Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

The tungsten-gold veins of Bonnac (French Massif central): new constraints for a Variscan granite-related genesis

Florent Cheval-Garabédian 1, 2, 3, * Michel Faure 1, 3 Eric Marcoux 1 Marc Poujol 4 
* Corresponding author
3 Géodynamique - UMR7327
BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), ISTO - Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans - UMR7327 : UMR7327, INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers, UO - Université d'Orléans : UMR7327
Abstract : In the Brioude-Massiac district (French Massif Central: FMC), a network of WAs -Bi-Au quartz veins constitutes the Bonnac deposit, where tungsten is the major economic element, together with high-grade gold (up to 15 g/t Au). The evolution of this mineralization has been divided into 3 stages: (i) an early deep-seated wolframite-löllingite stage formed between 12 to 9 km, at up to 400°C; (ii) a ductile/brittle deformation stage associated with scheelite and arsenopyrite deposition, with an estimated temperature of 480-300°C; (iii) a late stage controlled by fluid-overpressure potentially triggered by fault-valve mechanism, at a depth of 7 to 5 km, and a temperature estimated between 266 to 240°C, is marked by microfracturing infilled by native bismuth, bismuthinite, hedleyite, electrum, pyrite and base-metals. Structural analysis and apatite LA-ICP-MS U/Pb dating demonstrate a spatial and temporal link between the emplacement of the peraluminous leucogranitic dykes and the Bonnac mineralization. In more details, the mineralization was deposited between 321-316 Ma, during, or just after, the emplacement of the peraluminous dykes estimated around 329-315 Ma, suggesting a magmatic-hydrothermal transition for the ore-forming process. In the proposed model, the cooling of a hidden two-mica granitic pluton could have generated a magmatic fluid, and acted as the heat source responsible for fluid flow towards inherited permeability zones. The magmatic fluid could have then re-equilibrated at high temperature by fluid-rocks interaction. The sharp changes in pressure, associated with the decrease of the temperature, and sulfidefugacity generated by a late input of meteoric fluid were responsible for the deposition of the late gold-stage. At the regional scale, the tungsten-gold event is ascribed to an early hydrothermal stage, dissociated from the formation of the antimony event in the district. The leucogranitic dykes and Bonnac quartz veins are controlled by a NW-SE stretching direction, interpreted as an expression of the Serpukhovian-Bashkirian syn-orogenic extension (D4 event of the FMC). These new data provide evidence for an early tungsten and gold metallogenic event in the FMC, prior the "Or300" event. The genetic classification of the Bonnac mineralization is equivocal. The WAs -Bi-Au-quartz veins exhibit the features of both an "orogenic gold" deposit at a relatively deep emplacement level (mesozonal), and an Intrusion-Related-Gold-Deposit (IRGD) type with a spatial-temporal link with the peraluminous intrusion emplacement. We propose that the Bonnac deposits represent an intermediate type between a typical orogenic-gold deposit and an IRGD. We argue that the presence of economic high-grade gold content in tungsten vein-type, and more generally the IRGD deposits, have been underestimated in the Variscan French Massif Central.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, March 15, 2021 - 2:53:20 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 2:48:17 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License



Florent Cheval-Garabédian, Michel Faure, Eric Marcoux, Marc Poujol. The tungsten-gold veins of Bonnac (French Massif central): new constraints for a Variscan granite-related genesis. Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, Société géologique de France, 2021, 192 (7), 25 p. ⟨10.1051/bsgf/2020041⟩. ⟨insu-03079023v2⟩



Record views


Files downloads