The Lovisa Stratiform Zn-Pb Deposit, Bergslagen, Sweden: Structure, Stratigraphy, and Ore Genesis

Jansson, N.F.; Sädbom, S.; Allen, R.L.; Billström, K.; Spry, P.G.

Economic Geology 113(3): 699-739


ISSN/ISBN: 0361-0128
DOI: 10.5382/econgeo.2018.4567
Accession: 068506175

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Medium- to high-grade metamorphosed, 1.9 Ga, stratiform, syngenetic Zn-Pb ± Ag sulfide deposits constitute an economically important type of ore deposit in the Bergslagen lithotectonic unit of the Fennoscandian Shield. The Lovisa Zn-Pb deposit occurs in a metamorphosed succession of rhyolitic ash-siltstone, rhyolitic mass flow deposits, limestone, and Fe formation, deposited at a stage of waning volcanism in Bergslagen. Accessory graphite, absence of Ce anomalies in shale-normalized rare earth element (REE) data, and absence of hematite in Mn-rich Fe formations stratigraphically below the Lovisa Zn-Pb deposit indicate a suboxic-anoxic depositional environment. The uppermost Mn-rich Fe formation contains disseminated, inferred syngenetic Pb-Ag mineralization with mainly negative δ34S values in sphalerite and galena (–6.1 to –1.9‰). Deposition of this Fe formation terminated during a pulse of explosive felsic volcanism. The Lovisa Zn-Pb deposit is interpreted to have formed in an alkali-rich brine pool developed immediately after this volcanic event, based on lithogeochemical and stratigraphic evidence. The first stage of mineralization deposited stratiform sphalerite mineralization with mainly positive δ34S values (–0.9 to 4.7‰). This was succeeded by deposition of more sphalerite-galena stratiform mineralization with δ34S values close to 0‰ (–2.1 to 1.5‰). The more galena-rich mineralization partitioned strain and was partly remobilized during later ductile deformation. The stratigraphic context, sulfide mineralogy, S isotopes, and alteration geochemistry suggest that the metalliferous fluids and the depositional environment were H2S deficient (S poor SO2-4SO42- So 4 2- or dominant). The source of S is interpreted to have been a mixture of H2S derived from bacterial and thermochemical seawater sulfate reduction and S derived from leaching of volcanic rocks, with the latter becoming more important over time. Lovisa formed in a setting where basin subsidence was periodically punctuated by the deposition of thick, syneruptive felsic volcaniclastic mass flow deposits. Coeval volcanism was likely important for driving hydrothermal activity and supplying a reservoir of metals and S. However, the high rate of deposition of volcaniclastic sediment in Bergslagen also precluded the establishment of long-lived, deep, and anoxic environments favorable for accumulation of organic matter and H2S. This stratigraphic pattern is common in Bergslagen and may explain why large stratiform Zn-Pb deposits are uncommon in the region and restricted to the uppermost part of the metavolcanic succession, directly stratigraphically beneath postvolcanic pelitic rocks.