Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-2016


The Bou Dahar Pb–Zn–Ba (±Sr) is hosted in the Lower and Middle Liassic carbonate platform in the oriental High Atlas of Morocco. The paragenetic sequence includes quartz–pyrite–melnicovite–sphalerite–galena– calcite–barite ± fluorite– ± celestite. Fluid-inclusion studies were conducted on sphalerite (early mineralizing stage) and barite, and celestite (late mineralizing stage). These studies reveal two end-member fluids, a hot (~143 °C) and saline fluid (~23 wt.% NaCl eq.) and a cooler (b50 °C) and diluted fluid (~5 wt.% NaCl eq.). Based on fluid-inclusion and C–O–S isotope studies, a conclusion is reached that the Bou Dahar ore deposits were formed by the mixing of two fluid — a diluted, SO2−4-rich fluid, and an 18O-enriched basinal brine that carried Pb, Zn, and Ba. The sulfur required for the precipitation of sulfides was generated by the thermochemical sulfate reduction of dissolved sulfate (SO24−) of the Mesozoic seawaters, and delivered to the site of ore deposition. The sulfur of sulfate minerals was derived directly from these dissolved SO24. The Pb isotope compositions are homogenous with 206Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/204Pb, and 208Pb/204Pb ratios ranging from 18.124 to 18.183, 15.630 to 15.634, and 38.325 to 38.440 respectively. This Pb isotope composition is indicative of an upper crust and orogene reservoirs as the source of lead and other metals. The emplacement of mineralization occurred during the Eocene– Miocene Alpine orogeny, and tectonic burial and compression were the driving forces behind the circulation of the orogenic-brines. These ore-forming fluids migrated, along thrusting regional E–W and NE–SW deep-seated faults, to the confined carbonate-Liassic reservoir.


This article was originally published in Ore Geology Reviews, available at



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