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Setting and Origin of Iron Oxide-Copper-Cobalt-Gold-Rare Earth Element Deposits of Southeast Missouri : Regional Geology

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Primary contact:  Warren Day, wday@usgs.gov

The Missouri iron-oxide deposits are members of the iron-oxide gold-copper (IOCG-REE) deposit type, which have proven to be an important type for associated rare earth element (REE) mineral resources critical for modern industrial applications. Recent work by the USGS, in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Division of Geology and Land Survey, has laid the groundwork for understanding the regional geologic framework and ore genesis of the deposits. USGS research conducted from 1989-1994 has shown that the deposits are both hosted in and genetically related to the Mesoproterozoic rhyolitic and granitic rocks of the St. Francois Mountains of southeastern Missouri.
Understanding both

...are critical in the development of a process-oriented ore deposit model transferable to other similar terranes worldwide to support future mineral resource assessments for undiscovered IOCG and REE deposits worldwide.
A preliminary model for the ore deposits has been proposed, linking their genesis to late-stage magmatic processes related to igneous rocks present in the host terrane.
Our preliminary fluid inclusion, stable isotope, and geochemical data point to the source ore fluids were the result of immiscibility of an iron-oxide-gold-copper-rare earth element-rich phase sourced from high-iron trachytes common in the late stages of the regional volcanism.

The focus of this task is to build upon past efforts by the USGS and other partners --

  1. to provide the geologic framework of the regional host rocks and their petrogenesis in context with the mineral deposits,
  2. to help characterize the known deposits and occurrences, and
  3. to further investigate the immiscible liquid model for the ore deposits.
This research will be fully integrated into each of the other Project tasks and will form the foundation for associated geophysical, isotopic, mineralogical, and geochemical studies.

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