Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Geology, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, Iran


       Zartorosht gold deposit is located in southeastern part of the Sanandaj-Sirjan zone. Rock units exposed in the area include mafic to intermediate volcanic series, metamorphosed volcano-sedimentary rocks and meta-basites intruded by basic to felsic dikes. These late Paleozoic units have been metamorphosed under lower to medium green-schist facies. Due to several phases of intense deformation, rock sequence indicates new fabrics. The intensity and types of deformation are not the same in the area, so that rock units illustrate ductile-brittle to brittle shear zones.
Gold mineralization occurs in ductile-brittle and brittle shear zones. In ductile-brittle shear zones, gold mineralization occurs parallel to the foliation with lenticular geometry along the strike and dip of the foliation. Analysis of samples from silicified parts of this zone indicates 0.5 to 7.95 ppm Au. In these zones, deformation fabrics can be observed as primary mylonitization in marginal and middle parts, and brittle fabrics in central parts. Gold mineralization in brittle type shear zones has occurred mainly along N70W to E-W and southern dipping normal faults. This type of mineralization includes gold-bearing veins and siliceous-sulfidic bands and can be followed in a 1.5 km long zone. Au grade in samples from siliceous-sulfidic zone is 17.2 ppm and sometimes it reaches up to 35.7 ppm. Mineralized rock units in shear zones indicate different types of alteration including chloritization, epidotization, sericitization, carbonatization, argilization, silicification and sulfidization. Siliceous-sulfidic alteration corresponds to ore-bearing zones within the shear zones.
Studies suggested temporal and spatial relation between alteration and deformation. Spatial relation is explained by overlapping alteration and deformation zones. Foliation parallel open spaces (generated during ductile deformation and mineralization processes) and also micro-fractures in porphyroclasts (generated during grain cataclastic flow) have been filled with hydrothermal - stage quartz and pyrite indicating temporal correlation of alteration and deformation. Au grade changes have close relation with deformation and alteration intensity. This relation has been distinguished by analysis of samples taken from trenches and tunnels perpendicular or parallel to general foliation of rock units. High gold content is related to intensely deformed (mylonitic and ultracataclasite) siliceous and sulfidic parts and Au-bearing siliceous-sulfidic parts coinciding with the inner parts of alteration zones.
Ore-mineral assemblages in the area are relatively simple including pyrite, arsenian-pyrite, rarely galena and sphalerite. Based on microscopic studies, Au occurs as free grains and electrum. Also electron-microprobe and electron-microscope analysis indicate that at least some of Au grains are in sulfide minerals lattice. According to these studies, gold has been observed with both pyrite and arsenian-pyrite phases. Ag has also been detected in sulfide minerals lattice and siliceous gangue.
Controlling parameters for mineral concentration in Zartorosht deposit are shear zones (ductile-brittle and brittle) and alteration (silicification and sulfidization). Based on the comparison of Zartorosht main characteristics with orogenic gold deposits, Zartorosht has the most similarities with orogenic gold mineralization; therefore, it is considered to be of this type.


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