Zn/Cd ratios and cadmium isotope evidence for the classification of lead-zinc deposits

Abstract : Lead-zinc deposits are often difficult to classify because clear criteria are lacking. In recent years, new tools, such as Cd and Zn isotopes, have been used to better understand the ore-formation processes and to classify Pb-Zn deposits. Herein, we investigate Cd concentrations, Cd isotope systematics and Zn/Cd ratios in sphalerite from nine Pb-Zn deposits divided into high-temperature systems (e.g., porphyry), low-temperature systems (e.g., Mississippi Valley type [MVT]) and exhalative systems (e.g., sedimentary exhalative [SEDEX]). Our results showed little evidence of fractionation in the high-temperature systems. In the low-temperature systems, Cd concentrations were the highest, but were also highly variable, a result consistent with the higher fractionation of Cd at low temperatures. The δ(114/110)Cd values in low-temperature systems were enriched in heavier isotopes (mean of 0.32 ± 0.31‰). Exhalative systems had the lowest Cd concentrations, with a mean δ(114/110)Cd value of 0.12 ± 0.50‰. We thus conclude that different ore-formation systems result in different characteristic Cd concentrations and fraction levels and that low-temperature processes lead to the most significant fractionation of Cd. Therefore, Cd distribution and isotopic studies can support better understanding of the geochemistry of ore-formation processes and the classification of Pb-Zn deposits.
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Hanjie Wen, Chuanwei Zhu, Yuxu Zhang, Christophe Cloquet, Haifeng Fan, et al.. Zn/Cd ratios and cadmium isotope evidence for the classification of lead-zinc deposits. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 6 (1), pp.25273. ⟨10.1038/srep25273⟩. ⟨hal-01772694⟩

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