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Famous Mineral Localities: ROSSIE, NEW YORK.

George W. Robinson [*]

Steven C. Chamberlain [*]

The Rossie lead mines are a fatuous early America mineral locality While best known for large crystals of calcite and galena collected there in the 1830's--1860's, recent studies have revealed a number of previously unreported species and provided insight into the origin of these deposits.

INTRODUCTION

Rossie, New York, is a locality that pops up again and again on old mineral specimen labels in museums throughout the world. Minerals associated with these labels include fine examples of well-crystallized zircon, scapolite, fluorapatite, feldspars, amphiboles, pyroxenes, calcite, galena and a host of other species. "How can one locality produce such a diversity of specimens?", one asks.

The answer is simple, if one understands that the localities given on such old labels usually imply township rather than village names. Thus, a number of different localities with different geological environments are represented. Among the most famous of the localities in town of Rossie are the Rossie lead mines, renowned for their large, complex and often twinned crystals of calcite.

The Rossie lead mines are located on a hill approximately 2.5 km south-southwest of the village of Rossie, St. Lawrence County, New York. There, four roughly east-west-trending, nearly vertical calcite-galena veins cut Grenville-age granitic and dioritic gneiss; these are the Nash (Coal Hill), Jepson (Pardee, Victoria), Ross and Robinson (Indian River) veins. Three principal workings, the Coal Hill, Victoria and Union mines, were developed on the first three of these veins, respectively, and comprise the primary occurrences which supplied the majority of specimens preserved in museums today. However, a dozen or more smaller nearby occurrences are known, the most notable of these probably being the Mineral Point and Macomb lead mines, both in the town of Macomb (Fig. 1). All of the occurrences are geologically similar, consisting of nearly vertical calcite-galena veins cutting Precambrian Grenville-series crystalline rocks as well as locally overlying Paleozoic sediments (Smyth, 1903; Newland, 1921; Buddingto n, 1934; Neumann, 1952; Brown, 1983). Individual veins vary from a few centimeters to over a meter in width and have been exploited to various degrees by hand-dug trenches and shallow underground workings. Virtually all of these old mines are today on privately owned land, but most are still accessible to collectors who seek permission prior to visiting them.

HISTORY

Home to the Parish Iron Works, Rossie was a bustling industrial town long before its lead mines came into production. Coat Hill was so named for the production of charcoal there, which was used to fire the blast furnace in the village. In 1817, President James Monroe visited the Iron Works, and by the 1830's hematite ore was being smelted from a number of nearby mines, including the Sterling mine near Antwerp, famous for its millerite specimens (Robinson and Chamberlain, 1984).

Probably the first to discover lead in the Rossie area were the St. Regis Indians, who reportedly smelted the metal from galena ore in open fires. However, it is Arthur Bacon, an early resident of Rossie, who is credited with finding galena in the roots of an overturned tree on the Coal Hill (Nash) vein (Hough, 1853). In 1829, the Jepson (Victoria) vein was discovered by Eliza Jepson, the nine-year-old daughter of Joel Jepson. As a reward, George Parish, owner of the Parish Iron Works, gave her a calico dress, and her father received 40 acres of land, a team of oxen and a barrel of salt pork (Simons, 1951; 1958).

By 1835, Parish had become interested in the prospect of mining lead, and in December of that year contracted with B. T. Nash to search for ore and develop a mine. Shortly thereafter, Nash sold his rights to J. C. Bush, and two companies with ten-year charters were incorporated in May, 1837 (Hough, 1853; Curtis, 1894). Each company had a working capital of $24,000 and was to work different sections of the Coal Hill vein: the eastern section by the Rossie Lead Mining Company, and the western section by the Rossie Galena Company. Preliminary work began on the western section late in 1836, and by January 1, 1837, serious work had commenced on both sections. Parish also worked the Victoria and adjacent Union (Ross) veins to the north, as well as the Robinson (Indian River) vein to the west. The New York State mineralogist, Lewis Beck, visited the mines in August of 1836, providing the following contemporary account (Beck, 1842):

The vein of galena and decomposed ore was distinctly visible for some distance, passing down a precipitous ledge of primitive rock about fifty feet in height. The average width of the vein was two feet, and it cut the rock in a nearly perpendicular direction. . . . On ascending the ledge, the course and extent of the vein could be easily determined by the excavations which had been made . . . and its length, as exposed at that time, was about four hundred and fifty feet. ... The galena found in this vein is often crystallized in large cubes, which are not infrequently modified by truncations upon the angles.. . . Throughout the whole extent of the vein, the ore is imbedded in a gangue of carbonate of lime, with druses of calcareous spar of great beauty, and presenting a great variety of crystalline forms.

