Comparative Proton and Electron Probe Study of Two Representative Indium-Bearing Deposits

Sie SH, ; Takagi T, ; Seetharam R, ; Naito K,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
Tin-polymetallic vein type deposits are one of the major source of metal producers in the Circum Pacific Belt. This type of deposit is of great importance for the modem electronics and medical industries because of their high content of rare metals (especially indium and bismuth). We have studied two representatives, Tosham of India (Cu-In-Bi-Sn-W-Ag-Au), and Mount Pleasant of Canada (Zn-Cu-In-Bi-Sn-W), using proton and electron microprobes in order to delineate the distribution of medical/high-tech rare metals. The electron microprobe study showed that major indium carrier in such type of deposit are roquesite (CulnSZ), sphalerite, stannite and a Cu-Zn-Fe-In-Sn-S mineral; and that indium is incorporated in sulfides by coupled substitution like Cu + In = 2(Zn + Fe). The proton microprobe showed that indium at trace levels is also present in chalcopyrite and pyrite. In addition, zinc, copper, arsenic, antimony, selenium, tin, and bismuth are common in chalcopyrite and pyrite. Arsenopyrite contains nickel, copper, zinc, silver, tin, antimony and bismuth. In chalcopyrite and pyrite, zinc, arsenic, indium, bismuth and lead are higher in Mount Pleasant ore, but silver is higher at Tosham. Also thallium and gold were found only in Tosham pyrite. The Tosham deposit is genetically related to S-type magma, while the Mount Pleasant deposit is related to A-type granite. Tosham ore contains zinc-bearing biotites that coexist with chalcopyrite in ore bodies but Mount Pleasant ore lacks such biotite. We propose that the difference in elemental abundance between the two deposits are caused by the different character of source magma and different mineral associations of the ore body.
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