Deciphering a multistage history affecting U-Cu(-Fe) mineralization in the Singhbhum Shear Zone, eastern India, using pyrite textures and compositions in the Turamdih U-Cu(-Fe) deposit

Dipak C. Pal, Mark D. Barton, A. K. Sarangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The ∼200-km-long intensely deformed Singhbhum Shear Zone (SSZ) in eastern India hosts India's largest U and Cu deposits and related Fe mineralization. The SSZ separates an Archaean cratonic nucleus to the south from a Mesoproterozoic fold belt in the North and has a complex geologic history that obscures the origin of the contained iron-oxide-rich mineral deposits. This study investigates aspects of the history of mineralization in the SSZ by utilizing new petrographic and electron microprobe observations of pyrite textures and zoning in the Turamdih U-Cu(-Fe) deposit. Mineralization at Turamdih is hosted in intensively deformed quartz-chlorite schist. Sulfides and oxides include, in inferred order of development: (a) magmatic Fe(-Ti-Cr) oxide and Fe-Cu(-Ni) sulfide minerals inferred to be magmatic (?) in origin; followed by (b) uranium, Fe-oxide, and Fe-Cu(-Co) sulfide minerals that predate most or all ductile deformation, and are inferred to be of hydrothermal origin; and (c) Fe-Cu sulfides that were generated during and postdating ductile deformation. These features are associated with the formation of three compositionally and texturally distinct pyrites. Pyrite (type-A), typically in globular-semiglobular composite inclusions of pyrite plus chalcopyrite in magnetite, is characterized by very high Ni content (up to 30,700 ppm) and low Co to Ni ratios (0.01-0.61). The textural and compositional characteristics of associated chalcopyrite and rare pyrrhotite suggest that this pyrite could be linked to the magmatic event via selective replacement of magmatic pyrrhotite. Alternatively, this pyrite and associated sulfide inclusions might be cogenetic with hydrothermal Fe-oxide. Type-B pyrite that forms elongate grains and irregular relics and cores of pyrite with high Co contents (up to 23,630 ppm) and high Co to Ni ratios (7.2-140.9) are interpreted to be related to hydrothermal mineralization predating ductile deformation. A third generation of pyrite (type C) with low Co, low Ni, and moderate Co to Ni ratios (0.19-13.93) formed during and postdating the ductile deformation stage overgrowing, replacing, and surrounding type-B pyrite. The textural evolution of pyrite parallels the tectonometamorphic evolution of the shear zone demonstrating grain elongation during progressive ductile deformation and prograde metamorphism, annealing at the peak metamorphic condition, porphyroblastic growth at the retrograde path and cataclasis following porphyroblastic growth. Compositional characteristics of hydrothermal pyrite and available geological information suggest that the U-Cu(-Fe) deposit at Turamdih might be a variant of the Fe oxide (-Cu-U-rare earth elements) family of deposits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-80
Number of pages20
JournalMineralium Deposita
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Evolution
  • IOCG
  • India
  • Pyrite
  • Singhbhum
  • Texture
  • Trace element composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Economic Geology


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