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Sci Rep. 2013;3:1644. doi: 10.1038/srep01644.

Magmatic origin of giant 'Kiruna-type' apatite-iron-oxide ores in central Sweden.

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Department of Earth Sciences, CEMPEG, Uppsala University, Villavägen 16, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.


Iron is the most important metal for modern industry and Sweden is by far the largest iron-producer in Europe, yet the genesis of Sweden's main iron-source, the 'Kiruna-type' apatite-iron-oxide ores, remains enigmatic. We show that magnetites from the largest central Swedish 'Kiruna-type' deposit at Grängesberg have δ(18)O values between -0.4 and +3.7‰, while the 1.90-1.88 Ga meta-volcanic host rocks have δ(18)O values between +4.9 and +9‰. Over 90% of the magnetite data are consistent with direct precipitation from intermediate to felsic magmas or magmatic fluids at high-temperature (δ(18)Omgt > +0.9‰, i.e. ortho-magmatic). A smaller group of magnetites (δ(18)Omgt ≤ +0.9‰), in turn, equilibrated with high-δ(18)O, likely meteoric, hydrothermal fluids at low temperatures. The central Swedish 'Kiruna-type' ores thus formed dominantly through magmatic iron-oxide precipitation within a larger volcanic superstructure, while local hydrothermal activity resulted from low-temperature fluid circulation in the shallower parts of this system.

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