The Mari Rosa mine lies within a low-grade Precambrian alternating series of black shales and metagreywackes in the Spanish Hercynian massif. There are two generations of mineralized veins: V2, gold-(stibnite)-bearing quartz veins, parallel to the main cleavage, and V3, stibnite-bearing quartz veins which postdate the main deformation event.
Four main types of inclusions have been identified. Type I, II and IV are aqueous-carbonaceous inclusions, with variable degrees of filling, while type III are non-aqueous and typically single-phase at room temperature. Except for type I (absent in V3), similar inclusions have been observed in both V2 and V3 veins. Gas compositions are always characterised by CH4-N2-CO2 assemblages, ranging from CO2-rich mixtures in the earliest inclusions (type I), to N2-rich mixtures in the latest inclusions (type IV).
Gold precipitation in V2 veins can be related to type I inclusions at T > 380°C (T
H = 300–380°C). A subsequent drop in X
and cooling are recorded in type II and III inclusions, interpreted to be the result of unmixing of a previously homogeneous fluid derived from type I. This boiling would provoke the precipitation of stibnite at 300°C and 1 kbar. The type IV inclusions, which are the richest in H2O, represent a late fluid circulation at lower temperatures (T
H = 190–280°C).