Age and sources of the ore at Tharsis and Rio Tinto, Iberian pyrite belt, from Re-Os isotopes

R. Mathur, J. Ruiz, F. Tornos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Re-Os isotopes were used to constrain the source of the ore-forming elements of the Tharsis and Rio Tinto mines of the Iberian Pyrite Belt, and the timing of mineralization. The pyrite from both mines has simila]r Os and Re concentrations, ranging between 0.05-0.7 and 0.6-66 ppb, respectively. 187Re/188Os ratios range from about 14 to 5161. Pyrite-rich ore samples from the massive ore of Tharsis and two samples of stockwork ore from Rio Tinto yield an isochron with an age of 346 ± 26 Ma, and an initial 187Os/188Os ratio of about 0.69. Five samples from Tharsis yield an age of 353 ± 44 Ma with an initial 187Os/188Os ratio of about 0.37. A sample of massive sulfide ore from Tharsis and one from Rio Tinto lie well above both isochrons and could represent Re mobilization after mineralization. The pyrite Re-Os ages agree with the paleontological age of 350 Ma of the black shales in which the ores are disseminated. Our data do not permit us to determine whether the Re-Os isochron yields the original age of ore deposition or the age of the Hercynian metamorphism that affected the ores. However, the reasonable Re-Os age reported here indicates that the complex history of the ores that occurred after the severe metamorphic event that affected the Iberian Pyrite Belt massive sulfide deposits did not fundamentally disturb the Re-Os geochronologic system. The highly radiogenic initial Os isotopic ratio agrees with previous Pb isotopic studies. If the initial ratio is recording the initial and not the metamorphic conditions, then the data indicate that the source of the metals was largely crustal. The continental margin sediments that underlie the deposits (phyllite-quartzite group) or the volcanic rocks (volcanogenic-sedimentary complex) in which the ores occur are plausible sources for the ore-forming metals and should constrain the models for the genesis of these deposits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-793
Number of pages4
JournalMineralium Deposita
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Economic Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Age and sources of the ore at Tharsis and Rio Tinto, Iberian pyrite belt, from Re-Os isotopes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this