Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 263–280 | Cite as

Genesis of hydrothermal silver-antimony-sulfide veins of the Bräunsdorf sector as part of the classic Freiberg silver mining district, Germany

  • Mathias BurischEmail author
  • Anthea Hartmann
  • Wolfgang Bach
  • Patrick Krolop
  • Joachim Krause
  • Jens Gutzmer


The peripheral regions of the Freiberg vein-type silver mining district comprise several sub-districts of which Bräunsdorf was among the richest in terms of Ag grade. Historically, 114 t (about 3.9 million ounces) of Ag were produced from the Neue Hoffnung Gottes mine near Bräunsdorf. The Neuer Segen Gottes Stehender is a sigmoidally shaped NNE-SSW trending vein, which varies significantly in thickness (0.05 to 3 m) and extends over about 2.6 km strike length at the surface. The vein infill is marked by a Pb-Zn-Cu-Fe-sulfide-quartz (stage 1) and an abundant Ag-Sb-sulfide/sulfosalt-quartz ± carbonate assemblage (stage 2). To develop a sound genetic understanding of the polymetallic mineralisation in the Bräunsdorf sub-district, we conducted detailed textural analyses of ore and gangue minerals, fluid inclusion analyses, electron microprobe analyses and thermodynamic computations in order to characterise the ore fluids and ore-forming processes. The early-stage Pb-Zn-Cu-Fe-sulfide mineralisation (stage 1) is related to fluids with low salinities (0.5–4% eq. w(NaCl)) and formed at temperatures ≥ 300 °C. Microthermometric data related to the Ag-Sb-sulfide/sulfosalt assemblage (stage 2) show similar salinites compared to ore stage 1, but have significantly lower homogenisation temperatures in the range of 180–280 °C. Based on fluid inclusion data, cooling can be regarded as the major ore-forming process. Reaction path model calculations for cooling of fluids with different initial pH values (4, 5.5 and 7) reproduce the observed mineral assemblages very well and predict spatial zonation of the Ag-Sb- and Sb-sulfide minerals that are in excellent agreement with field observations. We conclude that Ag-rich zones may well occur below Sb-rich zones in hydrothermal vein-type systems similar to those of the Freiberg district. This relationship may be of potential use for exploration targeting.


Stibnite Tennantite-tetrahedrite Fluid inclusions Reaction path modelling Epithermal system 



We would like to sincerely thank Lluís Fontboté, Pilar Lecumberri-Sanchez and an anonymous reviewer who significantly helped to improve an earlier version of the manuscript. Furthermore, we would like to thank Bernd Lehmann for constructive comments and the editorial handling. We would like to thank Christin Kehrer for access to the geoscientific mineral collections of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and support with the sample selection. Sabine Gilbricht is thanked for support with the SEM. Andreas Bartzsch, Roland Würkert and Michael Stoll are thanked for the sample preparation. Matthias Jurgeit and Uwe Lehmann are thanked for insightful discussions. This project was partly funded by the Landesamt für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Geologie Sachsen (Geological Survey of the Federal State of Saxony) and the European Social Fund (ESF; grant 100339454).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für MineralogieTechnische Universität Bergakademie FreibergFreibergGermany
  2. 2.Fachbereich GeowissenschaftenUniversität BremenBremenGermany
  3. 3.Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-RossendorfHelmholtz Institut Freiberg für RessourcentechnologieFreibergGermany

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