Seven major and numerous lesser Fe oxide occurrences within the 1.47 Ga St. Francois Mountains terrane in Missouri (USA) have previously been described as iron oxide-apatite (IOA) and iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) deposits. Researchers speculate that these contain significant amounts of critical minerals, most notably rare earth elements and cobalt. One of the less-studied deposits in the region is the 1.455 Ga Kratz Spring deposit. The deposit consists of two steeply dipping magnetite bodies beneath 450 m of sedimentary cover. The genesis of the Kratz Spring deposit and its relationship to nearby IOA-IOCG deposits remains poorly constrained. To better understand the formation of the Kratz Spring deposit, the authors integrated stratigraphic, petrographic, and bulk rock studies within situ trace element and Fe isotope chemistry of magnetite and hematite. These data show that the Kratz Spring deposit is hydrothermal in origin but is divided into two sub deposits according to different fluid sources and formation conditions: (1) a deep but cooler hydrothermal Kratz Spring South deposit with a juvenile fluid source and (2) a shallow but hotter magmatic-hydrothermal Kratz Spring North deposit with variable fluid sources. Our genetic model suggests the two Kratz Spring deposits are local expressions of the same mineralization system, i.e., the Kratz Spring South deposit is a distal, lower-temperature offshoot of the feeder system that formed the Kratz Spring North deposit. Understanding the magmatic-hydrothermal plumbing system that formed Missouri's IOA-IOCG deposits is important to guiding critical mineral exploration efforts in the region.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Publication Status

Open Access


National Science Foundation, Grant 1944552

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1554-0774; 0361-0128

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Aug 2023