The Santa Lúcia Cu-Au deposit, Carajás Mineral Province, Brazil: a Neoarchean (2.68 Ga) member of the granite-related copper-gold systems of Carajás

Abstract

The Santa Lúcia copper-gold deposit lies in the southeastern portion of the Carajás Mineral Province, along NW-SE splays of the Carajás Fault. The deposit is hosted by a rhyolitic subvolcanic rock, which is crosscut by pegmatite intrusions. The paragenetic evolution at Santa Lúcia encompasses an early stage of chlorite alteration, followed by potassic alteration with microcline, greisenization (quartz-muscovite-tourmaline), copper-gold ore precipitation, and late sericite and hematite vein formation/fracture infill. Copper mineralization is dominantly represented by chalcopyrite-sphalerite-pyrrhotite-pentlandite-pyrite breccias, which are spatially associated with greisen alteration and characterized by the enrichment of light rare earth elements (LREE), Ni, Co, and Cr. The alteration types, mineralization styles, and ore assemblage suggest that the Santa Lúcia deposit could represent a member of the Paleoproterozoic (ca. 1.88 Ga) granite-related copper-gold systems of Carajás (e.g., the Breves and Estrela deposits). However, the in situ U-Pb analyses of ore-related monazite yield a weighted average 207Pb/206Pb age of 2688 ± 27 Ma, thereby constraining the timing of mineralization at Santa Lúcia to the Neoarchean. Moreover, tourmaline from the pegmatite and within the ore zones has a range of δ11B values from − 3.7 to − 0.6‰, therefore linked to a magmatic boron source. Collectively, these results indicate that the Santa Lúcia deposit is the first reduced magmatic-hydrothermal, iron oxide–poor system formed in the Neoarchean, coeval with the 2.72–2.68 Ga metallogenic event responsible for the genesis of important iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) deposits in the Carajás Mineral Province.

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Acknowledgments

We are immensely grateful to VALE for their unceasing support, especially to geologists Fernando Matos and Samuel Nunes. We also thank Peter J. Pollard and Fernando Tornos for their constructive reviews and insightful suggestions that greatly improved the quality of this manuscript, as well as the editorial handling by Steffen Hagemann and Georges Beaudoin. The fieldwork was funded by the INCT Geociências da Amazônia (MCT/CNPq/Fapespa 573733/2008-2). This research was only made possible by the institutional partnerships established between UNICAMP and Wuhan University of Technology, China University of Geosciences, and Curtin University of Technology.

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Correspondence to Raphael B. Hunger.

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Hunger, R.B., de Melo, G.H.C., Xavier, R.P. et al. The Santa Lúcia Cu-Au deposit, Carajás Mineral Province, Brazil: a Neoarchean (2.68 Ga) member of the granite-related copper-gold systems of Carajás. Miner Deposita (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00126-020-01034-z

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Keywords

  • Santa Lúcia
  • Granite-related Cu-Au deposits
  • Carajás Domain
  • U-Pb geochronology
  • Boron isotopes