AUTHORS: Alicia Newton, Jeffrey L. Mauk, Alan E. Koenig, Heather A. Lowers, Andrew Menzies, Phil Davies
ABSTRACT: The Simberi adularia-sericite epithermal deposit in Papua New Guinea contains oxide and sulphide ore reserves, and is currently mining oxide ore. The sulphide ore is partly refractory. New petrographic, SEM, QEMSCAN, and LA-ICP-MS analyses indicate that the Au in the sulphide ore resides in Au-bearing telluride minerals and also into arsenian pyrite. The telluride minerals most commonly occur as inclusions that are less than 30 microns across in vuggy pyrite. The Au and Ag telluride minerals have excellent liberation properties, in part because of the vuggy nature of the pyrite. Textural and geochemical relations, combined with published literature, lead us to infer that the telluride minerals were deposited by vapour phase transport after deposition of Au-bearing arsenian pyrite.
KEYWORDS: Epithermal, arsenian pyrite, refractory Au, geometallurgy
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