For three or four years, this mine was worked with great activity, and shafts were sunk to the depth of upwards of one hundred and fifty feet. At this depth the vein presented similar appearances to those observed nearer the surface, except perhaps that the proportion of ore to the gangue was somewhat less. Fine druses of crystallized galena and calcareous spar, together with variously modified crystals of iron pyrites and some copper pyrites, were from time to time laid open. A few beautiful specimens of crystallized sulphate of strontian [sic], of a bluish color, were also found.

In 1839 George Parish died, and operations ceased the following year, due largely to inefficient mining and financial mismanagement. In all, 1,625 tons of lead were produced. For over a decade the mines were idle, but in 1852 the Great Northern Lead Company was incorporated and the mines reopened with improved equipment and experienced miners from Cornwall, England. In spite of improved efficiency, the high cost of development precluded royalties promised to the Parish estate, and in 1854 the mines were leased to J. B. Morgan (Ontario Mining Company?) who worked them until 1868 (Curtis, 1894: Whitney, 1854). From this point forward the record becomes rather sketchy. French (1860) notes that the Rossie & Canada Lead Company worked the mines on a 20-year lease from 1856, though according to Smyth (1903) the "Rossie mines were worked during the Civil War by the Mineral Point Lead Mining Company." Which veins were exploited is not stated. Whitney (1854) implies that the Union vein was reworked circa 1854 by the Victoria Lead Company, and the St. Lawrence Mining Company worked the "Macomb mine," approximately 15 km to the northeast. An anonymous newspaper clipping (1885) notes that "work was discontinued in 1868, since which time the mines have filled up with water," though an 1874 newspaper article stated that "under the superintendence of John Webb, Jr., of New Jersey, a partial owner, work is to be vigorously prosecuted. Excavations have already begun in the mine known as No. 4; also in a place on the farm of George Webster."

Lead mining in Rossie ceased permanently in 1876 (Simons, 1958), having produced an estimated 6000 tons of lead (Neumann, 1952). In the summer of 1950, the Coal Hill and Union veins were diamond-drilled by the U.S. Bureau of Mines as part of a larger project to establish lead and zinc reserves of several Rossie-type deposits in the area (Neumann, 1952). What little reserves were found proved uneconomic to mine, and no follow-up work was done.

The Rossie lead mines may have been abandoned in 1876, but their fame spread to other famous mining towns as their miners moved west, bringing the name "Rossie Hill" to Park City, Utah, and many early Rossie family names to Butte, Montana (Simons, 1958; Gardner, ca. 1970). The words written by an anonymous newspaper reporter in 1885 are as fitting now as then:

Rossie gradually sank into a state of slumberous quiescence, only broken once in a while by an itinerant drummer or a rambling specimen hunter. And yet it offers other attractions of many kinds to the searcher after health and pleasure during the summer months.... To the student of geology, mineralogy and crystallography, this place offers, perhaps, greater variety and facility for obtaining interesting specimens, than any other in this state.

GEOLOGY

Most Rossie-type veins are relatively small, varying from a few centimeters to rarely more than a meter in width, and are comprised chiefly of coarse white to pale pink calcite with subordinate amounts of galena. They are not confined solely to the Rossie area, but form a genetically related group of hydrothermal deposits that extends south and west across southeastern Ontario, covering a 14,000 square kilometer area (Uglow, 1916; Alcock, 1930; Brown, 1983; Dix and Robinson, submitted). Similar veins also occur in the Charlevoix-Saguenay area of Quebec (Carignan et al., 1997). Bedrock in these areas consists principally of Precambrian metasediments and metavolcanics of the Grenville Central Metasedimentary Belt (Easton, 1992), overlain locally by Cambrian and Ordovician sandstones, dolostones and limestones. The consistently similar mineralogy and structure of Rossie-type veins over such wide areas with diverse host-rock lithologies suggests they share a common origin.

