The Ashanti gold deposit at Obuasi occurs in the Early Proterozoic Birimian formation. The orebodies consist of gold-sulphides disseminated in metasediments and metavolcanics, and gold-bearing quartz veins. Gold occurs mainly as native gold normally with arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite and pyrite in the metasediments and metavolcanics. In the quartz veins, however, it is associated with tetrahedrite and sphalerite. Microprobe analysis of gold grains gave an Ag content of about 8 wt.%.
Textural relationships among the various mineral associations suggest that pyrrhotite, pyrite, arse-nopyrite and possibly gold may have been formed esrlier in the paragenetic sequence. The precipitation of some amounts of gold may have occurred during the later stages of the mineralisation sequence.
Average arsenopyrite composition determined from electron microprobe study is: Fe: 33.6 ± 0.5 at.%, As: 29.3 ± 1.2 at.%, S: 37.1 ± 1.1 at.%, This suggests an average temperature of formation of less than 300℃ for the sulphides and possibly the gold assuming equilibrium was attained between pyrite, pyrrhotite and arsenpopyrite. The δ34S values for sulphide mineral separates are in the range between -4.1 and -10.8%. The values were, however, constrained between -4.1 and -7.0%. The narrow range and the depleted nature of the δ34S values may suggest a sedimentary sourcc of sulphur which may have undergone high temperature homegenisation before deposition. Sulphides from quartz vein samples had the most depleted δ34S values. This may indicate a different mineralisation history of the sulohides in the quartz veins from those dissemi-nated in metasediments and metavolcanics.