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doi: 10.1111/j.1751-3928.2011.00165.x Resource Geology Vol. 61, No.

3: 290295

Short Communication rge_165 290..295

Variation of Rhenium Contents in Molybdenites from the


Sar Cheshmeh Porphyry Cu-Mo Deposit in Iran

Balandeh Aminzadeh,1 Jamshid Shahabpour1 and Majid Maghami2


1
Department of Geology, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman and 2Department of Geology, Sar Cheshmeh Copper Company,
Rafsanjan, Iran

Abstract
This paper presents the results of a study on the variation of Re in the Sar Cheshmeh porphyry copper-
molybdenum deposit in Iran. The Re content was determined in monomineralic molybdenite separates from
veinlets and from molybdenum milled oatation concentrates. Mineralogical data and chemical analyses
indicate two generations of veinlet molybdenites in the Sar Cheshmeh deposit. The rst generation (molybdenite
I), which contains low Re, is found as intergrowth with quartz in silicied rocks with low total sulde content,
and the second generation (molybdenite II), which contains high Re, is found in veinlets with low quartz content.
There is a positive correlation between the elevation of molybdenite deposition and Re content. Decrease in the
temperature and pH of the hydrothermal uids are effective for the accumulation Re in molybdenite. X-ray
diffraction study of 14 molybdenite samples indicate that the molybdenites are of the 2H polytype.
Keywords: Iran, porphyry coppermolybdenum deposit, Re, Sar Cheshmeh.

1. Introduction 2. Geologic background


Re content in the lithosphere is estimated at only The Sar Cheshmeh porphyry Cu-Mo deposit in Iran
0.001 ppm (Noddack & Noddack, 1931). The concen- occurs in Cenozoic Central Iranian magmatic belt,
tration of Re in molybdenite is of great economic which is composed of subduction-related calc-alkaline
importance since it makes available an element that is (e.g. Berberian, 1983; Shahabpour, 2007) and adakitic
dispersed and very scarce. Re is produced as a rocks (Shaei & Shahabpour, 2008).
by-product from porphyry Cu-Mo deposits. The mineralization at Sar Cheshmeh is associated
Re concentration in porphyry Cu-Mo systems is well with a granodioritic stock (12.5 Ma) (Shahabpour &
documented in a number of porphyry copper deposits. Kramers, 1987) intruding into a thrusted and folded
The highest concentration of Re (4.2 %) in molybdenite early Tertiary volcano-sedimentary series, comprising
is reported from the Kirki deposit, Greece (Melfos et al., andesitic lavas, tuff, ignimbrite and agglomerate
2001). The aim of this study is to assess the Re content (Waterman & Hamilton, 1975). The granodioritic stock
in the main stage of molybdenum mineralization (Sar Cheshmeh porphyry) is cut by intramineral felsic
occurring within veinlets from the Sar Cheshmeh porphyry dikes and several post-mineral felsic por-
deposit. phyritic dikes (Shahabpour, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2000).

Received 16 August 2010. Accepted for publication 30 November 2010.


Corresponding author: B. Aminzadeh, Department of Geology, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman 7616914111, Iran. Email:
Aminzadeh85@gmail.com

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290 Resource Geology 2011 The Society of Resource Geology
Re in Sar Cheshmeh deposit

