Lanthanide geochemistry of the fluorite deposits in the Taxco and Zacualpan mining districts, southern Mexico: implications for the origin and evolution of fluids
We present and evaluate lanthanide contents measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in fluorite samples from the fluorite deposits in Zacualpan and Taxco mining districts in the south of Mexico. The information is used to distinguish different generations of fluorite, to establish a correlation between mineralization episodes and the wall rock nature, and to identify postdepositional processes.
The total lanthanide content of the fluorites are variable, and early- stage fluorite samples are usually enriched in LREE. The concentration of REE in fluorite is low in comparison with the volcanic and metamorphic rocks (∑REE > 100 ppm) and is generally high respect the carbonates (∑REE < 30 ppm). There is host rock influence. The higher REE concentra- tions are in fluorites hosted by volcanic rocks. The fluorite that replaced carbonate is characterized by low REE to very low concentrations. Fluorite samples associated with sulfurs are typically enriched in HREE. Nearly all fluorites show a negative Eu anomaly similar to the REE anomaly observed in the volcanic rock. Only some early stage dark, uranium rich fluorites, from la Azul deposit, have a strong positive Eu anomaly. Direct correlation between color and REE patterns is observed in some samples.
In the Zacualpan mining district, only an episode of mineralization has been discriminated, where fluorite presents flat to HREE- enriched chondrite-normalized REE patterns.
In the Taxco mining district and particularly in the “Mina la Azul”, multiple hydrothermal events of mineralization have been determined. The first generation of fluorite is formed by replacement of carbonates and is characterized by very low contents of lanthanides, chondrite- normalized REE patterns similar to the limestone, high strontium content and primary textures (e.g. massive fluorite and rhythmites). The second generation of fluorite is related to the entry of new fluid to the system and has higher REE concentrations, chondrite-normalized REE patterns similar to volcanic rocks, low strontium content and secondary textures (i.e. breccias, nodules). Most of the samples show a genetic relationship between fluorite and fluids of magmatic origin.