Fluid flow in shear zones: insights from the geometry and evolution of ore bodies at Renco gold mine, Zimbabwe

Blenkinsop, T.G., and Kadzviti, S. (2006) Fluid flow in shear zones: insights from the geometry and evolution of ore bodies at Renco gold mine, Zimbabwe. Geofluids, 6 (4). pp. 334-345.

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The geometry of mineral deposits can give insights into fluid flow in shear zones. Lode gold ore bodies at Renco Mine, in the Limpopo Belt, Zimbabwe, occur as siliceous breccias and mylonites within amphibolite facies shear zones that dip either gently or steeply. The two sets of ore bodies formed synchronously from hydrothermal fluids. The ore bodies are oblate, but have well-defined long axes. Larger ore bodies are more oblate. High-grade gold ore shoots have long axes that plunge down dip; this direction is perpendicular to the long axes of the low-grade ore bodies. The centres of the high-grade ore bodies align within the low-grade ore bodies along strike in both gently and steeply dipping groups. The range of sizes and shapes of the ore bodies are interpreted as a growth sequence. Geometrical models are proposed for the gently and steeply dipping ore bodies, in which individual ore bodies grow with long axes plunging down dip, and merge to form larger, more oblate ore bodies. The models show that when three or more ore bodies coalesce, the long axis of the merged ore body is perpendicular to the component ore bodies, and that ore bodies in the deposit may have a range of shapes due to both growth of individual ore bodies, and their coalescence. The long axes of the high-grade ore bodies are parallel to the shear directions of both the gently and steeply dipping dip slip shear zones, which were the directions of greatest permeability and fluid flow. The larger, lower grade bodies, which may have formed by coalescence, are elongate perpendicular to these directions.

Item ID: 4631
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1468-8115
Keywords: fluid flow; lode gold; shear zone; Limpopo Belt; ore body; Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2009 23:25
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840105 Precious (Noble) Metal Ore Exploration @ 100%
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