The alteration at Sar Cheshmeh was rst studied by of molybdenite deposition and its Re content (Table 1,
Waterman and Hamilton (1975) and in detail by and Fig. 2). An increase in elevation enhances the
Etminan (1977), Shahabpour and Kramers (1987) and inuence of convecting groundwater regime on the
Shahabpour (1982, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2000). The overall hydrothermal solution. The structural analysis of
pattern is as follows. A potassic zone, which is charac- molybdenite by X-ray diffraction method demonstrates
terized by secondary K-feldspar and biotite, surrounds that they crystallize as 2H polytype.
the lower grade core. This potassic zone has been over-
printed by a retrograde phyllic alteration, as are the 5. Discussion
biotitized zones within the andesitic wall rocks. Of
these, the strongly biotitized inner zone, overprinted In the hydrothermal stage, molybdenum is assumed to
by weak phyllic alteration has a thickness of 50400 m be found as thiomolybdate, whose stability depends
(Waterman & Hamilton, 1975; Etminan, 1977). An mainly on the pH (which should be alkaline) (Sutulov,
outer, weakly biotitized zone, which has suffered 1978). The pH of the ore-bearing uid is dependent on
strong phyllic alteration, is 50150 m thick and forms a the reaction of the mineralizing uid with silicates
phyllic ring with an outer limit corresponding roughly (especially feldspars), which act as buffers, and the
to the 0.4% Cu boundary (Etminan, 1977). A propylitic temperature. In effect, on lowering the temperature,
zone approximately 1-km thick, surrounds the whole the ionization of HCl, HF, etc., is increased and, thus,
complex and grades into unaltered andesite (Water- the pH is lowered. This causes the precipitation of both
man & Hamilton, 1975; Etminan, 1977). silica and molybdenum (as MoS2), which explains the
normal association between them (Sutulov, 1978). The
3. Materials and methods Re content in molybdenites is affected by the tempera-
ture or stage of ore deposition (Giles & Shilling, 1972;
Samples were collected from mine surfaces, diamond Newberry, 1979; Filimonova et al., 1984; Todorov &
drill cores and oatation concentrates. Re was deter- Staikov, 1985). The Re content in molybdenite decreases
mined in 20 representative samples (Table 1). 15 with an increase in its temperature of formation. There
samples are the molybdenite from veinlets and ve is an inverse relationship between the temperature of
samples are from milled oatation concentrates of formation and the Re content of molybdenite (Sutulov,
molybdenite from a period with maximum molybde- 1978). The slight prograde solubility of ReS2 in high-
num recovery (April to June 2009). temperature (400 to 500C) environments means that
The Re content of samples was determined using more ReS2 is dissolved at higher temperatures (Xiong &
inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP- Wood, 2002), which explains the lower Re content in
MS) at ALS Chemex of Canada, following acid diges- molybdenites deposited at higher temperatures
tion. Detection limit is 0.02 ppm for Re. (Berzina et al., 2005).This comports with data obtained
The structural analysis (X-ray diffraction) was con- from this study. Increase in elevation enhances convect-
ducted on 14 molybdenite samples at Zarazma Analy- ing groundwater regime inuence on the hydrother-
sis Service in Iran. The analyzed samples include ve mal solution; therefore with a decrease in temperature
milled oatation concentrates of molybdenite, and nine and pH, the Re-rich molybdenites are deposited in the
samples are representative molybdenites of the main higher levels of the deposit.
phase of molybdenite mineralization. The Re content of molybdenite is widely variable
(10.85 to 631 ppm). The Re concentration of molybden-
4. Results ite does not relate to rock type, whereas it correlates
with the degree of sericitization, silicication and the
The Re content in molybdenite is widely variable (10.85 size of molybdenite grains in veinlets. There is a sys-
to 631 ppm). Among the veinlet types that contain tematic increase in Re content with a decrease in the
molybdenite, an increased Re content (373 to 517 ppm) silicication intensity and increase in the degree of
is for molybdenite from molybdenite veinlets with sericitization in molybdenite veinlets. As a result accu-
minor quartz, and sericitic alteration. In general, there mulation of Re in molybdenite is increased towards the
is a systematic increase in Re content in molybdenites phyllic stage of alteration. In general, among veinlet
with decreasing degree of silicication and increasing types that contain molybdenite, an increased Re
degree of sericitization in the veinlets. There is a posi- content (373 to 517 ppm) is for molybdenite from
tive correlation (r = 0.54, n = 15) between the elevation molybdenite veinlets with minor quartz, and sericitic

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292
Table 1 Description of samples analyzed for Re
Description Rock type Degree of Degree of Mod of occurrence of molybdenite Elavation Re
Sericitization Silicication (m) (ppm)
B. Aminzadeh et al.

