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Feng X.,Geosciences Environnement Toulouse | Jessell M.W.,Geosciences Environnement Toulouse | Jessell M.W.,University of Western Australia | Amponsah P.O.,Geosciences Environnement Toulouse | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Geodynamics | Year: 2016

Tectonic inheritance acquired from past geological events can control the formation of new plate boundaries. The aim of this paper is to explore the role of inherited NE and NW trending fabrics and their rheological influence on the propagation of Oligocene-Miocene strike-slip faulting that matured to become the Australian-Pacific plate boundary fault in southern New Zealand. Strain weakening plays a significant role in controlling the formation, growth and evolution of strain localization. In this study, three-dimensional thermo-mechanical models have been used to explore the effect of strain weakening on the Oligocene-Miocene self-organization of strain localization. Strain weakening is simulated through decreasing either the coefficient of friction of upper crust, its cohesion, or the rheological viscosity contrast between the inherited structures and their surrounding wall rocks. Viscosity contrast is obtained by varying the viscosity of inherited structures. Softening coefficient (α) is a measure of strain weakening. Our experiments robustly demonstrate that a primary boundary shear zone becomes mature quicker when softening coefficients are increased. Deformation is focused along narrow high-strain shear zones in the centre of the model when the softening coefficients are high, whereas the strain is more diffuse with many shear zones spread over the model and possibly some high-strain shear zones focused near one border at lower softening coefficients. Varying the viscosity contrast has less effect on the distribution of maximum finite strain.Under simple-shear boundary conditions, NW trending inherited structures make a major contribution to forming early zones of highly focused strain, up to a shear strain of about γ = 3.7. During this process, most NE-trending structures move and rotate passively, accommodate less strain, or even be abandoned through time. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Amponsah P.O.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | Amponsah P.O.,Azumah Resources Ghana Ltd | Salvi S.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | Beziat D.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | And 5 more authors.
Ore Geology Reviews | Year: 2015

The Bepkong gold deposit is located in the Wa-Lawra belt of the Paleoproterozoic Baoulé-Mossi domain of the West African Craton, in NW Ghana. It occurs in pelitic and volcano-sedimentary rocks, metamorphosed to greenschist facies, in genetic association with zones of shear interpreted to form during the regional D3 deformational event, denominated DB1 at the deposit scale. The ore zone forms a corridor-like body composed of multiple quartz±carbonate veins surrounded by an alteration envelope, characterized by the presence of chlorite, calcite, sericite, quartz and disseminated pyrite, arsenopyrite plus subordinate pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite. The veins contain only small proportions of pyrite, whereas most of the sulphides, particularly arsenopyrite, occur in the altered host rock, next to the veins. Pyrite is also common outside of the ore zone. Gold is found in arsenopyrite, where it occurs as invisible gold and as visible - albeit micron-size - grains in its rims, and as free gold within fractures cross-cutting this sulphide. More rarely, free gold also occurs in the veins, in fractured quartz. In the ore zone, pyrite forms euhedral crystals surrounding arsenopyrite, but does not contain gold, suggesting that it formed at a late stage, from a gold-free hydrothermal fluid. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Amponsah P.O.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | Amponsah P.O.,Azumah Resources Ghana Ltd | Salvi S.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | Didier B.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | And 6 more authors.
Journal of African Earth Sciences | Year: 2016

