Recently-discovered Bahçecik Au±Ag mineralization in the Eastern Pontides, Gümüşhane-NE Türkiye: geological and geochemical implications on the intermediate sulfidation epithermal deposit

Revan M. K., DEMİR Y., UYSAL İ., Özkan M., Dumanlılar Ö., ŞEN C., ...More

International Geology Review, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00206814.2023.2294317
  • Journal Name: International Geology Review
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Geobase, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts
  • Keywords: Bahçecik, Eastern Pontides, Epithermal Au, Gümüşhane, intermediate sulfidation, mineral chemistry, U−pb zircon dating
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Intermediate sulfidation epithermal deposits represent significant reservoirs of precious metals, playing a crucial role in global mining operations. The Anatolian Peninsula, predominantly characterized by relatively young (Tertiary) lithologies, hosts numerous occurrences of epithermal base and precious metal mineralization. Within the realm of research in Northeastern Anatolia, several hydrothermal alteration zones have emerged as indicators of concealed epithermal mineralization, with the Bahçecik mineralization standing out as a recent focal point. The Bahçecik mineralization represents an intermediate sulfidation epithermal Au-Ag system, hosted by Late Cretaceous andesitic rocks, as well as Eocene dacitic lava and tuffs. Employing U-Pb LA-ICP-MS zircon dating of the dacitic host rocks, the mineralization is estimated to have occurred during the Lutetian epoch (43.61 ± 0.35 Ma) or later. The genesis of the Bahçecik deposit is believed to be linked to postcollisional regional extensional tectonics, primarily controlling its structural arrangement. Comprising pyrite, chalcopyrite, low-Fe sphalerite, galena, tetrahedrite/tennantite, enargite-luzonite, and gold-silver minerals, the deposit is accompanied by prominent gangue minerals such as Mn- and Ca-carbonates, quartz, and barite. Microprobe measurements have identified a majority of Au-Ag minerals (krennerite, buckhornite, and nagyagite) closely associated with sulphide minerals. Fluid inclusion data reveal that mineralization and fluid transportation occurred at temperatures ranging from 153 to 327°C, with solutions exhibiting salinity levels consistent with those of intermediate sulfidation deposits (1.7–7.3 wt.% NaCl). This study unequivocally classifies the Bahçecik mineralization as an intermediate sulfidation deposit, contrary to the conclusions drawn in previous research. Moreover, our investigation has unveiled the presence of a substantial ore resource, totalling 7.84 million tons, featuring 1.76 g/t Au and 2.24 g/t Ag. As an intermediate-type deposit, it shares characteristics with other subtypes within the epithermal class, bridging the realms of both high and low sulfidation systems.