Table 1 Summary of information describing populations of gold grains from published (P) and unpublished (U) studies. Locations, references and summary compositional information are provided in Online Resources 13

From: Chemical and physical heterogeneity within native gold: implications for the design of gold particle studies

Style of mineralization Localities No. particles
(placer + lode)
Main peographical extent Compositional characteristics
Lode Placer Ag range wt (%) Other metals in alloy wt% Inclusion suite chemistry
P U P U P U  
Orogenic, Precambrian 12 1 11 35 1680 2276 Zimbabwe, West Africa, East Africa, Madagascar, Finland 5–50, but many <10 Cu to 2 common Occasional Hg to 3 S,±As, ± (Te + Bi)
Orogenic, Phanerozoic 50 1 218 110 20,578 8900 UK and Irish Caledonides, Canadian Cordillera 4–30 Occasional Hg to 10 i.S,
ii. S + As
iii.S + Te ± As±Ag
iv. Pb + S + Sb ± As
Low-temperature, oxidizing, chloride systems 5 0 12 1 895 50 Brazil, England, Scotland, Czech Republic 0–13 Pd or Hg to 12
Rare Cu to 4
Se ± Te + wide range of metals
Calk-alkaline porphyries and associated epithermal 6 0 12 0 1326 0 Canadian Cordillera Indonesia, Chile   Cu usually >0.05 Bi+Pb + Te + S
Alkalic porphyry Cu-Au ± Mo mineralization 4 0 6 3 809 183 Canadian Cordillera, 5–40 Hg, Pd to 11 in around 4% of particles Hg + Pd + Pb + Bi+Te + Cu
Low- to intermediate-sulfidation epithermal mineralization 2 0 19 5 1570 284 Canadian Cordillera, Scotland 1–50 Occasional Hg to 10 S, ±As,+Te,+Ag, Bi,
High-sulfidation epithermal mineralization 2 0 1 1 112 99 Fiji, Bulgaria 1–14 Cu to 1 Cu + Pb + Zn + S + As±Te
Skarn mineralization 0 0 1 0 175 0 Ecuador Insufficient data
Unclassified magmatic hydrothermal systems 0 0 6 0 293 0 Ecuador, Scotland, N. Wales, Bulgaria Insufficient data
Placer samples comprising gold from orogenic sources and low-temperature, oxidizing, chloride systems 0 0 9 0 592 0 Scotland, England Gold from these styles of mineralization exhibits very different compositional characteristics. The values of statistical measures for sample populations would be mostly influenced by the proportion of gold particles from each style.
Unclassified     1   7 Sardis (Greece) Insufficient data
Totals 77 2 291 156 28,040 11,792     
  79 447 39,832