The Southeast Missouri Iron Metallogenic Province in the Midcontinent USA contains seven major and several minor IOA/IOCG-type deposits and a series of shallow vein-type deposits/prospects, all of which are spatially and temporally associated with early Mesoproterozoic (1500–1440 Ma) magmatism in the St. Francois Mountains terrane. One of the vein-type deposits is the Shepherd Mountain deposit, which consists of two northeast-trending ore veins dominated by magnetite and lesser amounts of hematite. Here we report the findings of a study that investigates the origin of the Shepherd Mountain deposit and a possible genetic link to the nearby (i.e., < 5 km away) magmatic to magmatic-hydrothermal Pilot Knob ore system that comprises the massive-to-disseminated Pilot Knob Magnetite deposit and the overlying bedded and brecciated Pilot Knob Hematite deposit. Petrographic observations, whole-rock data and the trace element and Fe isotope composition of magnetite and hematite show that the Shepherd Mountain deposit formed from at least five pulses of magmatic-hydrothermal fluids with different compositions and physicochemical parameters. Integration of the data for the Shepherd Mountain deposit with new and published data from the Pilot Knob Magnetite and Pilot Knob Hematite deposits shows that the three deposits are genetically linked through two local faults. The Ironton and Pilot Knob faults provided fluid pathways that connected the Pilot Knob Magnetite deposit to the shallower Shepherd Mountain and Pilot Knob Hematite deposits. Consequently, we argue that the Shepherd Mountain and Pilot Knob Hematite deposits are near-surface extensions of the same magmatic to hydrothermal plumbing system that formed the Pilot Knob Magnetite deposit at depth.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering


M. L. acknowledges support through the NSF CAREER award 1944552 “Investigating the source, transport and deposition of economically important metals in the lower continental crust”.

Keywords and Phrases

Critical Minerals; Iron isotopes; LA-ICP-MS; Mushketovite; Oscillatory zoning; Silician magnetite

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Publication Date

01 Feb 2022

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