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The Boldy Award is presented annually to the author(s) of the best paper(s) presented at the Annual Meeting of

the Geological Association of Canada. The winning paper(s) is judged to best describe a significant and pragmatic
advance in mineral deposit research or exploration, in a manner that reflects Julian Boldy practical approach and
scientific curiosity. The award aims to recognize and encourage high standards in the oral and written presentation
of geological information. The award is supported by an endowment from Placer Dome in recognition of the work
of Julian Boldy. Each author will receive a certificate and a small cash prize. Following tradition, expanded
abstracts of each paper will appear in upcoming issues of The Gangue.

WINNING PAPER (Abstract):

Montral 2006
Technical Program

SS10: Isotope geochemistry and ore mineralization


Sponsored by / Parrain par: Isotope Sciences Division / La Division des sciences des isotopes
Organizers / Organisateurs: Kurt Kyser (Queen's U.), Norbert Clauer (U. of Strasbourg)
Room / Salle: SH-3140
Date: 5/16/2006
Time: 10:40 AM
Presenter: Amelia Rainbow

Magmatic and meteoric fluid history of the Pierina high-sulphidation epithermal Au-Ag deposit, Ancash, Peru

Rainbow, A., rainbow@geoladm.geol.queensu.ca, Kyser, T.K., Clark, A.H. and Lee, J.K.W., Department of Geological
Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6

The Pierina deposit (9 26.5S; 77 35W) is one of the least refractory gold producers in the world, with current extraction
costs of $106/oz, the result of the intense supergene oxidation of a finely-disseminated sulphidic protore. Stage I advanced
argillic alteration generated a core of vuggy quartz surrounded successively by zones of quartz-alunite, alunite-dickite,
dickite-kaolinitepyrophyllite and illite-montmorillonitekaolinite. Laser 40Ar/39Ar incremental-heating alunite dates range
from 14.1 to 15.3 Ma, the precipitation of powdery alunite (15.2-15.3 Ma) preceding that of the more widespread coarse,
disseminated alunite (14.1-14.8 Ma). Although texturally similar to steam-heated alunite elsewhere, the former yields
18O (7.6 to 9.2) and D (-62 to -58) values overlapping with those of disseminated alunite (6.3 to 14.4; -71 to -
38), indicative of precipitation from a magmatic fluid with variable contributions from meteoric water.

Alteration was succeeded by Stage II precious metal + barite mineralization, comprising Au- and Ag-bearing pyrite and
enargite and Ag-bearing bismuthinite-stibnite, sphalerite and galena. Sulphide 34S values range from ~ -3 to 3, while
barite yields 34S values of 23.6 to 28.5 and 18O values of 5.8 to 10.9, consistent with a predominantly magmatic
origin. The Stage II sulphide assemblage was almost completely destroyed during Stage III oxidation, when Fe was
reprecipitated as composite m-to-mm scale botryoidal goethite-hematite bodies. Laser-ablation ICP-MS analysis shows
that the earlier and more abundant goethite is variably enriched in Au, Ag, Bi, Sb, Pb, Hg, Sn, As and Cu, confirming it as
the main precious metal host. Goethite 18O and D values of -8.2 to -2.0 and -191 to -155, and hematite 18O values
of -8.8 to -4.4 indicate precipitation from a low temperature ( 50 C), unexchanged meteoric water with 18O and D
values of 10 2 and -70 15.

Stage III barite largely overgrows the goethite-hematite assemblage, with some temporal overlap, but where intergrown
with acanthite, the goethite-hematite assemblage has been destroyed. Stage III barite has correlated 18O and 34S values of
-2.8 to 4.7 and 1.4 to 14.2, respectively, that also correlate with the 34S values (0.4 to 3.9) of coprecipitated
acanthite. These data are ascribed to the microbial reduction of aqueous sulphate, evidence for microbial involvement in
the economically critical oxidation of the precious metal-bearing sulphide assemblage.