Fluid signature of the shear zone–controlled Veio de Quartzo ore body in the world-class BIF-hosted Cuiabá gold deposit, Archaean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Brazil: a fluid inclusion study

  • Carolin KresseEmail author
  • Lydia M. Lobato
  • Rosaline C. Figueiredo e Silva
  • Steffen G. Hagemann
  • David Banks
  • André L. A. Vitorino


The world-class Cuiabá gold deposit of the Archaean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt in Brazil is hosted in banded iron formation containing carbonaceous matter and carbonate, within the reclined, isoclinal Cuiabá fold. Mineralised quartz veins are hosted in andesite in the stratigraphic footwall of the banded iron ores and form some of the more recently discovered ore bodies. Fluid inclusion data of the quartz vein–associated “Veio de Quartzo” ore body are obtained from four quartz types (Qz1, Qz2, Qz3, Qz5) in gold-mineralised V1 shear vein and V2 extensional veins, barren V3 extensional vein array, and V4 breccia-style veins, all developed during the Archaean D1 event. Three fluid types are distinguished: (i) aqueous fluids of low salinity (1.8–3.8 wt% NaCl equiv), homogenisation (into liquid) at 220 to 230 °C; (ii) aqueous fluids of moderate salinity (5.3–12.7 wt% NaCl equiv), and homogenisation at 250 to 290 °C; and (iii) aqueous-carbonic fluids of moderate salinity (6.0–15.1 wt% NaCl equiv), with 30–91 mol% CO2, 8–41 mol% CH4 and up to 28 mol% N2 and decrepitation (into vapour) at 280 to 310 °C. Based on an independent pressure estimate, a pressure correction was applied to aqueous fluid inclusions, resulting in minimum trapping temperatures at 360 °C for V1 veins, 330 °C for V2 veins, 300 °C for V3 veins and 270 °C for the late-stage V4 veins. Ion chromatography analyses reveal a Br/Cl ratio of 0.7 × 10−3 in Qz1-V1, from 1.4 to 1.5 × 10−3 in Qz2-V2, 0.3 to 0.4 × 10−3 in Qz3-V3 and 0.7 to 0.9 × 10−3in Qz5-V4 veins. Zinc, Pb and Cu are relatively enriched with ~ 100 to 1000 ppm in aqueous and aqueous-carbonic fluid inclusion assemblages in all vein and quartz types, which is similar to other orogenic gold deposits hosted in the Rio das Velhas greenstone belt. The fluid inclusion data are consistent with a model invoking a metamorphic origin for the mineralising fluid. A two-step model of hydrothermal fluid flow and gold enrichment is suggested to have developed during the Archaean D1 event, with an early, aqueous-carbonic fluid pulse of relatively high temperature (from V1 up to V3) and an evolved, aqueous-carbonic fluid pulse of lower temperature (V4, breccia-style veins). The Rio das Velhas greenstone belt is dominated by regionally metamorphosed metasedimentary rocks, resulting in a complex hydrothermal fluid evolution and related gold mineralisation such as the shear zone–controlled Veio de Quartzo ore body.



We thank AngloGold Ashantifor technical and logistic support during field work. Special thanks are due to the staff at the Cuiabá mine, in particular, Frederico Lana Figueiredo. We acknowledge Maria Sylvia Dantas, F. Javier Rios, at the Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear as well as Luis Garcia and Márcio M. da Silva Jr. at the Centro de Microscopia at the Federal University of Minas Gerais for analytical support. We acknowledge comments on the manuscript by Vassily Khouri and Breno S. Martins. We thank two reviewers and the associated editor whose comments and suggestions improved an earlier version of the manuscript.

Funding information

This study was made possible by research grants from the Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa Científica e Tecnológica to L.M. Lobato and R.C. Figueiredo e Silva. AngloGold Ashanti provided additional financial supported for the research.

Supplementary material

126_2019_941_Fig13_ESM.png (1.7 mb)

Photographs of mineralised host rocks at Cuiabá. a Sampled drill core section of sulfidised andesite (Level 17 of the Fonte Grande Sul ore body, drill core 03A, 1414.70–1414.84). b Sampled drill core section of sulfidised carbonaceous pelite (Level 17 of the Fonte Grande Sul ore body, drill core 009, 1378.24–1378.40). c Sampled drill core section of sulfidised BIF ((Level 17 of the Fonte Grande Sul ore body, drill core 03A, 1619.6–1619.85). d Stope view of sulfidised BIF (Level 15, Galinheiro ore body) (PNG 1737 kb)

126_2019_941_MOESM1_ESM.tif (7.8 mb)
High Resolution Image (TIF 7953 kb)
126_2019_941_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (18.1 mb)
ESM 2 Examples of Representative FIAsof V3 and V4 vein types of theVeio de Quartzoore body.a-c Qz3-V3 extensional vein arrays displaying an internal trail of two-phase, aqueous fluid inclusions (FIA 6) and two-phase, isolated aqueous-carbonic fluid inclusion (FIA 4B). d-g Qz5-V4 late-stage veins, showing two phase, grouped, aqueous fluid inclusions (FIA 12A),individual aqueous-carbonic fluid inclusions (FIA 12B) and two phase, grouped, aqueous fluid inclusions (FIA 14). Photomicrographs taken under transmitted light (JPG 18573 kb)
126_2019_941_Fig14_ESM.png (204 kb)

Raman spectra of individual fluid inclusions. a Raman spectra of FIAs trapped in Qz1-V1 shear veins. b Raman spectra of FIAs trapped in Qz3-V3 extensional vein arrays (PNG 204 kb)

126_2019_941_MOESM3_ESM.tif (65.2 mb)
High Resolution Image (TIF 66812 kb)
126_2019_941_MOESM4_ESM.docx (14 kb)
ESM 4 Arsenic and gold composition (in ppm) of aqueous fluid inclusions trapped in quartz of V1 shear, V2 extensional and V4 late-stage veins measured by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy (DOCX 14 kb)
126_2019_941_MOESM5_ESM.docx (30 kb)
ESM 5 Average laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy concentration data (in ppm) for aqueous and aqueous-carbonic FIAs trapped in quartz (Qz1, Qz2, Qz3 and Qz5) of the andesite hosted shear and extensional quartz veins, Veio de Quartzo ore body (DOCX 30 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.British Geological SurveyEnvironmental Science CentreNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Instituto de GeociênciasUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Centre for Exploration Targeting, School of Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  4. 4.School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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