Abstract: The western Rhodope massif contains a significant number of ‘battery grade’ Mn-oxide deposits which are best developed in the area near Kato Nevrokopi, Drama district, N. Greece. Economic Mn-oxide ore concentrations are confined to fault zones and related karsts in marbles. The mineralisation has formed by weathering of hydrothermal veins that were genetically related to Oligocene magmatism.
At Kato Nevrokopi, progressive and continuous weathering of primary, hydrothermal veins of rhodochrosite, mixed sulphide, quartz and ‘black calcite’ (calcite and todorokite) has resulted in the formation of the assemblage MnO-gel-(amorphous Mn-oxide)-todorokite-azurite-goethite-cerussite in the veins and the assemblage MnO-gel-nsutite-chalcophanite-birnessite-cryptomelane-pyrolusite and malachite and amorphous Fe-oxides in karstic cavities.
The fs2 and fo2 of the hydrothermal fluids increased with time. The breakdown of the hypogene Mn-carbonate was aided by the production of an acidic fluid due to the oxidation of sulphides. Precipitation of the supergene ores was caused by neutralisation of the fluids due to reaction with the host marble and to mixing of relatively reduced fluids with oxygenated surface water in a fluctuation water table regime. Zinc was also mobile during weathering and became concentrated in the intermediate Mn-oxides, effectively stabilising their structures. The mineral paragenesis records the progressive oxidation of the ore and the appearance of less hydrated Mn-oxides, low in alkalis and alkaline earths.