Mo isotope fractionation during hydrothermal evolution of porphyry Cu systems

Behnam Shafiei, Gholam Hossein Shamanian, Ryan Mathur, Hassan Mirnejad

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present Mo isotope compositions of molybdenite types from three successive stages of ore deposition in several porphyry copper deposits of the Kerman region, Iran. The data provide new insights into controlling processes on Mo isotope fractionation during the hydrothermal evolution of porphyry systems. The Mo isotope compositions of 27 molybdenite samples show wide variations in δ97Mo ranging from −0.37 to +0.92 ‰. The data reveal that molybdenites in the early and transitional stages of mineralization (preferentially 2H polytypes; δ97Mo mean = 0.35 ‰) have higher δ97Mo values than late stage (mainly 3R polytypes; δ97Mo mean = 0.02 ‰) molybdenites. This trend suggests that fractionation of Mo isotopes occurred in high-temperature stages of mineralization and that hydrothermal systems generally evolve towards precipitation of molybdenite with lower δ97Mo values. Taking into account the genetic models proposed for porphyry Cu deposits along with the temperature-dependent fractionation of Mo isotope ratios, it is proposed that large variations of Mo isotopes in the early and the transitional stages of ore deposition could be controlled by the separation of the immiscible ore-forming fluid phases with different density, pH, and ƒO2 properties (i.e., brine and vapor). The fractionation of Mo isotopes during fluid boiling and Rayleigh distillation processes likely dominates the Mo isotope budget of the remaining ore-forming fluids for the late stage of mineralization. The lower δ97Mo values in the late stage of mineralization can be explained by depletion of the late ore-forming hydrothermal solutions in 97Mo, as these fluids have moved to considerable distance from the source. Finally, the relationship observed between MoS2 polytypes (2H and 3R) and their Mo isotopic compositions can be explained by the molecular vibration theory, in which heavier isotopes are preferentially partitioned into denser primary 2H MoS2 crystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-291
Number of pages11
JournalMineralium Deposita
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Economic Geology

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