The Bepkong gold deposit is one of several gold camps in the Paleoproterozoic Wa-Lawra greenstone belt in northwest Ghana. These deposits lay along the Kunche-Atikpi shear zone, which is part of the larger transcurrent Jirapa shear zone. The formation of these shear zones can be attributed to the general ESE-WNW major shortening that took place in the Wa-Lawra belt. Gold mineralization in the Bepkong deposit mainly occurs within graphitic shales and volcaniclastic rocks. The ore consists of four N-S trending lenticular bodies, plunging steeply to the south, that are lithologically and structurally controlled. Their shape and thickness are variable, though a general strike length of 560 m and an overall thickness of 300 m can be defined. An alteration mineral assemblage characterises the ore, and consists of chlorite-calcite-sericite-quartz-arsenopyrite-pyrite. Pyrite, as distinct from arsenopyrite, is not limited to the altered rocks and occurs throughout the area. At Bepkong, gold is associated with arsenopyrite and pyrite, which occur disseminated in the mineralized wall rock, flanking Type-1 quartz veins, or within fractures crossing these veins. Textural observations indicate the early formation of abundant arsenopyrite, followed by pyrite, with chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite and pyrrhotite occurring as inclusions within pyrite and altered arsenopyrite. Detailed petrography, coupled with SEM, LA-ICP-MS and EMP analyses, indicate that gold in the Bepkong deposit occurs in three distinct forms: (i) invisible gold, mostly in arsenopyrite (ii); visible gold as micron-size grains within fractures and altered rims of arsenopyrite, as well as at the interface of sulphide grains; (iii) free visible gold in fractures in quartz veins and their selvages. We interpret the invisible gold to have co-precipitated with the early-formed arsenopyrite. The small visible gold grains observed within the sulphide interfaces, altered arsenopyrite, fractures and grain boundaries, are interpreted to have formed as a result of the dissolution and redistribution of the invisible gold during later alteration of arsenopyrite, which took place at lower temperatures during crenulation and fracturing accompanying late deformation, and was accompanied by pervasive pyritization of the wall rock. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Salvi S.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | Amponsah P.O.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | Amponsah P.O.,Azumah Resources Ghana Ltd | Siebenaller L.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | And 3 more authors.
Ore Geology Reviews | Year: 2015

The Julie deposit is currently the largest gold prospect in NW Ghana. It is hosted in sheared granitoids of TTG composition of the Paleoproterozoic Julie greenstone belt. The main mineralization consists of a corridor of gold-bearing quartz veins forming a network of a few tens of metres in thickness, trending E-W and dipping 30-60° N, contained within the main shear zone that affects these rocks. The core of this vein corridor is altered by sericite, quartz, ankerite, calcite, tourmaline and pyrite, and is surrounded by an outer halo consisting of albite, sericite, calcite, chlorite, pyrite and rutile. A second set of veins, conjugate to the first set, occurs in the area. These veins have alteration halos with a similar mineralogy as the main corridor, however, their extent, as well as the size of the mineralization, is less important. In the main corridor, gold forms micron-sized grains that occur in pyrite as inclusions, on its edges, and in fractures crosscutting it. Silver, tellurium, bismuth, copper and lead commonly accompany the gold. Pyrite occurs disseminated in the veins and in the surrounding rocks. Up to several ppm Au occurs in the structure of pyrite from the main mineralization. © 2015.

Amponsah P.O.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | Amponsah P.O.,Azumah Resources Ghana Ltd | Salvi S.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | Beziat D.,Toulouse University Midi-Pyrénées | And 3 more authors.
Journal of African Earth Sciences | Year: 2015

The Leo Man Craton in West Africa is host to numerous economic gold deposits. If some regions, such as the SW of Ghana, are well known for world-class mineralizations and have been extensively studied, gold occurrences elsewhere in the craton have been discovered only in the last half a century or so, and very little is known about them. The Julie gold deposit, located in the Paleoproterozoic Birimian terrane of NW Ghana, is one such case. This deposit is hosted in a series of granitoid intrusives of TTG composition, and consists of a network of deformed, boudinaged quartz lodes (A-type veins) contained within an early DJ1 E-W trending shear zone with dextral characteristics. A conjugate set of veins (C-type) perpendicular to the A-type veins contains low grade mineralization. The main ore zone defines a lenticular corridor about 20-50m in width and about 3.5km along strike, trending E-W and dipping between 30 and 60°N. The corridor is strongly altered, by an assemblage of sericite+quartz+ankerite+calcite+tourmaline+pyrite. This is surrounded by a second alteration assemblage, consisting of albite+sericite+calcite+chlorite+pyrite+rutile, which marks a lateral alteration that fades into the unaltered rock. Mass balance calculations show that during alteration overall mass was conserved and elemental transfer is generally consistent with sulfidation, sericitization and carbonatization of the host TTG.Gold is closely associated with pyrite, which occurs as disseminated grains in the veins and in the host rock, within the mineralized corridor. SEM imagery and LA-ICP-MS analyses of pyrites indicate that in A-type veins gold is associated with bismuth, tellurium, lead and silver, while in C-type veins it is mostly associated with silver. Pyrites in A-type veins contain gold as inclusions and as free gold on its edges and fractures, while pyrites from C-type veins contains mostly free gold. Primary and pseudosecondary fluid inclusions from both type veins indicate circulation in the system of an aqueous-carbonic fluid of low to moderate salinity, which entered the immiscibility PT region of the H2O-CO2-NaCl system, at about 220°C and <1kbar. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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