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Romania Field Trip SEG Student Chapters Uni Geneva - ETH Zrich - Uni Budapest - Uni Cluj 05.09-14.09.


Baia Sprie polymetallic deposit (Baia Mare district,Eastern Carpathians)

Benedek GL (Etvs Lrnd University, Budapest), Lawrence OCH (ETH Zrich) Mining and Exploration
The Baia Mare district in the Eastern Carpathians is characterised by numerous epithermal, low-suldation type Au-Zn-Cu-Sb deposits, hosted by Neogene calcalcaline volcanic rocks. Baia Sprie lies east from Baia Mare, after which the district was named. It is located at the eastern end of an 8 km long ENE striking structure/shear (Baia Sprie - Suoir Shear) within the regional-scale E-W trending Dragos-Voda fault zone (Fig. 1).





ENI US ts.


Neogene magmatic rocks Boundary of underlying Neogene pluton


Mine National border
Black Sea




Satu Mare



a Vod gos Dra fault


20 km

Baia Mare

Figure1: Schematic map of the Baia Mare district showing the major Dragos-Voda fault and the boundaries of the underlying Neogene plutons, modied from Bailly et al. (1998). The Eastern end of the Baia Sprie-Suoir Shear hosts the Pb-Zn-Cu + Au Suoir deposit with signicant gold production. The Western end of this shear hosts the 5 km-long Pb-Zn-Cu Au Principal Vein exploited by the Baia Sprie Mine (Fig. 2). This vein has been the focus of mining activity from

the 1940s to the present, producing some 10-15 Mt of ore. Latest explorations had outlined an 800 m long prospective corridor for gold mineralization termed the Rothmundy Vein System (RVS). This system is located north from where the Principal Vein terminates at a hill, called Dealul Minei. Along part of this System, high-grade gold veins were mined during the Austro-Hungarian period. Carpathian Gold Inc. has completed numerous drillings on this new project area and outlined a resource of 416,950 tonnes at 3.54 g/t Au. Two main locations of mineralization could be determined: the Screper Pit Zone at the East end and the Poni Shaft Zone at the West end of the system (Fig. 3; Because of not sufcient gold-recovery with the conventional CN leaching technology (average of 67%) and the size of the resource, Carpathian Gold Inc. put the project on hold until other projects evaluate in the Baia Mare district, with which this project could be proceeded in conjunction. It had great international feedback when on the 30 January 2000 at the Baia Mare mine a dam breakage happened and during this accident about 100.000 m3 of mud containing heavy metals leaked out and moved over elds and through a village, into the river system of Lapu, Some, Tisza and Danube (Wehland et al. 2002).



ipa Princ

l Vein


Geological setting
The mineralization is hosted by MiocenePliocene calc-alkaline volcanic rocks, which are part of a Neogene volcanic belt. The magmatic activity was related to the westward subduction of the European plate beneath the Pannonian block. Magmatic activity started with deposition of felsic tuffs and ignimbrites

(m) NNW

Diagonal Vein Nou Vein

Quaternary Miocene andesites Neogene sediments Epithermal veins

600 400 200 0 -200

Principal vein

Baia Sprie

Px + Qtz andesites Neogene intrusions Px andesites Volcano-sedimetary sequence Dacites Neogene sedimentary rocks Palaeogene sedimentary rocks Epithermal base metal-gold veins

Figure 2: a) Simplied geological map of the Baia Sprie zone; b) Schematic NNW-SSE striking cross-section of the locality, modied from Borcos et al. (1975) and Grancea et al. (2002). (~14 Ma) upon Paleogene and Neogene sediments. This event was followed by production of basaltic andesites, andesites and dacites (13.4 to 9 Ma). The latest products were small basaltic intrusions (8 to 6.9

Ma; Lang et al. 1994). At Baia Mare district, the volcanic rocks and mineralization are considered to be related to the Baia Mare Laccolith which is a 65 km long, 16 km wide

Romania Field Trip SEG Student Chapters Uni Geneva - ETH Zrich - Uni Budapest - Uni Cluj 05.09-14.09.2006

