Hydrogeochemistry of Groundwaters Associated with Epithermal Hot-Spring-Type Hg Deposits
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2000
This study characterizes the hydrogeochemistry of groundwaters near opalite-hosted epithermal hot-spring type mercury deposits in the Ivanhoe mining district, Elko County, Nevada. Local groundwaters generally range from Ca-HCO3 to Ca-Mg-Na-SO4 type waters with background mercury concentrations ranging from 0.014 to 0.32 ug/l. Leaching experiments conducted on mineralized rocks, using typical water chemistries to represent local groundwaters, yield total mercury concentrations ranging from 6.3 ug/l to 27.4 ug/l after one year of reaction. Geochemical modeling indicates dissolved mercury is dominated by HgO(,) and that precipitation of quicksilver controls mercury concentrations to an upper limit of 63 ug/l.