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The Kabanga Ni sulfide deposit, Tanzania : I. Geology, petrography, silicate rock geochemistry, and sulfur and oxygen isotopes

Maier Wolfgang D., Barnes Sarah-Jane, Sarkar Arindam, Ripley Ed, Li Chusi et Livesey Tim. (2010). The Kabanga Ni sulfide deposit, Tanzania : I. Geology, petrography, silicate rock geochemistry, and sulfur and oxygen isotopes. Mineralium deposita, 45, (5), p. 419-441.

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The Kabanga Ni sulfide deposit represents one of the most significant Ni sulfide discoveries of the last two decades, with current indicated mineral resources of 23.23 Mt at 2.64% Ni and inferred mineral resources of 28.5 Mt at 2.7% Ni (Nov. 2008). The sulfides are hosted by a suite of ∼1.4 Ga ultramafic–mafic, sill-like, and chonolithic intrusions that form part of the approximately 500 km long Kabanga–Musongati–Kapalagulu igneous belt in Tanzania and Burundi. The igneous bodies are up to about 1 km thick and 4 km long. They crystallized from several compositionally distinct magma pulses emplaced into sulfide-bearing pelitic schists. The first magma was a siliceous high-magnesium basalt (approximately 13.3% MgO) that formed a network of finegrained acicular-textured gabbronoritic and orthopyroxenitic sills (Mg# opx 78–88, An plag 45–88). The magma was highly enriched in incompatible trace elements (LILE, LREE) and had pronounced negative Nb and Ta anomalies and heavy O isotopic signatures (δ18O +6 to +8). These compositional features are consistent with about 20% contamination of primitive picrite with the sulfidic pelitic schists. Subsequent magma pulses were more magnesian (approximately 14–15% MgO) and less contaminated (e.g., δ18O +5.1 to +6.6). They injected into the earlier sills, resulting in the formation of medium-grained harzburgites, olivine orthopyroxenites and orthopyroxenites (Fo 83–89, Mg# opx 86–89), and magmatic breccias consisting of gabbronorite–orthopyroxenite fragments within an olivine-rich matrix. All intrusions in the Kabanga area contain abundant sulfides (pyrrhotite, pentlandite, and minor chalcopyrite and pyrite). In the lower portions and the immediate footwall of two of the intrusions, namely Kabanga North and Kabanga Main, there occur numerous layers, lenses, and veins of massive Ni sulfides reaching a thickness of several meters. The largest amount of high grade, massive sulfide occurs in the smallest intrusion(Kabanga North). The sulfides have heavy S isotopic signatures (δ34S wr = +10 to +24) that broadly overlap with those of the country rock sulfides, consistent with significant assimilation of external sulfur from the Karagwe–Ankolean sedimentary sequence. However, based partly on the relatively homogenous distribution of disseminated sulfides in many of the intrusive rocks, we propose that the Kabanga magmas reached sulfide saturation prior to final emplacement, in staging chambers or feeder conduits, followed by entrainment of the sulfides during continued magma ascent. Oxygen isotope data indicate that the mode of sulfide assimilation changed with time. The heavy δ18O ratios of the early magmas are consistent with ingestion of the sedimentary country rocks in bulk. The relatively light δ18O ratios of the later magmas indicate less bulk assimilation of the country rocks, but in addition the magmas selectively assimilated additional S, possibly through devolatization of the country rocks or through cannibalization of magmatic sulfides deposited in the conduits by preceding magma surges. The intrusions were tilted at ca. 1.37 Ga, during the Kibaran orogeny and associated synkinematic granite plutonism. This caused solidstate mobilization of ductile sulfides into shear zones, notably along the base of the intrusions where sulfide-hornfels breccias and lenses and layers ofmassive sulfidesmay reach a thickness of >10m and can extend for several 10 s to >100m away from the intrusions. These horizons represent an important exploration target for additional nickel sulfide deposits.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Pages:p. 419-441
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Sciences de la terre (géologie, géographie)
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences appliquées > Unité d'enseignement en sciences de la Terre
Mots-clés:Africa, crystal chemistry, East Africa, gabbros, geochemistry, ICP mass spectra, igneous rocks, isotope ratios, isotopes, Kabanga Deposit, Kibaran Orogeny, lithophile elements, major elements, mass spectra, Mesoproterozoic, metal ores, metallogeny, metals, metamorphic belts, mineral assemblages, mineral deposits, genesis, mineral exploration, mining geology, nickel ores, norite, northwestern Tanzania, O-18/O-16, ore grade, oxygen, petrology, plutonic rocks, Precambrian
Déposé le:06 juin 2016 15:18
Dernière modification:09 déc. 2016 14:28
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