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Vein-type gold formation during late extensional collapse of the Eastern Desert, Egypt: the Gidami deposit

November 22, 2022

Orogenic gold deposits, though construed to focused fluid flow during orogenesis, commonly post-date the main accretionary events. Several lines of evidence indicate that orogenic gold formation in the Arabian–Nubian Shield continued through the orogen collapse stage and associated rapid exhumation and thermal re-equilibration. The Gidami gold deposit in the Eastern Desert of Egypt is associated with post-foliation, brittle-ductile shear zones that deformed a weakly foliated tonalite-trondhjemite massif dated as ~ 704 Ma (U–Pb zircon age). Gold-sulfide quartz veins exhibit textural features indicative of repeated mylonitization, recrystallization, and muscovite crystallization. New 40Ar/39Ar ages of muscovite flakes from the auriferous quartz veins and from the altered wallrock overlap within analytical uncertainty at ~ 583 Ma, which corresponds to the climax of extension-related wrenching and rapid exhumation in the region (~ 596 to 582 Ma). Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) data coupled with microtextural characteristics suggest that early formed pyrite generations experienced substantial fluid-mediated recrystallization, and that a set of metals was remobilized by later fluids. A late generation of fibrous pyrite, ubiquitous in microfractures, deposited while the veins re-opened and deformed. The occurrence of free gold particles along with a late-paragenetic assemblage of galena-sphalerite-chalcopyrite(± hessite ± cervelleite) was related to influx of low salinity, metalliferous H2O-NaCl-CO2-CH4 fluids as indicated by the fluid inclusion laser Raman spectroscopy and microthermometry results. Au-mobilization and redeposition at T ≤ 350 °C and P ~ 1 to 1.7 kbar, triggered by intermittent fluid pluses and thermal re-equilibration, were most likely stimulated by extensional structures and within-plate magmatism. Coincident province- and deposit-scale pressure–temperature-time data highlight the pivotal role of the orogenic collapse tectonics in gold endowment in the Central Eastern Desert’s crust.

Publication Year 2023
Title Vein-type gold formation during late extensional collapse of the Eastern Desert, Egypt: the Gidami deposit
DOI 10.1007/s00126-022-01152-w
Authors Basem Zoheir, Ryan J. McAleer, Matthew Steele-MacInnis, Armin Zeh, Wyatt M. Bain, Spencer Poulette
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Mineralium Deposita
Index ID 70240238
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Florence Bascom Geoscience Center