Trace elements and isotope data of the Um Garayat gold deposit, Wadi Allaqi district, Egypt

  • Basem Zoheir
  • Ashraf Emam
  • Iain K. Pitcairn
  • Arman Boskabadi
  • Yann Lehaye
  • Matthew J. Cooper


Trace element composition of sulfides and O, C, Sr and S isotopic data are assessed to constrain the evolution and potential fluid and metal sources of the Um Garayat gold deposit. Ore microscopy and BSE investigations of quartz veins show blocky arsenopyrite and pyrite replaced in part by pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena, and gersdorffite. Free-milling gold occurs commonly in close association with the late sulfides, and along fractures in pyrite. On the other hand, recrystallized pyrite is disseminated in host metavolcaniclastic/metasedimentary rocks that commonly contain carbonaceous material. In situ LA-ICP-MS analysis of sulfides shows the recrystallized pyrite enriched in most trace elements, while blocky pyrite contains only some traces of arsenic. Detected concentrations of gold (up to 17 ppm) were only reported in arsenopyrite disseminated in quartz veins. The δ34S values of blocky pyrite and pyrrhotite in quartz veins define a narrow range (1.6 to 3.7‰), suggesting a homogenous sulfur source which is consistent with the dominantly mafic host rocks. The recrystallized pyrite has a distinctive sulfur isotope composition (δ34S − 9.3 to − 10.6‰), which is rather comparable to diagenetic sulfides. Hydrothermal carbonate in quartz veins and wallrock have nearly constant values of δ18O (10.5 to 11.9‰) and δ13C (− 4.2 to − 5.5‰). Based on constraints from mineral assemblages and chlorite thermometry, data of six samples indicate that carbonate precipitation occurred at ~ 280 °C from a homogenous hydrothermal fluid with δ18OH2O 4.4 ± 0.7‰ and δ13C = 3.7 ± 0.8‰. Strontium isotope values of two samples (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7024 and 0.7025) are similar to the initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios of island arc metabasalts (~ 710 Ma) in the South Eastern Desert. The generally homogenous sulfur, C, O, Sr isotope data are suggestive of metamorphogenic fluids, likely produced from dominantly mafic volcanic rocks at the greenschist–amphibolite facies transition.


Um Garayat gold deposit Wadi Allaqi South Eastern Desert of Egypt Isotope C O and Sr data of carbonate EPMA and LA-ICP-MS data of sulfides Ore genesis 



The editorial work by Prof. B. Lehmann is highly appreciated. Thanks are also due to Profs. A. Hassan, D. Craw and M. Steele-MacInnis for their constructive suggestions and insightful comments.

Funding information

Basem Zoheir likes to acknowledge the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for making this work possible. Iain Pitcairn acknowledges the receipt of a Swedish Research Links grant (2014-4290).

Supplementary material

126_2018_807_MOESM1_ESM.docx (68 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 67 kb).
126_2018_807_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (71 kb)
ESM 2 (XLSX 71 kb).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceBenha UniversityBenhaEgypt
  2. 2.Institute of GeosciencesUniversity of KielKielGermany
  3. 3.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceAswan UniversityAswanEgypt
  4. 4.Department of Geological SciencesStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  5. 5.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of TexasDallasUSA
  6. 6.Finland Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, Geological Survey of FinlandEspooFinland
  7. 7.National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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