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The Jacobina Paleoproterozoic gold-bearing conglomerates, Bahia, Brazil: a "hydrothermal shear-reservoir" model.

Abstract : The N–S Jacobina foreland basin is a Paleoproterozoic basin (2080 to 1900 Ma) of stacked detrital and schist formations developed along a sinistral wrench–overthrust fault of the Transamazonian orogeny. At least five successive stages are identified in the westward progradation of the basin, wherein bedding-parallel strike–slip thrusts and prograde metamorphism indicate progressive involvement in the Transamazonian collision. Shearing and associated metamorphic recrystallization indicate a high geothermal gradient and a gradual loading of the underthrust units, with those to the east being deeper seated than those to the west. Basic–ultrabasic dykes and granite stocks cross-cut the lithologies and contributed to the thermal evolution. Conglomerates and chaotic breccia layers found in several formations mark periods of tectonic instability accompanied by erosion of the earlier stages of basin development. Multistage hydrothermal activity is indicated by a widespread alteration with gold-bearing quartz lodes, conglomerates showing a sulphide–gold–Cr–mineral association, leaching of ultrabasic rocks, and emerald mineralization related to late-tectonic granite emplacement. The economic gold-bearing clastic sediments (conglomerates and minor quartzites deposited during the fourth unit/stage of basin development) have generally been interpreted according to the "modified paleoplacer" model. Such a model, which implies the existence of a gold preconcentration within the quartz–pebble conglomerates, is supported by the lithological controls, reworked pebbles (e.g. cataclastic quartz, quartz–pyrite mylonite and rare fuchsite-bearing rocks) that had been hydrothermally altered during an earlier hydrothermal stage, and lead isotopic compositions revealing an Archean inheritance that is partly preserved in galena inclusions. New basin-scale structural and metallogenic data obtained by the authors, suggest a basin model characterized by successive cycles of sedimentation–faulting/thrusting–erosion ("cannibalism" model) that favours both a "paleoplacer" model and a "mesothermal shear-zone-related epigenetic" model. Heterochronous shear zones, formed between 1988 and 1912 Ma during the development of the basin, acted as feeder zones for postsedimentary mesothermal quartz–tourmaline–muscovite/fuchsite lodes, which constitute a possible source of the reworked hydrothermally altered pebbles. These shear zones controlled (a) an acid leaching of the sediments and the subsequent development of Al-rich assemblages interpreted as advanced argillic alteration zones, and (b) a sulphidation process affecting detrital ilmenite and magnetite and responsible for the high concentration of gold within shear veins containing assemblages of Cr–Ni-bearing minerals (euhedral chromite, Cr–rutile, linnaeite, Cr–tourmaline and fuchsite) and euhedral pyrite that crystallized over andalusite. The conglomerates, with their pore and fissure permeability, acted as a "reservoir and trap" for the mineralizing fluids to give a "hydrothermal shear-reservoir" model.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 11:09:50 AM
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Jean-Pierre Milesi, Patrick Ledru, Eric Marcoux, R. Mougeot, V. Johan, et al.. The Jacobina Paleoproterozoic gold-bearing conglomerates, Bahia, Brazil: a "hydrothermal shear-reservoir" model.. Ore Geology Reviews, Elsevier, 2002, 19, pp.(1-2) 95-136. ⟨10.1016/S0169-1368(01)00038-5⟩. ⟨hal-00072877⟩



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