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Multistage development of a hydrothermal tungsten deposit during the Variscan late-orogenic evolution: the Puy-les-Vignes W breccia pipe (Massif Central, France)

Abstract : The Puy-les-Vignes W deposit, located in the northwestern French Massif Central (FMC), is a rare occurrence worldwide of a wolframite-mineralized hydrothermal breccia pipe hosted in high-grade metamorphic gneisses. We present here an integrated study of this deposit aiming to characterize the ore-forming hydrothermal system in link with the Variscan late-orogenic evolution of the FMC. Based on a set of representative samples from the host rocks and mineralization, we describe a detailed paragenetic sequence and we provide the major and trace element geochemistry of the host rocks and W-Nb-Ta-Sn-Ti oxide minerals, in situ U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, and a fluid inclusion study in quartz and wolframite. We demonstrate that the formation of this W-mineralized breccia pipe results from a multistage development between ca. 325 and 300 Ma related to four major episodes during the late Carboniferous. The first episode corresponds to the emplacement of an unexposed peraluminous granite at ca. 325 Ma, which generated microgranite dykes exposed at the present-day surface. The second episode is the formation of the quartz-supported breccia pipe and wolframite mineralization at ca. 318 Ma at a paleodepth of 7 km. The mineralizing fluids have a H2O-NaCl-CO2-CH4-N2 composition, a moderate-salinity (<9 wt.% NaCl eq) and were trapped at high-temperatures (400-450°C) during lithostatic to hydrostatic pressure variations caused by intense hydraulic fracturing of the host rocks. Wolframite deposition is interpreted to result from the mixing between a W-rich intermediate-density magmatic fluid exsolved from an evolved leucogranite and low-salinity volatile-rich metamorphic fluids of distal origin. The third episode corresponds to a magmatic-hydrothermal Nb-Ta mineralization overprinting the W-mineralized system and related to the intrusion at ca. 314 Ma of a rare-metal granite, which is part of a regional peraluminous rare-metal magmatism during the 315-310 Ma period. Finally, the last episode corresponds to the formation of a disseminated Bi±Au-Ag mineralization at ca. 300 Ma, which shares similar textural and mineral features with orogenic gold deposits in the FMC. The Puy-les-Vignes W deposit records, therefore, a multistage and long-lived development that extends over a timespan of 25 million years in a regional setting dominated by protracted peraluminous magmatism and HT-LP metamorphism. Although the local environment of ore deposition is atypical, our results show that the mineral assemblages, alteration styles, and fluid characteristics of the Puy-les-Vignes breccia pipe are similar to those of other peri-granitic W deposits in the FMC.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 9:14:00 AM
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Matthieu Harlaux, Christian Marignac, Julien Mercadier, Marc Poujol, Marie-Christine Boiron, et al.. Multistage development of a hydrothermal tungsten deposit during the Variscan late-orogenic evolution: the Puy-les-Vignes W breccia pipe (Massif Central, France). Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, Société géologique de France, 2021, 192, pp.33. ⟨10.1051/bsgf/2021023⟩. ⟨insu-03257761v2⟩

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