Gold, iron and manganese in central Amapá, Brazil
ABSTRACT: Greenstone belts with deposits of gold, iron and manganese are common in the Paleoproterozoic Maroni-Itacaiunas Tectonic Province of the Guiana Shield. In Brazil, in the State of Amapá and northwest of Pará, they are represented by the Vila Nova Group, constituted by a basal unit of metabasalts, covered by metasediments of clastic and chemical origin. The basal metasediments, the Serra do Navio Formation, are made of a cyclothem with lenses of manganese marbles at the top of each cycle. Under the intense weathering of the Amazon, these lenses were oxidized to large deposits of high-grade manganese oxides. The exploitation of these oxides left behind the manganese carbonates and low-grade oxides. The overlaying Serra da Canga Formation presents a calcium and magnesium domain grading to an iron domain with banded silicate and oxide iron formations, mined for iron ores. Overlapping structures and superposed metamorphic crystallizations indicate two phases of dynamothermal metamorphism, the first one with axis to north-northeast and the second one to northwest, with an intermediate phase of thermal metamorphism related to syntectonic granitic intrusions. Shears oriented north-south, possibly formed during the first dynamothermal metamorphism and reactivated in the second, are ideal sites for hydrothermalism and gold mineralization, which is greater when occurs in iron formation and carbonate-bearing rocks, as it happened at the Tucano mine. Layered mafic-ultramafic intrusions in the greenstones represent a potential for chromite and platinum group elements. Pegmatites are source of cassiterite and tantalite exploited from alluvial deposits.