Abstract: Precious and base metal selenide minerals have been identified in gold-bearing carbonate veins cutting Middle Devonian limestones of the Torquay Limestone Group at Hope's Nose, Torquay. The selenide assemblage consists of clausthalite (PbSe), tiemannite (HgSe), klockmannite (CuSe), umangite (Cu3Se2), tyrrellite (Cu,Co,Ni)3Se4, trustedtite (Ni3Se4), penroseite (NiSe2), naumannite (Ag2Se), eucairite (AgCuSe) and fischesserite (Ag3AuSe2), only clausthalite having previously been reported from Britain. They are associated with palladian gold, gold, hematite, and accessory pyrite and chalcopyrite in a gangue consisting predominantly of calcite; alteration products include cerussite, malachite, aragonite and goethite.
The relative abundance of Au, Ag, Hg and Se is a characteristic feature in the uppermost parts of some precious metal ‘epithermal’ systems. The occurrence at Hope's Nose is related to both structural and lithological factors: a deep-seated NW-SE structural lineament, the Lundy-Sticklepath-Lustleigh-Torquay fault; local thrusting, and to an association of basic-intermediate igneous rocks with a sedimentary sequence including carbonaceous shales and limestones. The mineralization is considered to be post-Variscan, probably Permo-Triassic in age.