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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof. Dave Selby

Rabiee, Ahmad, Rossetti, Federico, Tecce, Francesca, Asahara, Yoshihiro, Azizi, Hossein, Glodny, Johannes, Lucci, Federico, Nozaem, Reza, Opitz, Joachim & Selby, David (2019). Multiphase magma intrusion, ore-enhancement and hydrothermal carbonatisation in the Siah-Kamar porphyry Mo deposit, Urumieh-Dokhtar magmatic zone, NW Iran. Ore Geology Reviews 110: 102930.

Author(s) from Durham


The Siah-Kamar Mo deposit (SKMD) is located at the northwestern termination of the Urumieh-Dokhtar magmatic zone and it is the only porphyry Mo ore reserve in Iran. The exploration program documented 39.2 Mt proved reserves @ 539 ppm Mo and 66.4 Mt probable reserves @ 266 ppm Mo. In this study, field and petrographic investigations, integrated with geochemical (fluid inclusion and quartz chemistry) and geochronological (U-Pb zircon, Re-Os molybdenite, and Rb-Sr multimineral isochron) studies are used to propose a metallogenic model for the Mo mineralisation in the SKMD. The geology of the SKMD is characterized by the emplacement of a multiphase Oligocene basic/intermediate (at ca. 33-30 Ma) to acidic (29-28 Ma) magmatic suite, which intruded the Eocene volcanic country rocks. The alteration zone, about 4 × 3 km in size and with a general NW-SE trend, is centered within the main basic porphyry stock, grading from an inner potassic-sodic zone to peripheral phyllic/propylitic halos. The late acidic magmatic products (stocks and dykes) intruded and post-dated the main alteration zone. Two-stage Mo mineralisation is recognised, including: (i) stage-1, disseminated molybdenite, coeval with the formation of potassic-sodic alteration and minor, microscale Fsp, Bt, Qz+Po veinlets; and (ii) stage-2, high-grade molybdenite+carbonate (± sericite), structurally-controlled stockwork veining. Fluid inclusion systematics combined with TitaniQ thermometry documents a mineralising fluid system compatible with a transition from high-temperature (up to ca. 600 °C) magmatic to epithermal (250 °C) conditions during progressive cooling, exhumation and mixing with meteoric sources at shallow crustal conditions (ca. 7-3 km). The Re-Os molybdenite dating constrains the high-grade Mo ore formation at ca. 29-28 Ma, attesting for the intimate linkage between the main Mo mineralisation and the acidic magmatic phase in the area. The Rb-Sr geochronology of the potassic-sodic alteration zones confirms the two-stage magmatic/mineralisation scenarios, overlapping within errors with the results obtained from the U-Pb zircon geochronology and constraining the formation of the potassic-sodic and phyllic alteration at ca. 33 and 28 Ma, respectively. Our results document an uncommon scenario of two-stage porphyry Mo mineralisation associated with intensive late stage carbonate precipitation and achieved during a long-lasting and multiphase magmatic pulses of Oligocene age. We highlight the dominant role of acidic fluid neutralisation for further ore enrichment during polyphase magma intrusion as the dominant factor controlling the Mo mineralisation in the SKMD. Comparison at a regional-scale indicates that parameters such as longevity of magma supply, progressive magma crystallization/differentiation, and the presence of a possible pre-enriched crustal material should be considered responsible for the Mo endowment in the UDMZ.