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Mineralized Intrusion-Related Skarn Systems

Topics in Mineral Sciences Volume 26

Editor: D.R Lentz

A review of the various geochemical systematics involved in the formation of mineralized skarn systems through to regional metallogenic perspectives.

This volume would be of interest to research economic geologists, explorationists, and students.

Softcover. 664 pages. 1998.

MAC Member Price: $32 CAD/USD

Publication Price $40.00 CAD/USD
ID: SC-26
ISBN: 0-921294-26-3


Skarn systems are characterized by complex calc-silicate gangue mineralogy and paragenesis, which result from contact metamorphism and pneumatolytic metasomatism of carbonate and carbonate-bearing rocks by different types of igneous intrusions. Although the mineralization associated with most skarn systems is dominated by the physicochemical attributes of the intrusion, the mineralogy and composition of the protolith carbonate rocks are critical because the protolith reactivity controls 1) porosity and permeability development, which enables infiltration of reactants and advective heat transport to the site of the skarn-forming reactions, and 2) the metasomatic calc-silicate mineralogy and associated exchange reactions with the hydrothermal fluid; these reactions control the saturation of metals within the evolving hydrothermal fluid. Because of the reactive protolith, skarn deposits are particularly rich compared to other magmatic-hydrothermal deposits formed in less reactive rock. The economic attributes, together with the association with carbonate rocks that have a pH buffering capacity in sulfide-bearing waste rock and tailings, have made skarn deposits particularly attractive as exploration targets. A synopsis of grade and tonnage figures for particular skarn systems and possibly related deposits are presented in the Appendix.

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