Zinc-lead mineralization at Pering Mine in the Griqualand West sub-basin : an isotopic study.
Detailed studies, both chemical and physical, have been performed on various dolomites and vug-filling carbonates, to determine the pathways and extent of the mineralizing fluids associated with the Pering Zn-Pb deposit within the Griqualand West sub-basin. Three carbonate phases were identified within the vugs using cathodoluminescence microscopy. The first phase formed a reaction rim on the host dolomites during the deposition of sphalerite and oscillatory zoned carbonate. Finally calcite was deposited, which is associated with post-mineralizing fluids. The vug-filling carbonates have very radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr values (0.72-0.76) compared with the host dolomites (0.70-0.73). The gangue carbonate minerals deposited within the vugs have similar radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr values to the gangue minerals of the main Pering orebody, indicating that the vugs formed part of the aquifer system through which the mineralizing fluids migrated. Radiogenic 87Sr was not acquired from the surrounding host dolomite. The mineralizing fluids may have picked up radiogenic 87Sr when migrating through porous rocks such as the Makwassie Quartz Porphyry of the Ventersdorp Supergroup or felsic rocks forming the Kaapvaal Craton. In addition, radiogenic Sr may have been acquired from dewatering of the Lokammona shales within the area, or expelled from amphibolite and granulite rocks involved in the Kheis or Namaqua Tectonic events. Two models are proposed to explain the genesis of the main Pering deposit and the occurrence of sphalerite in the vug-filling carbonates surrounding the deposit: 1) Mixing Model; and 2) Single Fluid Model. The Single Fluid Model is preferred which involves a single fluid migration and interaction with the carbonate host rock and/or pore fluid. The metals were probably transported as chloride complexes together with reduced sulphur at temperatures greater than 2000 C. Deposition of the ore minerals resulted from either a dilution of the fluid, a pH increase or a temperature decrease. Both dolomites and vug-filling carbonates have a model Pb age between 2.0 and 2.7. Secondary 1Ga model ages indicate a minor Namaqua tectonic influence. Carbon and oxygen isotopes indicate that the fluids originated in a deep burial environment. Future exploration work using cathodoluminescence microscopy and staining techniques will be both useful and cost-effective. Isotopic work should concentrate on the Rb-Sr system as radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr values are the best indicators of the path of the mineralizing fluid, and the proximity to ore concentrations.