DESCRIPTIVE MODEL OF POLYMETALLIC REPLACEMENT DEPOSITS
By Hal T. Morris
APPROXIMATE SYNONYM Manto deposits, many authors.
DESCRIPTION Hydrothermal, epigenetic, Ag, Pb, Zn, Cu minerals in massive lenses, pipes and veins in limestone, dolomite, or other soluble rock near igneous intrusions (see fig. 68).
Figure 68. Generalized map showing metal and mineral zoning in polymetallic replacement deposits in the Main Tintic district, Utah. Modified from Morris (1968)).
GENERAL REFERENCE Jensen and Bateman (1981), p. 134-146.
Rock Types Sedimentary rocks, chiefly limestone, dolomite, and
shale, commonly overlain by volcanic rocks and intruded by porphyritic, calc-alkaline plutons.
Textures The textures of the replaced sedimentary rocks are not important; associated plutons typically are porphyritic.
Age Range Not important, but many are late Mesozoic to early Cenozoic.
Depositional Environment Carbonate host rocks that commonly occur in broad sedimentary basins, such as epicratonic miogeosynclines. Replacement by solutions emanating from volcanic centers and epizonal plutons. Calderas may be favorable.
Tectonic Setting(s) Most deposits occur in mobile belts that have undergone moderate deformation and have been intruded by small plutons.
Associated Deposit Types Base metal skarns, and porphyry copper deposits.
Mineralogy Zonal sequence outward: enargite + sphalerite + argentite + tetrahedrite + digenite ± chalcopyrite, rare bismuthinite; galena + sphalerite + argentite ± tetrahedrite ± proustite ± pyrargyrite, rare jamesonite, jordanite, bournonite, stephanite, and polybasite; outermost sphalerite + rhodochrosite (see fig. 68). Widespread quartz, pyrite, marcasite, barite. Locally, rare gold, sylvanite, and calaverite.
Texture/Structure Ranges from massive to highly vuggy and porous.
Alteration Limestone wallrocks are dolomitized and silicified (to form jasperoid); shale and igneous rocks are chloritized and commonly are argillized; where syngenetic iron oxide minerals are present, rocks are pyritized. Jasperoid near ore is coarser grained and contains traces of barite and pyrite.
Ore Controls Tabular, podlike and pipelike ore bodies are localized by faults or vertical beds; ribbonlike or blanketlike ore bodies are localized by bedding-plane faults, by susceptible beds, or by preexisting solution channels, caverns, or cave rubble.
Weathering Commonly oxidized to ochreous masses containing cerrusite, anglesite, hemimorphite, and cerargyrite.
Geochemical Signature On a district-wide basis ore deposits commonly are zoned outward from a copper-rich central area through a wide lead-silver zone, to a zinc- and manganese-rich fringe. Locally Au, As, Sb, and Bi. Jasperoid related to ore can often be recognized by high Ba and trace Ag content.
East Tintic district, USUT (Morris and Lovering, 1979)
Eureka district, USNV (Nolan, 1962)
Manto deposit, MXCO (Prescott, 1926)