Variscan cycling of gold into a global coal reservoir

John Parnell* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The potential of coal and coal ash as a source of strategically and/or commercially valuable trace elements, including gold, is reflected in numerous analytical studies, reports to government, patents for new technology and the first commercial extraction facilities. It is shown here that there was a particular predisposition to the concentration of gold in the Upper Carboniferous (313-304 Ma) Carboniferous coals that dominate coal supplies in the northern hemisphere. Coal was deposited in foreland and other basins adjacent to the actively colliding Variscan-Alleghanian Orogen, while the orogenic belt was mineralized by gold ore from 410 to 310 Ma over 10,000 km from the Appalachians to China. High gold fertility in the orogenic belt, the additional concentration of gold along shear zones during transpression, and either rapid erosion (> 1 km/Myr) of the orogenic belt into adjacent basins or hydrothermal mineralization of the basins, made the coals a trap for the consequent flux of gold. This cycling of gold is evidenced by enriched coal and gold palaeoplacers in coal-bearing sequences in numerous basins along the orogen. Provenance data, especially detrital zircon ages of 350 to 300 Ma, help to identify successions that were sourced from gold-rich terrains, and thus can focus the search for anomalously enriched coal.


Original languageEnglish
Article number103158
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Volume114
Early online date3 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Oct 2019

Fingerprint

Coal
Hercynian orogeny
Gold
gold
coal
orogenic belt
basin
Bearings (structural)
coal supply
Coal Ash
Alleghanian
transpression
Trace Elements
Ores
provenance
shear zone
fertility
Erosion
Northern Hemisphere
zircon

Keywords

  • Coal
  • Gold
  • Provenance
  • Selenium
  • Variscides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economic Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geology

Cite this

Variscan cycling of gold into a global coal reservoir. / Parnell, John (Corresponding Author).

In: Ore Geology Reviews, Vol. 114, 103158, 11.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{2e8c4249325b428b96f501e58fb9b956,
title = "Variscan cycling of gold into a global coal reservoir",
abstract = "The potential of coal and coal ash as a source of strategically and/or commercially valuable trace elements, including gold, is reflected in numerous analytical studies, reports to government, patents for new technology and the first commercial extraction facilities. It is shown here that there was a particular predisposition to the concentration of gold in the Upper Carboniferous (313-304 Ma) Carboniferous coals that dominate coal supplies in the northern hemisphere. Coal was deposited in foreland and other basins adjacent to the actively colliding Variscan-Alleghanian Orogen, while the orogenic belt was mineralized by gold ore from 410 to 310 Ma over 10,000 km from the Appalachians to China. High gold fertility in the orogenic belt, the additional concentration of gold along shear zones during transpression, and either rapid erosion (> 1 km/Myr) of the orogenic belt into adjacent basins or hydrothermal mineralization of the basins, made the coals a trap for the consequent flux of gold. This cycling of gold is evidenced by enriched coal and gold palaeoplacers in coal-bearing sequences in numerous basins along the orogen. Provenance data, especially detrital zircon ages of 350 to 300 Ma, help to identify successions that were sourced from gold-rich terrains, and thus can focus the search for anomalously enriched coal.",
keywords = "Coal, Gold, Provenance, Selenium, Variscides",
author = "John Parnell",
note = "This project is in support of the NERC SoS (Security of Supply of Critical Elements) programme, under Grant NE/M010953/1. J. Johnston and J. Bowie provided skilled technical help. The manuscript benefitted from incisive reviews by N. Moles, Y. Wu, Carmine, and an anonymous reviewer, whose advice is much appreciated.",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1016/j.oregeorev.2019.103158",
language = "English",
volume = "114",
journal = "Ore Geology Reviews",
issn = "0169-1368",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Variscan cycling of gold into a global coal reservoir

AU - Parnell, John

N1 - This project is in support of the NERC SoS (Security of Supply of Critical Elements) programme, under Grant NE/M010953/1. J. Johnston and J. Bowie provided skilled technical help. The manuscript benefitted from incisive reviews by N. Moles, Y. Wu, Carmine, and an anonymous reviewer, whose advice is much appreciated.

PY - 2019/10/3

Y1 - 2019/10/3

N2 - The potential of coal and coal ash as a source of strategically and/or commercially valuable trace elements, including gold, is reflected in numerous analytical studies, reports to government, patents for new technology and the first commercial extraction facilities. It is shown here that there was a particular predisposition to the concentration of gold in the Upper Carboniferous (313-304 Ma) Carboniferous coals that dominate coal supplies in the northern hemisphere. Coal was deposited in foreland and other basins adjacent to the actively colliding Variscan-Alleghanian Orogen, while the orogenic belt was mineralized by gold ore from 410 to 310 Ma over 10,000 km from the Appalachians to China. High gold fertility in the orogenic belt, the additional concentration of gold along shear zones during transpression, and either rapid erosion (> 1 km/Myr) of the orogenic belt into adjacent basins or hydrothermal mineralization of the basins, made the coals a trap for the consequent flux of gold. This cycling of gold is evidenced by enriched coal and gold palaeoplacers in coal-bearing sequences in numerous basins along the orogen. Provenance data, especially detrital zircon ages of 350 to 300 Ma, help to identify successions that were sourced from gold-rich terrains, and thus can focus the search for anomalously enriched coal.

AB - The potential of coal and coal ash as a source of strategically and/or commercially valuable trace elements, including gold, is reflected in numerous analytical studies, reports to government, patents for new technology and the first commercial extraction facilities. It is shown here that there was a particular predisposition to the concentration of gold in the Upper Carboniferous (313-304 Ma) Carboniferous coals that dominate coal supplies in the northern hemisphere. Coal was deposited in foreland and other basins adjacent to the actively colliding Variscan-Alleghanian Orogen, while the orogenic belt was mineralized by gold ore from 410 to 310 Ma over 10,000 km from the Appalachians to China. High gold fertility in the orogenic belt, the additional concentration of gold along shear zones during transpression, and either rapid erosion (> 1 km/Myr) of the orogenic belt into adjacent basins or hydrothermal mineralization of the basins, made the coals a trap for the consequent flux of gold. This cycling of gold is evidenced by enriched coal and gold palaeoplacers in coal-bearing sequences in numerous basins along the orogen. Provenance data, especially detrital zircon ages of 350 to 300 Ma, help to identify successions that were sourced from gold-rich terrains, and thus can focus the search for anomalously enriched coal.

KW - Coal

KW - Gold

KW - Provenance

KW - Selenium

KW - Variscides

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85073029099&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2019.103158

DO - 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2019.103158

M3 - Review article

VL - 114

JO - Ore Geology Reviews

JF - Ore Geology Reviews

SN - 0169-1368

M1 - 103158

ER -