Figure 3: Map of the Rothmundy Vein System (Carpathian Gold Inc. 2006) and at least 3.5 km thick pluton. Its top lies between 800 and 1800 m below surface and its emplacement was controlled by the regional-scale Dragos-Voda fault zone, which also controls the nature of several mineralized systems (Bailly et al. 1998). rhodochrosite gangue minerals; 4. stibnite; 5. electrum - proustite/pyrargyrite - pearceite/ polybasite - native arsenic. Results of uid inclusion studies of the ve stages (mostly in quartz and sphalerite) show

Alteration and Mineralization

Two main mineralization events took place along the main fault zone of Baia Mare district: older (11.5 to 10.0 Ma) in the western part (Ilba, Nistru, Sasar) and younger (9.4 to 7.9 Ma) in the eastern part (Herja, Baia Sprie, Suior, and Cavnic) of the district could be determined. Typology of textures shows wide variety: mainly banded veins with cockade structures, cavity llings and druses; stockwork type mineralization is also present, and especially in the Baia Sprie deposits (and also in Cavnic and Sasar) spectacular breccia-pipe and breccia-dyke structures have been described. Ore minerals are sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite, native gold; subordinate Sb-, Pb- and Ag-sulphosalts, tungstates. Host rocks are strongly silicied and affected by adularia-sericite to phyllic and propylitic alteration. The generalized paragenetic sequence of mineral forming shows ve main stages (Fig. 4): 1. hematite-magnetitewolframitescheelite 2. chalcopyrite - Bi-suldes and sulfosalts; 3.sphalerite-galena-chalcopyrite-tetrahedrite-tennantite-Au in quartz-rhodonite-kutnahorite and

Fig. 4: Paragenetic sequence of the mineralization in the Baia Mare district (Bailly et al. 1998)

Romania Field Trip SEG Student Chapters Uni Geneva - ETH Zrich - Uni Budapest - Uni Cluj 05.09-14.09.2006

similarities with characteristics of other epithermal deposit (Bailly et al. 1998; Grancea et al. 2002, 2003). The uids originated from the Baia Mare laccolith. After its emplacement degassing processes of domeforming eruptions generated Cl-rich uids, which are mostly able to transport signicant amount of chloridecomplexed metals from the magmas. Increased heat ow induced hydrothermal circulation, which was at the beginning strongly dominated by these magmatic uids. The cooling of the laccolith can be observed through the decreasing uid salinity and temperature after a thermal peak. This global evolution shows many local irregularities, related to emplacement of breccia pipes and phreatomagmatic activity.

Bailly, L., Milsi, J.P., Leroy, J., Marcoux, E. (1998) Les minralisations pithermales Au-Cu-ZnPb du district de Baia Mare (Nord Roumanie) : nouvelles donnes minralogiques et microthermomtriques. C.R. Acad. Sci., Srie II. Sciences de la Terre et des Plantes, Paris, 327 : 385-390. Borcos, M., Lang, B., Bostinescu, S., Gheorghita, I. (1975) Neogene hydrothermal ore deposits in the volcanic Gutai Mountains, part III. Rvue Roumaine de Gologie, Gophysique et Gographie, Sr. Gologie, 19: 21-35. Grancea, L., Bailly, L., Leroy, J., Banks, D., Marcoux, E., Milsi, J.P., Cuney, M., Andr, A.S., Istvan, D., Fabre, C. (2002) Fluid evolution in the Baia Mare epithermal gold/polymetallic district, Inner Carpathians, Romania. Mineralium Deposita, 37: 630-647. Grancea, L., Fulop, A., Cuney, M., Leroy, J., Pironon, J. (2003): Magmatic evolution and ore forming uids involved in the origin of the gold/base metals mineralization in the Baia Mare province, Romania. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 78-79: 627-630. Lang, B., Edelstein, O., Steinitz, G., Kovacs, M., Halga, S. (1994) Ar-Ar dating of adularia a tool in understanding genetic relations between volcanism and mineralization: Baia Mare area (Gutii Mountains), northwestern Romania. Economic Geology, 89: 174-180. Wehland, F., Panaiotu, C., Appel, E., Hoffmann, V., Jordanova, D., Jordanova, N., Denut, I. (2002): The dam breakage of Baia Mare a pilot study of magnetic screening. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 27: 1371-1376. Carpathian Gold Inc.: