Castroviejo Bolibar, Ricardo and Yparaguirre, José Andrés and Cánepa, César
Extensive boiling as a precipitation mechanism for precious and base metal ores, Bienaventurada Mine, Huancavelica, Perú.
In: "12th Quadrennial IAGOD Symposium 2006", 21-24 Agosto 2006, Moscú.
The Bienaventurada mine operates a polymetallic Ag-Pb-Zn (Cu, Au) vein system of the low sulphidation epithermal type. Fluid inclusions, FI, are abundant in quartz, sphalerite and adularia. FI petrography demonstrates typical primary growth zoning which occurs frequently in crystalline quartz, and defines the most common primary FI. These are usually very small, but several types of primary, P, and secondary, S, FI Assemblages (FIAs) comprising FI of measurable size (3 to > 100 μm) can also be identified through careful petrographic work. The fluids are aqueous and undersaturated, and no evidence of CO2 was found; the degree of fill is usually high (~70-80 %) in the L-rich inclusions, but extremely low in V-rich inclusions. The measured microthermometric values are very consistent in the FIAs selected; they are for the most part roughly similar in the P and S assemblages: the median is typically ~258ºC for total homogenization temperatures, Th, and -1.5 ºC for ice melting temperatures, Tm (corresponding to 2.57 wt% NaCl eq). The widespread occurrence of L-rich and V-rich FI in the same FIA and the consistent Th values point to an extensive boiling system along the vein. In these conditions, Th equals T of trapping, and the ores are assumed to have been precipitated from an aqueous low salinity boiling fluid, of likely meteoric origin, at some 250-280º C, under ~500 m hydrostatic head.