Most early studies concerning the Rossie lead mines focus on descriptions of the calcite crystals. Contemporary geological investigations are few in number, and largely descriptive in nature (Emmons, 1837, 1838; Beck, 1837, 1842; Hough, 1853). The first comprehensive work aimed at understanding the origin of these deposits is that of Smyth (1903), who made several important observations. The most significant of these is the fact that some veins cut the overlying Cambrian Potsdam Sandstone, and therefore are at least 500 million years (Ma) younger than the Precambrian Grenville series rocks that host most of the deposits. Smyth also noted the episodic fault-hosted nature of the veins, the limited extent of wall-rock alteration accompanying mineralization (Fig. 11), and the probable non-igneous origin of the deposits--observations and conclusions upheld by Brown (1983), Carignan (1997) and the present study.

Some recent investigators have shown that some veins cut middle Ordovician limestones, and they speculated such veins may even be as young as Cretaceous (Fletcher and Farquhar, 1982; Ayuso et al., 1987). In a study of Paleozoic mineralization in the Ottawa Embayment, Dix and Robinson (submitted) show that mineralization of the Rossie-type and related veins is probably episodic from Acadian to early Mesozoic time. [Ar.sup.40]/[Ar.sup.39] dating of late microcline (adularia) from the Coal Hill vein (this study) indicates that a late stage of mineralization occurred at 186.6 [+ or -] 1.8 (2[sigma]) Ma, coincident with ultramafic dike intrusions to the northwest in southern Ontario (Barrett et al., 1984), and likely linked to Atlantic Basin development.

MINERALS

The following descriptions are primarily of the minerals found at the Coal Hill and adjacent veins south of Rossie, but for completeness and geological comparison also include some species thus far observed only at other nearby Rossie-type deposits. An additional eleven species reported in the literature or confirmed present on single specimens during this study are listed in Table 1. Unless otherwise mentioned, all species have been verified by X-ray diffraction and/or electron microprobe analysis.

Albite NaAlS[i.sub.3][O.sub.8]

Albite occurs abundantly in fractures and as drusy coatings on altered granitic xenoliths in the Coal Hill vein. The mineral forms colorless, glassy, tabular crystals 1-3 mm across and is associated with quartz, microcline, anatase and other species. Some crystals appear to be twinned according to the albite law. Electron microprobe analyses of these crystals show they are essentially pure albite ([sim][Ab.sub.98][An.sub.01][Or.sub.01]), containing approximately 0.24 weight % SrO. Similar crystals have been found at the Mineral Point lead mine on Black Lake (Locality 2, Fig. 1).

Anatase Ti[O.sub.2]

Bright blue and (more rarely) lilac to pink, transparent crystals of anatase up to 0.5 mm across occur sparingly with albite. Quartz and other minerals on some of the altered granitic xenoliths at the Coal Hill vein. The crystals are extremely tabular on {00l}, and form rather equant wafers with a wulfenite-like habit. Tiny prism and pyramid faces sometimes may be seen with SEM magnification, but are too small to be measured optically.

Anglesite PbS[O.sub.4]

Much of the galena at all the occurrences examined shows some degree of surface alteration. Beck (1842) states that powdery white "lead ashes" were "found in great abundance on that part of the Rossie vein which was exposed to the atmosphere, and ... proved to be a mixture of the carbonate and sulphate of lead and carbonate of lime in variable proportions." While we have little reason to doubt this identification, neither have we been able to confirm it. X-ray powder-diffraction patterns for all galena alteration products examined during the present study showed cerussite and various clay minerals as the only species present. Likewise, cerussite has been identified by X-ray diffraction as coatings on galena specimens from Rossie in the Harvard Mineralogical Museum (Carl A. Francis, personal Communication, 1998).

Calcite CaC[O.sub.3]

In its day, the discovery of fine calcite crystals in the Rossie lead mines must have caused a great deal of excitement in the mineralogical world. Beck (1842) writes:

The finest crystals have heretofore been found at the Rossie lead mine. Their forms are exceedingly various, and require particular descriptions. Crystals of a delicate straw-yellow color, almost perfectly transparent, and from eight to ten inches in diameter, have occasionally been found in this vein: while smaller ones variously aggregated, have been obtained in vast quantities. They occur in water-filled cavities of the mine, and are associated with crystallized galena, iron and copper pyrites, and rarely crystallized celestine.

