Exceptional Concentrations of Gold Nanoparticles in 1,7 Ga Fluid Inclusions From the Kola Superdeep Borehole, Northwest Russia.

Affiliation

Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Staromonetny per. 35, Moscow, 119117, Russia. [Email]

Abstract

In the drill core of the Kola super-deep borehole (SG-3, 12,262 m depth) gold-bearing rocks of Archaean age have been located at depths of 9,500 to 11,000 m. In veins, between 9,052 and 10,744 m, within this gold zone, quartz contains fluid inclusions with gold nanoparticles. There are 4 types of fluid inclusions (1) gas inclusions of dense CO2, (2) liquid-vapor two-phase aqueous inclusions, (3) three-phase inclusions with NaCl daughter crystals, and (4) CO2-aqueous inclusions. In all inclusion types, there are extremely high concentrations of gold. The highest gold concentrations were found in the type 3 and 4 fluid inclusions with an average concentration of c. 750 ppm and may be as high as 6,000 ppm. The presence of gold as nanoparticles in the solutions of these fluid inclusions was determined by optical and spectroscopic methods. We suggest that these fluids could be a precursor of "orogenic gold fluids" which, at the gold concentrations determined, would reduce the requirements for large volumes of metamorphic fluids to form orogenic ore deposits. Further, as nanoparticles, gold could be transported in larger amounts than in true solution.

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