Origin of the Kyaukmyet Low-Sulfidation Epithermal Gold Prospect, Monywa District, Central Myanmar
The Kyaukmyet prospect is one of the principal epithermal gold prospects in the Monywa District, Central Myanmar; its gold- and base metal-bearing quartz veins contain around 3 g/t gold. Ore minerals are mainly hosted by volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks of the Late Oligocene to Middle Miocene Magyigon Formation. The distribution of magmatic intrusions in the area is controlled by ENE-WSW trending faults; these faults are likely related to ore mineralization. Common ore minerals at the Kyaukmyet prospect include pyrite, sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite, and electrum. They occur in mineralized crustiform-textured brecciated quartz veins and banded (colloform) and massive quartz veins. Mineralized rock is accompanied by silicification and propylitic and argillic alterations. The alteration mineral assemblages include quartz, adularia, calcite, chlorite, illite/smectite, sericite, and illite. Fluid inclusions in the quartz veins have homogenization temperatures ranging from 148 °C to 304 °C and salinities from 0.35 wt % to 2.75 wt % NaCl equiv. The quartz in the mineralized quartz veins was most likely precipitated at a depth of 165–256 m below the paleosurface. The precipitation of gold at the Kyaukmyet prospect may have been formed by mixing large amounts of meteoric fluid with small amounts of magmatic fluid. The coexistence of liquid-rich and vapor-rich inclusions and the presence of adularia and bladed calcite indicate that fluid boiling is caused the main mechanism of ore formation. The vein textures, ore mineral assemblages, alteration minerals and fluid inclusion data suggest that the Kyaukmyet prospect is a polymetallic low-sulfidation epithermal gold deposit.