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Mobility of metals (Au, Cu) in fluids and partitioning between hydrous fluids and solid phases: experimental investigation

Leitung:Prof. Dr. Holtz, Prof. Dr. Weyer, Dr. Oberthür
Bearbeitung:Insa Derrey, Dipl.-Min.
Laufzeit:3 years
Förderung durch:Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony

Ore deposits are natural sources of metals playing a fundamental role in the origin and evolution of our technically-oriented civilization. Understanding the transport of metals in the crust and the formation of metal ore deposits requires a good database on the distribution of metals between complex Cl- and S-bearing hydrous fluids and solid phases and/or silicate melts.  Such data are scarce and the principal goal of this study is to determine experimentally the partitioning of metals (mainly Au, Cu, Mo) between hydrous fluids and phases such as silicates, oxides, sulfides and/or sulfates. Experiments will be conducted in priority in the temperature range 300 – 700 °C  and at pressures up to 200 MPa (6 to 7 km depth), with particular attention to the role of sulfur,  chlorine and oxygen fugacity. The experimental products will be analyzed using microprobe and Laser-Ablation technique. The results will provide key data necessary for the quantification of the transport properties of fluids and for modeling ore forming processes. The systems investigated experimentally and the strategy adopted in this proposal will be suited to the understanding of the formation of  Porphyry Cu-Au-Mo ore deposits.