Nanomaterial accumulation in boiling brines enhances epithermal bonanzas
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Cano, N., González-Jiménez, J.M., Camprubí, A. et al. Nanomaterial accumulation in boiling brines enhances epithermal bonanzas. Sci Rep 13, 14985 (2023). [https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-41756-4]
SponsorshipMCIN/AEI/10.13039/50110001133: NANOMET PID2022-138768OB-I00; ERDF A way of making Europe, European Union; PAPIIT-DGAPA-UNAM: IN 218323; CONAHCyT; Geological Society of America 13570-22; Dirección General de Asuntos del Personal Académico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, PID 2019-105625RB-C21 DGAPA, UNAM
Epithermal bonanza-type ores, characterized by weight-percent contents of e.g., gold and silver in a few mm to cm, are generated by mixtures of magmatic-derived hydrothermal brines and external fluids (e.g., meteoric) that transport a variety of metals to the site of deposition. However, the low solubilities of precious metals in hydrothermal fluids cannot justify the high concentrations necessary to produce such type of hyper-enriched metal ore. Here we show that boiling metal-bearing brines can produce, aggregate, and accumulate metal nanomaterials, ultimately leading to focused gold + silver ± copper over-enrichments. We found direct nano-scale evidence of nanoparticulate gold- and/or silver-bearing ores formed via nonclassical growth (i.e., nanomaterial attachment) during boiling in an intermediate-sulfidation epithermal bonanza. The documented processes may explain the generation of bonanzas in metal-rich brines from a range of mineral deposit types.