pISSN 0705-3797 eISSN 2586-1298
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Episodes 2009; 32(4): 249-263

Published online December 1, 2009


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Understanding gold-(silver)-telluride-(selenide) mineral deposits

Nigel J. Cook1,2, Cristiana L. Ciobanu1,2, Paul G. Spry3, Panagiotis Voudouris4, the participants of IGCP-486

1School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, S.A., Australia; E-mail: nigel.cook@adelaide.edu.au
2South Australian Museum, Adelaide, S.A. Australia
3Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA
4Department of Mineralogy-Petrology, University of Athens, 15784, Athens, Greece

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Gold-(silver)-telluride (selenide) ores occur as epithermal orogenic and intrusion related deposits. Although Te and Se are chalcophile elements and share geochemical affinity with Au, formation of selenides and other elements Ag-Au require acidic or reducing environments. The thermodynamic stability conditions for Au and Agtellurides and native tellurium indicate an epithermal environment. Analysis of mineral paragenensis, textures and compositional variation in tellurides/selenides suggest petrogenetic processes involving interaction with fluids leading to Au scavenging and entrapment in tellurides, changes in chemistry/rates of fluid infiltration and attaining equilibrium in a given assemblage.