Hydrothermal processes along two regional-scale shear zones in the Otago Schist were dominated by structurally controlled fluid flow and mineralization in the host schist, with relatively minor quartz vein formation, and mineralized rocks are only subtly different from unmineralized rocks. Most Au in the shear zones is associated with sulphide minerals (pyrite and arsenopyrite) disseminated through the host schist or along microshears. Minor enrichment of Sb, Mo and Bi (ppm level) is detectable in the Hyde-Macraes Shear Zone (HMSZ). Hydrothermal muscovite is slightly more aluminous (1–2 wt%) than metamorphic muscovite in both shear zones. HMSZ muscovite averages >900 ppm N, in contrast to metamorphic muscovite that averages c. 200 ppm N. In both shear zones, rutile has replaced metamorphic titanite and epidote has altered to carbonate and phyllosilicates, but these reactions were nearly isochemical. Structurally controlled hydrothermal graphite in the HMSZ occurs in microshears (up to 3 wt%, above background <0.2 wt%). Alteration in the Rise & Shine Shear Zone (RSSZ) was accompanied by addition of abundant ankerite. The two shear zones have subtly different geochemical signatures and are not directly genetically related. However, As enrichment is a key exploration target for both shear zones.
- © 2007 AAG/The Geological Society of London