in veinlets in veinlets
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Granodioritic stock Weak Strong Smears of molybdenite along the edge of 2235 127.5
veinlets vein llings
Molybdenite from molybdenite veinlet with Andesite Intensive Weak Abundant closely packed ne grain 2387.5 474
minor quartz molybdenite
Molybdenite from molybdenite veinlet with Granodioritic stock Intensive Weak Abundant closely packed ne grain 2240 373
minor quartz molybdenite
Molybdenite from molybdenite veinlet with Andesite Intensive Weak Abundant closely packed ne grain 2400 517
minor quartz molybdenite
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Andesite Weak Strong Smears of molybdenite along the edge of 2400 100.5
veinlets vein llings
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Late ne porphyry Weak Strong Smears of molybdenite along the edge of 2250 70.3
veinlets vein llings
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Granodioritic stock Moderate Moderate Molybdenite and quartzgrains in equal 2300 245
veinlets proportions
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Granodioritic stock Weak Strong Smears of molybdenite along the edge of 2220 91.6
veinlets vein llings
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Granodioritic stock Weak Strong Smears of molybdenite along the edge of 2080 10.85
veinlets vein llings
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Andesite Weak Strong Smears of molybdenite along the edge of 2150 123
veinlets vein llings
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Andesite Weak Strong Smears of molybdenite along the edge of 2387.5 123.5
veinlets vein llings
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Granodioritic stock Weak Strong Smears of molybdenite along the edge of 2250 21.3
veinlets vein llings
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Andesite Moderate Moderate Molybdenite and quartzgrains in equal 2435 364
veinlets proportions
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Granodioritic stock Weak Strong Smears of molybdenite along the edge of 2270 112
veinlets vein llings
Molybdenite from quartzmolybdenite Andesite Weak Strong Smears of molybdenite along the edge of 2380 119
veinlets vein llings
Molybdenite from oatation concentrate 1 590
Molybdenite from oatation concentrate 2 597
Molybdenite from oatation concentrate 3 613
Molybdenite from oatation concentrate 4 631
Molybdenite from oatation concentrate 5 552

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Resource Geology 2011 The Society of Resource Geology
Re in Sar Cheshmeh deposit

Fig. 1 Comparison of Re content in molybdenite veinlets from the Sar Cheshmeh deposit.

alteration. Whereas, low Re content is for ne-grained


molybdenite from quartz-molybdenite veinlets with
strong silicication and weak sericitization (e.g. the
two molybdenite samples with low Re content in
Table 1).
The lead isotope results on sulde separates from the
Sar Cheshmeh deposit indicate that the early potassic
alteration-mineralization uid was essentially mag-
matic and the small systematic increase in 206Pb/204Pb
from the freshest to the most potassically altered
samples indicates that the convecting groundwater
regime affected the mineralizing solution (Shahabpour
& Kramers, 1987). Mineral associations formed from
Fig. 2 Plot of elevation against Re content in molybden-
highly acidic uids are favorable for the Re accumula- ite from the Sar Cheshmeh. r, correlation coefcient; n,
tion in molybdenites (Ivanov & Yushko-Zakharova, number of samples.
1989). Environments with K-feldspar alteration,
formed by alkali hydrothermal solutions, have the
capacity for transporting Re, and as a result, may have (Fig. 1) indicate it can be classied into two groups.
caused a decrease in Re content of molybdenite Group A contains ne-grained molybdenite, which
(Berzina et al., 2005). Lowering of temperature and pH occur as smears at the edges of veinlet llings, which
of the hydrothermal solution is favorable for the accu- contain low Re. Group B contains molybdenite and
mulation of Re in molybdenites. Mineralogical data quartz grains, which occur in equal proportions in
and chemical analyses on the Sar Cheshmeh molyb- veinlets. These molybdenites contain moderate Re
denites indicate that molybdenite in veinlets can be content. The size of molybdenite grains in group B is
divided into two generations: the rst generation larger than those in group A. These data comport with
(molybdenite I), which contains low Re, is found as Faramazian (1961), who suggested that in molybdeni-
intergrowth with quartz in silicied zone with low tes of the same generation a direct relationship exists
total sulde content, and the second generation between the size of molybdenite crystals and its Re
(molybdenite II), which is richer in Re, is found in content.
veinlets characterizing low quartz content. The study Microthermometric studies on samples of quartz
of mode of occurrence of molybdenite and its Re from the Sar Cheshmeh deposit, suggest that NaCl and
content from the rst generation (molybdenite I) KCl are the principal salts in uid inclusions. Chloride

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Resource Geology 2011 The Society of Resource Geology 293
B. Aminzadeh et al.

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