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Mineralogical and Geochemical characterization of the Fe-Cu-Occurrence and associated Hanging wall and Footwall Alteration halo of the Viscaria D-Zone, Kiruna District, Northern Sweden
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Northern Norrbotten County is one of the three major ore producing districts in Sweden. Based on the predominance of epigenetic Cu-Au and Fe-oxide mineralization this region is regarded as a typical IOCG province. The massive to layered Viscaria Cu-deposit is proposed to be a VMS deposit of Besshi-type and is unique in deposit type of the region. The volcaniclastic rocks of the Viscaria Formation hosting the Viscaria deposit belong to the rift related Kiruna Greenstone Group. The Viscaria deposit consists of three stratiform-stratabound mineralized zones: A-, B- and D-zone. Sulphide mineralization of the D-zone differs in structural features, host rock, mineralization style and Fe-oxide dominance over Cu-sulphides compared to the main Cu-ore in the A-zone. These differences between A- and D-zone mineralization styles raise the subject that the D-zone could be of a different origin.  

The Kiruna area is mainly covered by glacial-till, which contributes to limited bedrock exposure. This becomes a challenge when exploring for new deposits and highlights the importance of good geological knowledge obtained from existing deposits to carry through successful exploration programs. The objective of this study is to characterize the Fe-Cu-occurrence and the associated alteration halo of the Viscaria D-zone. Alteration halos can reach several kilometres away from the main ore zone and provides mineralogical and chemical signatures that extend the target area significantly in exploration for new deposits.

Detailed core logging, optical microscopic studies, lithogeochemistry and electron microprobe analyses was utilized to contribute to a better genetic understanding of the D-zone and the associated hanging wall and footwall alteration features. The study shows that the main ore minerals of the D-zone consist of magnetite and chalcopyrite, and minor pyrite and hematite. The major alteration minerals associated with mineralization are calcite, actinolite/tremolite, epidote, chlorite and also biotite and scapolite in the hanging wall. The most prominent potential ore vector is calcite veins and biotite, as the abundance increase towards the D-zone. D-zone are further characterised by low REE concentrations, similarly to the calcic-dolomite host.

The study also shows that the alteration halo of the D-zone is different in the hanging wall compared to the footwall, which is confirmed by the lithogeochemistry and mineral chemistry. The footwall is characterized by spilitization and chlorite alteration. The lithogeochemistry of the D-zone and the hanging wall reveals element mobility of Mg, Ba, Fe, Na, K, Cu and Zn. Mineral chemistry of epidote, amphibole and chlorite shows chemical changes in Fe/Al- and Mg/Fe-ratios. According to the result of this thesis and earlier studies, the D-zone mineralization is suggested to be part of the VMS system forming the stratigraphically above laying A-zone of the Viscaria Cu-deposit.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 75
Keywords [en]
Alteration halo
National Category
Geology Geochemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73217OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-73217DiVA, id: diva2:1316765
External cooperation
Avalon Minerals LTD
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Geosciences, master's level (120 credits)
Presentation
2016-10-21, Luleå, 09:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-05-29 Created: 2019-05-20 Last updated: 2019-05-29Bibliographically approved

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