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Ore mineralogy and silver distribution at the Rävliden N volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, Skellefte district, Sweden
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Rävliden North deposit (Rävliden N) is a volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit in the western part of the Skellefte district, northern Sweden. The district is one of Sweden’s major metallogenic provinces with a significant amount of VMS deposits. The Rävliden N deposit, discovered in 2011, contains copper, zinc, lead, silver and subordinate gold and occurs close to the largest VMS deposit in the district, the Kristineberg deposit, which has been mined for more than 70 years. The purpose of this master thesis is to study the composition, mineralogy and paragenetic relationships in different types of sulphide mineralization from the Rävliden N deposit. Emphasis is placed on characterizing the distribution and paragenetic relationships of silver-bearing minerals. The methods include core logging, sampling and mineralogical studies through light optical microscopy (LOM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and quantitative evaluation of mineralogy by scanning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN). Lastly, electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) was used to determine the chemical composition of silver-bearing minerals and sulphides.

Mineralization types studied include 1: the main massive to semi-massive sulphide mineralization, 2: stratigraphically underlying stringer mineralization and 3: local, vein- and/or fault-hosted silver-rich mineralization in the stratigraphic hanging wall. The massive to semi-massive sulphide mineralization is dominated by sphalerite with lesser galena and pyrrhotite. In contrast, the stringer mineralization is dominated by chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite. The major minerals show evidence of a coeval formation and textural as well as structural evidence suggest that ductile deformation has affected the mineralization types. Notable evidence includes ball-ore textures, accumulation of minerals in pressure shadows and brittle fracturing of competent arsenopyrite and pyrite porphyroblasts and infilling by more incompetent sulphide minerals. The silver-bearing minerals identified are commonly spatially associated with galena and the major species is freibergite ((Ag,Cu,Fe)12(Sb,As)4S13), which also occur as inclusions in chalcopyrite mainly in the stringer mineralization. The stringer mineralization also contains notable amounts of hessite (Ag2Te). Notably, galena, pyrrhotite, freibergite and other sulphosalt minerals are commonly accumulated in pressure shadows near host rock fragments in the massive to semi-massive sulphide mineralization. The only gold-bearing mineral identified in this study is electrum (Au, Ag) in the stringer mineralization.

The hanging wall mineralization locally comprises faulted and/or sheared massive sulphide mineralization which is compositionally similar to the main massive to semi-massive sulphide mineralization, besides a significantly higher content of freibergite. However, parts of the hanging wall mineralization are entirely dominated by sulphides and sulphosalts of silver, such as pyrargyrite (Ag3SbS3), pyrostilpnite (Ag3SbS3), argentopyrite (AgFe2S4), sternbergite (AgFe2S3) and stephanite (Ag5SbS4). These occur in structurally late settings, which along with consideration of their temperature stabilities suggest a late origin. Since the silver-bearing minerals in the massive to semi-massive sulphide mineralization and the two varieties of hanging wall mineralization contains the same metals, the mineralization in the hanging wall may have formed by late-stage remobilization of ore components from the underlying Rävliden N deposit. This negates the need for multiple mineralization events to explain the local silver-enriched zones in the hanging wall. The paragenetically late mineralization types contains high content of Ag-bearing minerals in relation to base metal sulphides. This suggests that remobilisation processes were important for locally upgrading the Ag-content.  

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 117
Keyword [en]
Rävliden N, Boliden Mineral AB, Volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, Ore mineralogy, Silver, Remobilisation
National Category
Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-66264OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-66264DiVA, id: diva2:1152660
External cooperation
Boliden Mineral AB
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Natural Resources Engineering, master's
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-11-20 Created: 2017-10-25 Last updated: 2017-11-20Bibliographically approved

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