Thesis: The sources and role of paleohydrothermal fluids in ore-forming processes in the low- and high-temperature continuum of hypogene, BIF-hosted, high-grade iron deposits in the Iron Quadrangle Brazil
My PhD project is part of a joint research project between the University of Western Australia and the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil.
The objectives of this study are to constrain the genesis of various hypogene BIF-related high-grade iron ore (Fe > 60%) types within the Iron Quadrangle and its surroundings in the state Minas Gerais, Brazil with specific emphasis on their geological environment, mineralogy, geochemical signature and ore-forming fluid chemistry.
Besides mapping and basic reflected/transmitted light petrography it is planned to use whole-rock, trace element- and REE-geochemistry in order to determine their geochemical origin and potential gains and losses during the ore stages. Furthermore, mineral chemistry analyses (wavelength-dispersive spectrum), detailed fluid chemistry studies on fluid inclusions and in-situ stable isotope (oxygen and iron) analyses (ion microprobe) on iron oxides, quartz- and carbonate veins will be carried out.
Why my research is important
Due to the economic boom of the last decades in several states and the increasing demand for iron, the existing worldwide iron ore resources become more and more important and the search for new high-grade orebodies will dominate future exploration targets. Despite over 100 years of mining and exploration of iron ore in the Iron Quadrangle (IQ), Minas Gerais, there is still a distinct dearth of knowledge of the exact stratigraphical, structural, and geochemical setting in which the iron upgrade occurred.
The research will lead to a better understanding of the upgrade from BIF (~35% Fe) to high-grade iron ore (>60% Fe) and thus, may aid future exploration for high-grade iron ore.