Isotope geochemistry of the mafic dikes from the Vazante nonsulfide zinc deposit, Brazil
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The Vazante Group, located in the northwestern part of Minas Gerais, hosts the most important zinc mine in Brazil, the Vazante Mine, which represents a major known example of a hypogene nonsulfide zinc deposit. The main zinc ore is represented by willemite and differs substantially from other deposits of the Vazante-Paracatu region, which are sulfide-dominated zinc-lead ore. The age of the Vazante Group and the hosted mineralization is disputable. Metamorphosed mafic dikes (metabasites) that cut the metasedimentary sequence and are affected by hydrothermal processes recently were found and may shed light on the geochronology of this important geological unit. Zircon crystals recovered from the metabasites are xenocrystic grains that yield U-Pb conventional ages ranging from 2.1 to 2.4 Ga, so the basement of the Vazante Group is Paleoproterozoic or has metasedinientary rocks whose source area was Paleoproterozoic. Pb isotopes determined for titanite separated from the metabasites have common, nonradiogenic Ph compositions, which prevents determination of their crystallization age. However, the Pb signatures observed for the titanite crystals are in agreement with those determined for galena from the carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb deposits hosted by the Vazante Group, including galena from minor sulfide ore bodies of the Vazante deposit. These similarities suggest that the metalliferous fluids that affected the metabasites may have been those responsible for galena formation, which could imply a similar lead source for both nonsulfide and sulfide zinc deposits in the Vazante-Paracatu district. This common source could be related to deep-seated, basin-derived, metalliferous fluids associated with a long-lived hydrothermal system related to diagenesis and deformation of the Vazante Group during the Neoproterozoic. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.