fluid inclusion types vary over a relatively wide range from 100 to 250 °C. Barren quartz veins contain only type I low-salinity H₂O-NaCl fluid inclusions, with homogenisation temperatures extending from 170 to 350 °C. Raman analyses of all three fluid inclusion types confirmed their aqueous nature with no carbon-bearing fluid species identified. The three fluid inclusion types indicate mixing of three hydrothermal fluids: a low-salinity H₂O-NaCl meteoric fluid (<5 wt% NaCl), a medium-salinity H₂O-NaCl (12–18 wt% NaCl) fluid, and a high-salinity H₂O-CaCl₂-NaCl (ca. 24 wt% NaCl + CaCl₂) fluid. Limited LA-ICP-MS analysis found detectable Y, Ce, U and Cl only in the type III fluid inclusions, which indicates that transport of ore metals was (at least partly) by Cl complexes in the type III fluid. The δ¹⁸Ofluid values calculated from quartz from mineralised samples are in the range defined by the Archean metasedimentary host rocks of the Browns Range Metamorphics (δ¹⁸Ofluid = +1.8 to +5.2‰) and the unconformably-overlying Paleoproterozoic Birrindudu Group sandstones (δ¹⁸Ofluid = +8‰). Collectively, our fluid inclusion and oxygen isotope data, together with other field, mineralogical and geochemical data, support an ore genesis model involving mixing of the three hydrothermal fluids in fault zones and along unconformity surfaces in, and around, the Browns Range Dome. The meteoric low-salinity H₂O-NaCl fluid potentially carried P from the Birrindudu Group sandstones, and the high-salinity H₂O-CaCl₂-NaCl fluid leached HREE + Y from metasedimentary rocks of the Browns Range Metamorphics. Ore deposition occurred following mixing of the P-bearing and HREE + Y-bearing fluids, and was associated with a widespread white mica alteration. The temperature and pressure during the fluid-fluid mixing and mineralisation was between 100 and 250 °C, and 0.4 and 1.6 kbar, respectively.
Keywords: Fluid inclusions; oxygen isotopes; hydrothermal; xenotime; unconformity
Rights: © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2019.103068
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Geology & Geophysics publications

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