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Quadrilatero Ferrifero District Gold

Minas Gerais, Brazil

Main commodities: Au
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The Quadrilátero Ferrífero district of Brazil which surrounds the major city of Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais is one of the most significant mining centres in Brazil. It represents the home of mining in Brazil with the countries first and largest gold mines, and the hub of much of the iron mining of the country outside of the Carajas.

Gold mining commenced in the Nova Lima district some 200 years ago, with one of the earliest mines being Morro Velho (see the seperate record).

The geology of the Quadrilátero Ferrífero is dominated by Archaean and Proterozoic volcano-sedimentary sequences and Precambrian granitic complexes. The oldest rocks in the district are an Archaean gneiss-migmatite complex which is overlain by the late Archaean Rio das Velhas Supergroup.

This supergroup is sub-divided into the basal Quebra Osso Group, succession of komatiitic ultramafic and mafic rocks with BIF intercalations, overlain by the Nova Lima Group, a middle sequence of schists and phyllites that contain lenses of dolomitic and calcic white marble and by thin beds of iron formation, and finally the upper Maquine Group of quartzites, conglomerates and phyllites. These are discordantly overlain by the Palaeoproterozoic Minas Supergroup quartzites, schists, phyllites, meta-conglomerates, carbonates and iron formations that produce the major iron deposits of the district.

The Morro Velho mineralisation lies within the Nova Lima Group. In the main deposits of the district, gold mineralisation is associated with sulphides and quartz veins in banded iron formation (BIF), mafic and ultra-mafic sequences and as disseminations throughout the volcano-sedimentary sequence.

Mineralisation within the district is distributed over an area of approximately 75 x 75 km and has been exploited from over 60 seperate mines. The more important include the Morro Velho, Cuiba, Mina Velha, São Bento, Passagem de Mariana, Faria, Gabirobas, Gaia, Bicalho, Bela Fama, Espiritu Santo and Raposos mines.

For more detail see the Morro Velho, Cuiba, Passagem de Mariana, Raposos  and  Sao Bento records.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2001.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.


  References & Additional Information
   Selected References:
Anonymous  2001 - Morro Velho: in   extract from AngloGold web site http://www.anglogold.com/informationforinvestors/annualreport99/20f/i1-4susa.htm    2p
Anonymous  2001 - Eldorado Gold Corp: in    extract from Eldorado Gold Corp. web site http://www.eldoradogold.com    5p
Baltazar O F and Zucchetti M,  2007 - Lithofacies associations and structural evolution of the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilatero Ferrifero, Brazil: A review of the setting of gold deposits: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v32 pp 471-499
Chauvet A, Piantone P, Barbanson L, Nehlig P, Pedroletti I  2001 - Gold deposit formation during collapse tectonics: structural, mineralogical, geochronological and fluid inclusion constraints in the Ouro Preto Gold mines, Quadrilatero, Brazil: in    Econ. Geol.   v96 pp 25-48
de Alvarenga C J S, Cathelineau M, Dubessy J  1991 - Au-ore deposition-rock deformation-ore fluid chemistry relationships in quartz veins from Cuiba, Brazil: in Ladeira E A (Ed.),  Brazil Gold 91 Balkema, Rotterdam    pp 335-338
Junqueira P A, Lobato L M, Ladeira E A and Simoes E J M,  2007 - Structural control and hydrothermal alteration at the BIF-hosted Raposos lode-gold deposit, Quadrilatero Ferrifero, Brazil: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v32 pp 629-650
Kresse, C., Lobato, L.M., Hagemann, S.G. and Figueiredo e Silva, R.C.,  2018 - Sulfur isotope and metal variations in sulfides in the BIF-hosted orogenic Cuiaba gold deposit, Brazil: Implications for the hydrothermal fluid evolution: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v.98, pp. 1-27.
Ladeira E A   1991 - Genesis of gold in Quadrilatero Ferrifero: A remarkable case of permanency, recycling and inheritance - A tribute to Djalma Guimaraes, Pierre Routhier and Hans Ramberg: in Ladeira E A (Ed.),  Brazil Gold 91 Balkema, Rotterdam    pp 11-30
Lobato L M, Ribeiro-Rodrigues L C, Vieira F W R  2001 - Brazils premier gold province. Part II: geology and genesis of gold deposits in the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilatero Ferrifero: in    Mineralium Deposita   v36 pp 249-277
Lobato L M, Ribeiro-Rodrigues L C, Zucchetti M, Noce C M, Baltazar O F, da Silva L C, Pinto C P  2001 - Brazils premier gold province. Part I: The tectonic, magmatic and structural setting of the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilatero Ferrifero: in    Mineralium Deposita   v36 pp 228-248
Lobato L M, Santos J O S, McNaughton N J, Fletcher I R and Noce C M,  2007 - U-Pb SHRIMP monazite ages of the giant Morro Velho and Cuiaba gold deposits, Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilatero Ferrifero, Minas Gerais, Brazil: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v32 pp 674-680
Noce C M, Tassinari C and Lobato L M,  2007 - Geochronological framework of the Quadrilatero Ferrifero, with emphasis on the age of gold mineralization hosted in Archean greenstone belts: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v32 pp 500-510
Pereira S L M, Lobato L M, Ferreira J E and Jardim E C,  2007 - Nature and origin of the BIF-hosted Sao Bento gold deposit, Quadrilatero Ferrifero, Brazil, with special emphasis on structural controls: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v32 pp 571-595
Ribeiro-Rodrigues L C, de Oliveira C G and Friedrich G,  2007 - The Archean BIF-hosted Cuiaba Gold deposit, Quadrilatero Ferrifero, Minas Gerais, Brazil: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v32 pp 543-570
Scarpelli W  1991 - Aspects of gold mineralization in the Iron Quadrangle, Brazil: in Ladeira E A (Ed.),  Brazil Gold 91 Balkema, Rotterdam    pp 151-157
Vial D S, Abreu G C, Schubert G and Ribeiro-Rodrigues L C,  2007 - Smaller gold deposits in the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilatero Ferrifero, Brazil: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v32 pp 651-673
Vial D S, DeWitt E, Lobato L M and Thorman C H,  2007 - The geology of the Morro Velho gold deposit in the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilatero Ferrifero, Brazil: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v32 pp 511-542
Vial D S, Duarte B P, Fuzikawa K and Vieira M B H,  2007 - An epigenetic origin for the Passagem de Mariana gold deposit, Quadrilatero Ferrifero, Minas Gerais, Brazil: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v32 pp 596-613
Vieira F W R  1991 - Textures and processes of hydrothermal alteration and mineralization in the Nova Lima Group, Minas Gerais, Brazil: in Ladeira E A (Ed.),  Brazil Gold 91 Balkema, Rotterdam    pp 319-325
Viera F W R, Corbani M, Fonesca J T F, Pereira A, de Oliveira G A I, Clemente P L C  1986 - Excursion to the Cuiba gold mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil: in Thorman C H, Ladeira E A, Schnabel D C (Ed.s),  Gold Deposits Related to Greenstone Belts in Brazil - Deposit Modelling Workshop, Part A    Excursions pp A79-A86
Viera F W R, Lisboa L H A, Chaves J L, de Oliveira G A I, Clemente P L C, de Oliveira R L  1986 - Excursion to the Morro Velho gold mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil: in Thorman C H, Ladeira E A, Schnabel D C (Ed.s),  Gold Deposits Related to Greenstone Belts in Brazil - Deposit Modelling Workshop, Part A    Excursions pp A67-A73


Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo takes no responsibility what-so-ever for inaccurate or out of date data, information or interpretations.

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