Mineralization constraints on the origin of polymetallic (Pb, Ag, Zn, Cu, Au) deposits hosted in the metasedimentary Lajeado Group, Southern Ribeira Belt, Brazil

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Angela Pacheco Lopes
Francisco Ferreira de Campos
Anderson Dourado Rodrigues da Silva
Maria José Maluf de Mesquita
Lígia Maria de Almeida Leite Ribeiro
Elizete Domingues Salvador


The sediment-hosted polymetallic (Pb, Zn, Ag, Au-Cu) mineralization of the Vale do Ribeira Mineral District has been known since the beginning of the 20th century, but exploration was interrupted just before the turn of the century. The Vale do Ribeira Mineral District is part of the Southern Ribeira Belt, developed during the Brasiliano-Pan African orogeny. Polymetallic mineralization is mainly hosted in metalimestones of the Lajeado Group, a typical platform carbonate sequence of a passive margin, which has been deformed during the Gondwana assembly. The region has a gap of research since the mines were closed, which justifies new projects on their mineral economic potential. Fieldwork, petrographic and geochemical analyses were developed in five currently inactive mines (Panelas, Barrinha, Rocha, Lajeado, and Furnas) and their surroundings, along with the description of a drill core executed in the 1980s. The main type of ore consists of polymetallic fault-fill veins of massive sulfide, which are composed essentially by argentiferous galena, sphalerite, pyrrhotite, arsenopyrite, and chalcopyrite. The highest ore grades were obtained from samples in the Panelas Mine, with contents of up to 35% lead, 5% zinc, > 1% copper and 564 ppm silver, as well as 23% iron. New ore occurrences were described in a secondary gallery of the Barrinha Mine, whose gold grades reached up to 5,630 ppb. The main controls of the mineralization are lithological - since the ore occurs exclusively in carbonate rocks, irrespective of the geological unit - and
structural, related to NE high-angle strike-slip fault zones, including evidence of fault-valve behavior. Fault zones as the main control of the polymetallic veins is an innovative interpretation, increasing the perspectives for mineral exploration in the area. Although they are small deposits, the presented data indicate that the region has potential for new discoveries and that the mined deposits are probably not exhausted.

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Pacheco Lopes, Angela, Francisco Ferreira de Campos, Anderson Dourado Rodrigues da Silva, Maria José Maluf de Mesquita, Lígia Maria de Almeida Leite Ribeiro, and Elizete Domingues Salvador. 2020. “Mineralization Constraints on the Origin of Polymetallic (Pb, Ag, Zn, Cu, Au) Deposits Hosted in the Metasedimentary Lajeado Group, Southern Ribeira Belt, Brazil”. Journal of the Geological Survey of Brazil 3 (3):151-67. https://doi.org/10.29396/jgsb.2020.v3.n3.2.
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