2008: Geology, fluid inclusions and sulphur isotope composition of the El Cobre VHMS deposit, Southern Cuba

Geology, fluid inclusions and sulphur isotope composition of the El Cobre VHMS deposit, Southern Cuba

Abstract

The El Cobre deposit is located in eastern Cuba within the volcanosedimentary sequence of the Sierra Maestra Paleogene arc. The deposit is hosted by tholeiitic basalts, andesites and tuffs and comprises thick stratiform barite and anhydrite bodies, three stratabound disseminated up to massive sulphide bodies produced by silicification and sulphidation of limestones or sulphates, an anhydrite stockwork and a siliceous stockwork, grading downwards to quartz veins. Sulphides are mainly pyrite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite; gold occurs in the stratabound ores. Fluid inclusions measured in sphalerite, quartz, anhydrite and calcite show salinities between 2.3 and 5.7 wt% NaCl eq. and homogenisation temperatures between 177 and 300°C. Sulphides from the stratabound mineralisation display δ34S values of 0‰ to +6.0‰, whilst those from the feeder zone lie between -1.4‰ and +7.3‰. Sulphides show an intra-grain sulphur isotope zonation of about 2‰ usually, δ34S values increase towards the rims. Sulphate sulphur has δ34S in the range of +17‰ to +21‰, except two samples with values of +5.9‰ and +7.7‰. Sulphur isotope data indicate that the thermochemical reduction of sulphate from a hydrothermal fluid of seawater origin was the main source of sulphide sulphur and that most of the sulphates precipitated by heating of seawater. The structure of the deposit, mineralogy, fluid inclusion and isotope data suggest that the deposit formed from seawater-derived fluids with probably minor supply of magmatic fluids.

Keywords: Cuba; Fluid inclusions; Sisotopes; Sulphides; VHMS deposit.

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To Cite this article: Cazañas, X., Alfonso, P., Melgarejo, J.C., Proenza, J.A., Fallick, A.E. (2008): Geology, fluid inclusions and sulphur isotope composition of the El Cobre VHMS deposit, Southern Cuba. Mineralium Deposita,43, 805-824.

DOI: 10.1007/s00126-008-0197-z

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