The worlds's contemporary crystallographers were fascinated by the complex morphology of Rossie calcite crystals, and their studies did indeed result in numerous "particular descriptions" (Phillips, 1844; Dana, 1844b; Zippe, 1852; Hessenberg, 1860; Nason, 1888; Goldschmidt, 1913). Remarkably, the first edition of Dana's System of Mineralogy published in 1837--the same year the mines opened-illustrates a calcite crystal from Rossie! However, the most complete crystallographic study of calcite from Rossie is probably that of Whitlock (19l0a), who categorized the crystals into four general types (hexagonal indices): (1) large, colorless to pale lavender, modified rhombohedral crystals showing the forms {0001}, {1120}, {6281}, {1011} {4041}, {7071} and {0221}; (2) smaller modified rhombohedral crystals with forms {4041}, {1011}, {0221}, {7.2,9.ll}, {2131}, {2461}, {4.6.10.1} and {6281}; (3) small, highly modified rhombohedrons with forms {1010}, {5051}, {4041}, {1011}, {0112}, {0554}, {0443}, {0221}, {2131}, {24 61}, {4.6.10.1}, {14.2.16.3}, {6281}, {15.7.22.2} and {39.15.54.8}; and (4) large, slightly more scalenohedral crystals exhibiting forms {1010}, {8.8.16.3}, {16.0.16.1}, {8081}, {4041}, {1011}, {0112}, {3145} {2131}, {4371}, {4.16.20.3} and {6281}. Penetration twins on {0001} are relatively common in all four types of crystals, particularly among the larger individuals.

Calcite is the most abundant mineral in all the Rossie-type veins, and as such may be in direct association with all other species present in a given vein. Whitney (1854) describes the calcite crystals from the Coal Hill vein as some of the finest crystalliza-tions of this mineral ever found . . . [with] one gigantic crystal, nearly transparent, in the cabinet of Yale College, [weighing] 165 pounds". Large twinned crystals and crystal groups with galena can be seen in most of the world's major mineral museums, though perhaps the finest and most complete suite of specimens is that in the Oren Root collection at the Geological Museum of Hamilton College, Clinton, New York. Examination of this suite of calcite specimens reveals five principal habits: (1) simple rhombohedral crystals, often twinned, and translucent gray to colorless, although occasionally opaque and white; (2) equant modified rhombohedra resembling "faceted spheres," usually gray to colorless; (3) sharp, lavender rhombohedral crystals with promi nent saw-tooth development of the acute edges; (4) color-zoned scalenohedral crystals of transparent lavender and white or pale amber and white; and (5) pale amber crystals of a distorted nail-head habit, with abundant drusy crystals in parallel growth, often associated with celestine. There is, of course, extensive variation within each group.

Calcite specimens collected in the past several decades from the dumps seem to show a somewhat greater range of zoning, habits, surface features and tints than those previously preserved in museums. This probably reflects an abundance of excellent specimens that were preferentially saved from relatively large cavities which provided less overall variability than some of the lesser specimens from smaller cavities that ended up in the dumps.

Electron microprobe and [C.sup.13] -- [O.sup.18] isotope analyses (this study) of calcites from several Rossie-type occurrences are given in Table 2 (trace element concentrations in ppm, [delta] [C.sup.13] and [delta] [O.sup.18]%. relative to PDB). All samples analyzed proved to be essentially pure calcite, with Mn, Mg, Fe and Sr as the most prevalent trace elements. Backscattered electron images of one white crystal from the Union vein showed minor chemical zoning with respect to Mg and Mn, but otherwise all samples examined appeared homogeneous.

Celestine SrS[O.sub.4]

Pale blue, tabular crystals of celestine up to 3 cm have been found associated with calcite at the Coal Hill vein, but good specimens are uncommon. Electron microprobe analysis of one sample (NY State Museum #56) showed it to be essentially pure celestine: SrO 55.93, S[O.sub.3] 43.31, sum 99.24 weight %, with 415 ppm Ca and 1145 ppm Fe (Ba, Mg, Mn, Na, K, Pb, Rb, Y and Cl were sought but not detected).

