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Paragenesis and origin of sediment-hosted mercury ore at the McDermitt Mine, McDermitt, Nevada
AuthorMcCormack, John K.
Geological Sciences and Engineering
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Study of the paragenesis of sediment-hosted mercury at the McDermitt Deposit shows that the orebody formed by deposition from alkaline solutions advancing laterally through porous tuffaceous sediments. The intermediate argillic hydrothermal alteration mineral assemblage grades from high K /H ratio, high aSiO, to low K /H, low asio2-stable mineralogies from the southeast to the northwest, and indicates that precipitation of ore minerals was caused by cooling, oxidation, and drop in pH of the ore transporting solutions. Polished section study shows that pyrite and stibnite, then cinnabar, and finally silica were deposited from the solutions, and that the ore mineral corderoite was formed by secondary replacement of cinnabar. A previously unreported iodine-rich mercury phase occurs in the basal "opalite breccia", and native mercury occurring at the deposit formed by disintegration of cinnabar.
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