The Haidbach deposit in the Central Tauern Window, Eastern Alps, Austria: a metamorphosed orthomagmatic Ni-Cu-Co-PGE mineralization in the Polymetallic Ore District Venediger Nappe System – Hollersbach Complex
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External Organisational units
- Universitat de Barcelona
- Lulea University of Technology
Cu-Ni-Co-PGE mineralization occurs at Haidbachgraben in the Early Palaeozoic, Subpenninic Hollersbach Complex of the Central Tauern Window, Austria. Massive sulfide ore formed from sulfide melt segregated from silicate melt during intrusion of pyroxenite into magmatic rocks formed in an MORB-type environment. Relics of magmatic minerals include chromian spinel and polyphase sulfide droplets composed of pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite and pentlandite preserved in recrystallized pyrite. Both ore and host rocks were multiply deformed and metamorphosed, leading to hornblendite carrying the ore, enveloped by chlorite-epidote schist. Conditions of – likely Variscan – amphibolite facies metamorphism are documented by relict pargasitic cores in hornblende and actinolite-tremolite, and by ternary sulfarsenide compositions in the Co-Ni-Fe solid solution series that are the most common accessory minerals found in the sulfide ore. Pyrrhotite, pentlandite, chalcopyrite and pyrite are the major sulfide minerals. Chalcopyrite is Cd-rich and retains a high-temperature magmatic signature. High Co/Sb and moderate Se/As ratios in pyrite also point to a magmatic environment of mineralization. The accessory mineral assemblage of small grain size (mostly <10 µm) comprises native Au-Ag alloy and petzite as Au-Ag minerals, sperrylite, a variety of Pd tellurides and bismuthotellurides with elevated Sb, irarsite, and Re sulfides such as tarkianite and a Pb-Re sulfide. In addition, minor molybdenite, bournonite, scheelite and selenides have been identified. Two precious metal assemblages are present in individual samples: (1) hessite associated with Pd tellurides, often accompanied by sphalerite and chalcopyrite; (2) tarkianite forming euhedral inclusions in pyrite. Sperrylite and Au-Ag native alloys are present throughout and were also detected in silicate matrix. Most of the precious metal-bearing phases must have formed during recrystallization of base metal sulfides after the magmatic, and probably during later metamorphic events terminating in the Neoalpine Tauern crystallization.