Bi-sulphotellurides associated with Pb – Bi – (Sb ± Ag, Cu, Fe) sulphosalts: an example from the Stan Terg deposit in Kosovo

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Abstract

New mineralogical and mineral-chemical data from the Stan Terg deposit, Kosovo, revealed the presence of abundant Bi-sulphotellurides associated with Bi- and Sb-sulphosalts and galena in pyrite–pyrrhotite-rich skarn-free ore bodies (ores without skarn minerals). The Bi-bearing association comprises Bi-sulphotellurides (joséite-A, joséite-B, unnamed phase A with a chemical formula close to (Bi,Pb)2(TeS)2, unnamed phase B with a chemical composition close to (Bi,Pb)2.5Te1.5S1.5), ikunolite, cosalite, Sb-lillianite, members of the kobellite series and Bi-jamesonite. Compositional trends of the Bi-sulphotellurides suggest lattice-scale incorporation of Bi–(Pb)-rich module and/or admixture with submicroscopic PbS layers in modulated structures, or complicated Bi–Te substitution. Cosalite is characterized by high Sb (max. 3.94 apfu), and low Cu and Ag (up to 0.72 apfu of Cu+Ag). Jamesonite from this mineralization has elevated Bi content, from 0.85 to 2.30 apfu. The negligible content of Au and Ag in the Bi-sulphotellurides, the low content of Ag in Bi-sulphosalts, together with the lack of Au–Ag bearing phases in the mineralization, indicate either ore deposition from fluid(s) depleted in precious metals, or physico-chemical conditions of ore formation preventing Au and Ag precipitation at the deposit site. The temperature of initial mineralization may have exceeded 400 °C as suggested by the lamellar exsolution textures observed in lillianite, which indicate breakdown textures from decomposition of high-temperature initial crystals. Non-stoichiometric phases among the Bi-sulphosalts and sulphotellurides studied at Stan Terg reflect modulated growth processes in a metasomatic environment.

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