Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Geology, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Geosciences Research Institute, Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran, Iran

3 Geological Survey of Canada

4 ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits (CODES)


Zn-Pb-Cu mineralization in the Chahgaz area, located 60 km south of Shahre Babak, occurs within a Middle Jurassic metamorphosed bimodal volcano-sedimentary sequence in the South Sanandaj-Sirjan zone. Mineralization occurs associated with exhalites within units 1and 2 of the host sequence as numerous occurrences, and within unit 3 as Chahgaz deposit and some occurrences hosted by meta-rhyolitic tuff, meta-rhyolite, and meta-pelites, as predominantly stratiform, tabular and sheeted-like orebodies at specific stratigraphic horizons. Ore textures include massive, semi-massive, banded, laminated, disseminated and vein-veinlets. Ore minerals are predominantly pyrite, sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, arsenopyrite, and minor bornite and pyrrhotite, and gangue minerals include dominantly sericite, quartz, chlorite and barite. Wallrock alteration is dominated by sericitic and chloritic and minor carbonatic and silicic types. Altered host rocks have been foliated due to metamorphism and deformation, and  along with the associated ores have been folded and faulted and show cataclastic, triple junctions, pressure shadows, crenulations, and boudinage features. Based on geological, mineralogical, geochemical and alteration studies, it is inferred that Zn-Pb-Cu mineralization in the Chahgaz area has occurred as volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS)-type in an arc rift basin, and has  subsequently been metamorphosed under greenschist facies conditions during the Late Cimmerian and Laramid orogenies and younger events. This mineralization, in comparison with similar deposits in the world, has the most similarities with those deposits of siliciclastic felsic-type in the Bathurst Mining Camp, Canada, and Iberian Pyrite Belt in Spain and Portugal; and  it is the first recognition of this type in Iran.


