Measurable molybdenum isotope fractionation in molybdenites from different ore deposits through time provides insights into ore genesis and a new technique to identify open-system behavior of Re-Os in molybdenites. Molybdenite samples from six porphyry copper deposits, one epithermal polymetallic vein deposit, four skarns, and three Fe-oxide Cu-Au deposits were analyzed. The δ97Mo‰ (where [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]) for all samples varied from 1.34 ± 0.09‰ to -0.26 ± 0.04‰. This is the largest molybdenum isotopic variation in molybdenite from high-temperature ore deposits recorded to date. δ97Mo‰ of molybdenite varies as a function of the deposit type and the rhenium and osmium concentrations of the samples. Isotope values for Mo also vary within the individual deposits. In general, molybdenites from porphyry copper deposits have the lightest values averaging 0.07 ± 0.23‰ (1σ). Molybdenites from the other deposit types average 0.49 ± 0.26‰ (1σ). The variations could be related to the fractionation of Mo into different mineral phases during the ore-forming processes. A comparison of the Mo isotope ratios and the Re-Os ages obtained from the same aliquot may possess a geochronological evaluation tool. Samples that yielded robust ages have different Mo isotopic compositions in comparison to samples that yielded geologically unreasonable ages. Another observed relationship between the Re-Os and Mo isotope data reveals a weak correspondence between Re concentration and Mo isotope composition. Molybdenites with higher concentrations of Re correspond to lighter Mo isotope values.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Economic Geology