Sulphidation in the Witwatersrand Goldfields: Evidence from the Middelvlei Reef

Russell E. Myers, Taihe Zhou and G. Neil Phillips
National Key Centre in Economic Geology, Geology Department, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia Q4811

Abstract: There is extensive textural evidence for sulphidation in the Middelvlei Reef of the Carletonville Goldfield, South Africa. Secondary iron sulphides have replaced sand- and pebble-sized clasts in conglomerate, as well as matrix material in both conglomerate and quartzite. Within the Middelvlei Reef there is a close correspondence between the intensity of sulphidation and areas of greater modal muscovite, and there is less sulphidation where chloritoid dominates. Both pyrite and minor pyrrhotite are widespread. The timing of the sulphidation appears to be post-depositional but the relative importance of diagenetic and syn-metamorphic processes cannot be determined using textural criteria. The absence of retrograde effects suggests that sulphidation occurred prior to or during peak metamorphism. The distribution and intensity of sulphidation and phyllosilicate alteration indicate that these processes may be more significant in the Witwatersrand than has generally been thought. These processes should be considered in all future genetic models.

Keywords: sulphidation • goldfields • Witwatersrand • South Africa

Mineralogical Magazine; September 1993 v. 57; no. 388; p. 395-405; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1993.057.388.04
© 1993, The Mineralogical Society
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