Allen, R. L., Weihed, P. & Svenson, S-Å. 1996- Setting of Zn-Cu-Au-Ag massive sulfide deposits in the evolution and facies architecture of a 1.9 Ga marine volcanic arc, Skellefte district, Sweden. Economic Geology, 91: 1022-53.
Burnol,  L., 1968- Contribution a l’etude des gisement de plomb et zinc de l’ Iran. Essais de classification paragenetique. GSI Report, Tehran.
Dawson, G.  L.,  Caessa, P., Alverca, R. & Sousa, J. C., 2001- Geology of the Aljustrel Mine area, southern Portugal, In GEODE Workshop “Massive sulfide deposits in the Iberian Pyrite Belt: New advances and comparisons with equivalent systems”, Aracena, Spain, October 2001: Aljustrel, Eurozinc, Aljustrel Field Trip Guidebook, 28 p.
Fazlnia, A., Volker, S., Van der Straaten, F. & Mirmohammadi, M., 2009- Petrology, geochemistry, and geochronology of trondhjemites from the Qori Complex, Neyriz, Iran. Lithos, 112: 413-433.
Fazlnia, A. N., Moradian, A., Rezaei, K., Moazzen, M. & Alipour, S., 2007- Synchronous activity of anorthositic and S-type granitic magmas in the Chah Dozdan batholith, Neyriz, Iran: evidence of zircon SHRIMP and monazite CHIME dating. Journal of Sciences, Islamic Republic of Iran, 18: 221-237.
Franklin, J.  M., Gibson, H.  L., Galley, A.  G. & Jonasson, I.  R., 2005- Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Deposits. In: Hedenquist, J. W., Thompson,  J.  F.  H., Goldfarb, R.  J.  & Richards, J. P. (eds.) Economic Geology 100th Anniversary Volume, Littleton, CO, Society of Economic Geologists, 523-560.
Goodfellow, W. D., McCutcheon, S. R. & Peter, J. M., 2003- Massive sulfide deposits of the Bathurst mining camp, New Brunswick and northern Maine. Economic Geology monograph 11, 300p.
Goodfellow, W. D. & McCutcheon, S. R., 2003- Geologic and genetic attributes of volcanic-hosted massive sulphide deposits of the Bathurst mining camp, northern New Brunswick. Economic Geology Monograph 11, 245–311.
Grenne, T. &  Slack, J. F., 2005- Geochemistry of Jasper Beds from the Ordovician Lokken Ophiolite, Norway: Origin of Proximal and Distal Siliceous Exhalites: Economic Geology, 100(8): 151 -1527.
Hoy, T. 1995- Noranda/kuroko massive sulphide Cu-Zn, in selected British Columbia mineral deposit profiles, volume 1- Metallics and Coal, Lefebure, D.V. and Ray, G.E., (eds.), British Columbia Ministry of Energy Employment and Investment, open file,  1995-20, p.53-54.
Large, R., Mc Phie, J., Gemmell., J.B. &Davidson, G., 2001-The Spectrum of Ore Deposits Types, Volcanic environment, alteration halos, and Related Exploration Vectors in Submarine Volcanic Succession: Some Example From Australia, Economic Geology, 96: 913-938.
Large, R. R., 1992- Australian Volcanic-hosted Massive Sulfide Deposits: Features, Styles, and Genetic Models, Economic Geology, 87: 471-510.
Lentz, D. R. & McCutcheon, S. R., 2006- The Brunswick No. 6 Massive Sulfide Deposit,Bathurst Mining Camp, Northern New Brunswick, Canada: A Synopsis of the Geology and Hydrothermal Alteration System, and Geochemical Vectors for Exploration. Exploration and Mining Geology Journal (Bathurst Camp Special Issue), 15: 1-34.
Mcphie, J., Doyle, M. & Allen, R., 1993- Volcanic textures: a guide to the interpretation of textures in volcanic rocks . University of Tasmania . Centre for ore deposite and exploration studies, 196 p.
Milosakovic, R., Ciric, V. &  Gojkovic, S., 1971- Report on prospecting and useful minerals, sheets Dehaj, Anar, Robat, Shahr-e-Babak and Zardu. Report 29/YU.
Montelius, C., 2005- The Genetic Relationship between Rhyolitic Volcanism and Zn-Cu-Au Deposits in the Maurliden Volcanic Centre, Skellefte district, Sweden: Volcanic facies, Lithogeochemistry and Geochronology. Ph.D. thesis, Lulea University of Technology, Sweden. 135 p.
Mousivand  F., Rastad E. & Peter M., 2008- An overview of volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits of Iran. 33rd Int Geol Congress, Oslo. CD ROM.
Mousivand, F., Rastad, E., Hoshino,  K. & Watanabe, M., 2007- The Bavanat Cu-Zn-Ag orebody: First recognition of a Besshi-type VMS deposit in Iran: Neues Jahrbuch Fur Mineralogie-Abhandlungen, 183: 297-315.
Mousivand, F., Rastad, E., Meffre, S., Peter, J. M., Solomon, M. & Khin Zaw- 2011, U-Pb geochronology and Pb isotope characteristics of the Chahgaz volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit, South of Iran. International Geology Review, 53 (10): 1239-1262.
Ohmoto , H. & Skinner B. J., 1983- The Kuroko and related volcanogcnic massive sulfide deposits. Econ Geol Monograph 5, 604 p.
Sáez, R., Pascual, E., Toscano, M., Almodóvar, G.R., 1999. The Iberian type of volcano–sedimentary massive sulphide deposits. Mineralium Deposita 34, 549–570.
Schlatter, D. M., 2005- Volcanic stratigraphy, chemical stratigraphy, and hydrothermal alteration of the Petiknäs South Volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposit, Sweden. Licentiate thesis (including maps), Lulea University of Technology, Sweden.  128p.
Schlatter, D.  M., 2007- Volcanic Stratigraphy and Hydrothermal Alteration of the Petiknäs South Zn-Pb-Cu-Au-Ag Volcanic-hosted Massive Sulfide Deposit, Sweden, Doctoral thesis, Lulea University of Technology, Sweden.  208p.
Sheikholeslami, M. R., Pique, A., Mobayen, P., Sabzehei, M., Bellon, H. & Hashem Emami, M., 2008- Tectono-metamorphic evolution of the Neyriz metamorphic complex, Quri-Kor-e-Sefid area (Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone, SW Iran). Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 31: 504-521.
Solomon, M. & Inverno,  C., 2006- Zn-Pb-Cu VHMS deposits — extending the brine-pool pool. AESC2006, Melbourne, Australia. 1-11.
Solomon, M., 2008-, Brine-pool deposition for the Zn–Pb–Cu massive sulphide deposits of the Bathurst mining camp, New Brunswick, Canada. II. Ocean anoxia during mineralisation. Ore Geology Reviews, 33: 352–360
Solomon,  M., 2008a, Brine pool deposition for the Zn–Pb–Cu massive sulphide deposits of the Bathurst mining camp, New Brunswick, Canada. I. Comparisons with the Iberian pyrite belt. Ore Geology Reviews, 33: 329–351
Solomon,  M., Tornos, F. & Gaspar, O. C., 2002- Explanation for many of the unusual features of the massive sulfide deposits of the Iberian pyrite belt: Geology, 30: 87-90.
Solomon,  M., Tornos, F., Large, R. R., Badham, J. N. P, Both, R. A. & Khin Zaw, 2004- Zn-Pb-Cu volcanic hosted massive sulfide deposits: criteria for distinguishing brine pool-Type from black smoker type sulfide deposition. Ore Geology Reviews, 25: 259-283.
Spry, P. G., Peter, J. M. & Slack, J. F., 2000- Meta-exhalites as exploration guides to ores: Reviews in Economic Geology, 11:168-201.
Tornos, F., 2006- Environment of formation and styles of volcanogenic massive sulfides: The Iberian Pyrite Belt; Ore Geology Reviews, 28: 259-307
Watters, W. A., Sabzehei, M., Alavi Tehrani., M., Etminan, H. & Majidi, B., 1970- Preliminary report on the geology and petrography of the metamorphic and igneous rocks of central part of Neyriz Quadrangle. Geological Survey of Iran, Internal report, 113 p.
Yarmohammadi, A., Rastad, E., Mousivand, F. & Watanabe, M., 2008- Barika Au-Ag-(Zn-Pb-Cu) deposit: First recognition of gold-rich Kuroko-type VMS mineralization in Iran. 33rd Int Geol Congress, Oslo. CD-ROM.