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  1. null (Ed.)
    Magnetite is the most important iron ore in iron oxide-apatite (IOA) deposits which represent the Cu-poor endmember of the iron oxide-copper–gold (IOCG) clan. Magnetite chemistry has been used as a petrogenetic indicator to identify the geological environment of ore formation and as a fingerprint of the source reservoir of iron. In this study, we present new textural and microanalytical EPMA and LA-ICP-MS data of magnetite from Carmen, Fresia, Mariela and El Romeral IOA deposits located in the Cretaceous Coastal Cordillera of northern Chile. We also provide a comprehensive summary and discussion of magnetite geochemistry from Andean IOAs including Los Colorados, Cerro Negro Norte, El Romeral (Chilean Iron Belt) and the Pliocene El Laco IOA deposit located in the Central Volcanic Zone of the Chilean Andes. Microtextures coupled with geochemical data were used to define and characterize the occurrence of different magnetite types. Magnetite exhibits a variety of textural features including oscillatory zoning, colloform banding, re-equilibration textures, exsolution lamellae and symplectites. The magmatic vs. hydrothermal origin of the different magnetite types and the evolution of IOA deposits can be assessed using diagrams based on compatible trace elements. However, magnetite is very susceptible to hydrothermal alteration and to both textural and compositional re-equilibration during magmatic and superimposed hydrothermal events. Based on the data presented here, we conclude that V and Ga are possibly the most reliable compatible elements in magnetite to trace ore-forming processes in the Andean IOA deposits. Magnetite chemistry reveals different conditions/events of formation for each IOA deposit ranging from high-temperature, low-oxygen fugacity (ƒO2), purely magmatic (> 600 °C) conditions; to lower temperature and higher ƒO2 magmatic-hydrothermal (300–600 °C) to low-temperature hydrothermal (< 200–300 °C) conditions. Specifically, a continuous transition from high-temperature, low- ƒO2 conditions in the deepest portions of the deposits to low-temperature, relatively higher ƒO2 conditions towards surface are described for magnetite from El Laco. The new and compiled magnetite data from IOA deposits from the Chilean Iron Belt and El Laco are consistent with a transition from magmatic to hydrothermal conditions. The flotation model plausibly explains such features, which result from the crystallization of magnetite microlites from a silicate melt, nucleation and coalescence of aqueous fluid bubbles on magnetite surfaces, followed by ascent of a fluid-magnetite suspension along reactivated transtensional faults or through fissures formed during the collapse of the volcanic structure (El Laco). The decompression of the coalesced fluid-magnetite aggregates during ascent promotes the continued growth of magnetite microlites from the Fe-rich magmatic-hydrothermal fluid. As with any general genetic model, the flotation model allows variation and the definition of different styles or subtypes of IOA mineralization. The deeper, intrusive-like Los Colorados deposit shows contrasting features when compared with the Cerro Negro Norte hydrothermal type, the pegmatitic apatite-rich deposits of Carmen, Fresia and Mariela, and the shallow, subaerial deposits of El Laco. These apparent differences depend fundamentally on the depth of formation, the presence of structures and faults that trigger decompression, the composition of the host rocks, and the source and flux rate of hydrothermal fluids. 
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