Moncada de la Rosa, Jorge Daniel
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The search for mineral deposits is a time consuming, risky and very expensive process. Applying new models and methods provides a competitive advantage in the search for mineral deposits because an explorationist can quickly evaluate potential targets and eliminate areas without good potential for mineralization. This dissertation presents a practical technique for prediction to finding precious metal mineralization at Guanajauato mining district (GMD) base on theoretical and experimental studies of fluids properties, mineral phase equilibrium, physical and chemical mechanisms. Making the technique highly transportable so that it can be applied in the field during an exploration program base on petrographic characteristics of mineral textures produced during boiling events in quartz, calcite and adularia, and fluid inclusions contained in these phases. While this work was conducted in GMD, the results should be applicable in exploration for epithermal deposits worldwide. The GMD is one of the largest silver producing districts in the world. Ore shoots are localized along three major northwest trending vein systems, the La Luz, Veta Madre and Vetas de la Sierra. More than 1200 samples were collected from surface outcrops, underground mine and historical and recent drill core. Traverses perpendicular to veins in all system were also conducted. Most of the samples (approximately 90%) were also assayed for Au, Ag, Cu, Pb, Zn, As, Sb. Samples from the GMD show a wide range in silica textures are indicative of rapid precipitation, such as occurs when fluids boil. Other mineral phases, including illite, rhombic adularia and bladed calcite are also indicative of rapid growth in a hydrothermal system and are characteristic of boiling systems. Because boiling is an effective mechanism for precipitating gold and silver from hydrothermal fluids, the presence of mineral textures indicative of boiling is a desirable feature in exploration. In many samples, textural evidence for boiling is supported by coexisting liquid-rich and vapor-rich fluid inclusions, or Fluid Inclusion Assemblages consisting of only vapor-rich inclusions, suggesting "flashing" of the hydrothermal fluids. Textural and fluid inclusion evidence for boiling has been observed in the deepest levels of the GMD, suggesting that additional precious metal resources may occur beneath these levels.
- Doctoral Dissertations