Genesis and distribution of Mississippi Valley-type ore assemblages in Middle Silurian strata, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario /
Mostaghel, Mohammad Ali.
MetadataShow full item record
Presently non-commercial occurrences of Mississippi Valley-type ore assemblages in the Middle Silurian strata of the Niagara Peninsula have been studied. Based on this detailed study, a new poly-stage genetic model is proposed which relates ore mineralization in carbonate environments to the evolution of the sedimentary basin. Sulphide ore mineralization occurred during two episodes: 1. During the late diagenesis stage, which is characterized by compaction-maturation of the sediments, the initial mineralization took place by upward and outward movement of connate waters. Metals were probably supplied from all the sediments regardless of their specific lithologies. However, clay minerals were possibly the main contributors. The possible source of sulphur was from petroleum-type hydrocarbons presently mixed with the sediments at the site of ore deposition. Evidence for this is the fact that the greatest abundance of ore minerals is in petroliferous carbonates. The hydrocarbons probably represent liquids remaining after upward migration to the overlying Guelph-Salina reservoirs. The majority of sphalerite and galena formed during this period, as well as accessory pyrite, marcasite, chalcopyrite, chalcocite, arsenopyrite, and pyrrhotite; and secondary dolomite, calcite, celestite, and gypsum. 2. During the presently ongoing surface erosion and weathering phase, which is marked by the downward movement of groundwater, preexisting sulphides were probably remobilized, and trace amounts of lead and zinc were leached from the host material, by groundwaters. Metal sulphides precipitated at, or below, the water table, or where atmospheric oxygen could raise the Eh of groundwaters to the point where soluble metal complexes are unstable and native sulphur co-precipitates with sphalerite and galena. This process, which can be observed today, also results in the transport and deposition of the host rock material. Breakdown of pre-existing sulphide and sulphate, as well as hydrocarbon present in the host rock, provided sulphur necessary for sulphide precipitation. The galena and sphalerite are accompanied by dolomite, calcite, gypsum, anglesite, native sulphur and possibly zincite.