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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof. Dave Selby

Alderton, D.H.M., Selby, D., Kucha, H. & Blundell, D.J. (2016). A multistage origin for Kupferschiefer mineralization. Ore Geology Reviews 79: 535-543.

Author(s) from Durham


New Re–Os age determinations on mineralized material from the Polish Kupferschiefer elucidate the timing of mineralization and thus the likely mechanisms of ore deposition. Three mineralization parageneses were analysed: (a) chalcocite as pore space filling in sandstone, (b) disseminated Cu–Mo mineralization in shale, and (c) massive, bedded copper sulphides. The resulting ages fall into two ranges: 245.2 (± 1.6)–264.7 (± 1.8) Ma and 162.3 (± 0.8)–184.3 (± 2.2) Ma. These results substantiate previous age determinations, although no Upper Triassic ages were found in this study. Some of the younger ages for the mineralization could represent alteration and recrystallization of existing sulphides. The results confirm that mineralization took place in several stages, from soon after Kupferschiefer sediment deposition in the Upper Permian and for at least 100 m.y. after, until at least the Cretaceous. The genesis of the mineralization can be explained by the episodic release of hydrothermal fluids from the subsiding adjacent Southern Permian sedimentary basin, although the relative importance of each successive mineralizing ‘event’ for introducing additional metals is as yet unknown.