Cerussite PbC[O.sub.3]

Cerussite is a common constituent of the powdery white alteration products found coating galena specimens from the Rossie-type vein occurrences (see discussion of anglesite, above). During the course of mining, the presence of an earthy white mixture of cerussite and calcite, called "putty" by the miners, was "considered as a sure indication of galena" (Emmons, 1837). Crystals of cerussite perched on relatively unaltered galena crystals are extremely rare, and seldom exceed 1 mm in maximum dimension.

Chalcopyrite CuFe[S.sub.2]

Small crystals of chalcopyrite occur consistently but usually only in small quantities at most of the Rossie-type veins examined. Most crystals form simple disphenoids 2-5 mm across scattered on the surfaces of calcite crystals or included within them. An exceptional occurrence is on the Charles Washburn farm, a few hundred meters south of locality 5 (Fig 1), where crystals over 1 cm across have been found in a calcite vein known locally as "the copper mine" (Brown, 1983, locality 2).

Epidote Group [(Ca,Ce).sub.2][(Al,[Fe.sup.3+]).sub.3][(Si[O.sub.4]).sub.3](OH)

Rare-earth-bearing epidote-group minerals have been identified from a number of hydrothermal vein occurrences in the central metasedimentary belt of the Grenville geological province (Richards and Robinson, 1995; 2000). Most are cerian epidotes, but some are allanite-(Ce). At the Coal Hill vein, these minerals form microscopic radial aggregates of acicular gray-green crystals generally less than 0.5 mm across coating calcite crystals. Associated species include clinochlore, pyrite and microcline. Electron microprobe analyses of crystals from the Coal Hill vein show variations in total REE contents from 0.11 to 0.69 atoms pfu, with Ce [greater than] Nd [greater than] La [greater than] Sm. Calculating [Fe.sup.2+], [Fe.sup.3+] and [(OH).sup.-] by stoichiometry, and assuming preferential ordering of REE and Fe into the A(2) and M(3) sites, respectively (Dollase, 1971), the most REE-rich sample analyzed has the composition: Ca([Ce.sub.38],[Ca.sub.33],[Nd.sub.17],[La.sub.12],[Sm.sub.02])-[Al.s ub.2]([[Fe.sup.2+].su b.65],[[Fe.sup.3+].sub.25],[Al.sub.07],[Mg.sub.02]),[Si.sub.2.99][O.s ub.12](OH), and is thus allanite-(Ce).

A mineral similar in appearance has been noted on a single specimen of calcite and fluorite from the Mineral Point lead mine, but has not been analyzed. Interestingly, colorless to pale pink acicular microscopic crystals associated with albite and titanite on a granodiorite xenolith from the main vein at Mineral Point give an X-ray powder-diffraction pattern similar to that of allanite.

Fluorite Ca[F.sub.2]

Like chalcopyrite, fluorite is found sporadically in many of the Rossie-type veins. It typically forms blue-green cleavage masses 1-2 cm across intergrown with calcite, though small octahedral crystals are occasionally encountered. Beck (1842) reports purple cuboctahedral crystals in calcite from "near Rossie," but the most interesting specimen of fluorite known from Rossie is probably that described by Whitlock (19l0b), which consists of complex, pale green hexoctahedral overgrowths on octahedral crystals up to 1.5 cm across. The compound crystals are bounded by forms {100}, {111}, {731} and {19.1.1.}, and show violet cubic color zones along their a axes, similar to those from Old Chelsea, Quebec (Grice, 1981). They occur together with chalcopyrite on a 9 x 5-cm specimen of rhombohedral calcite crystals collected by Ebenezer Emmons prior to 1870, and now part of the Erastus Corning collection at the New York State Museum. At least two similar but smaller fluorite specimens have been collected from the dumps at the Coal Hill vein by one of us (GWR) circa 1970, and Georgia Shaw, circa 1980. In the Peabody Museum collection at Yale University there are several large (10-20 cm) etched cubes of pale green fluorite labeled as coming from Rossie, New York. While these may have come from one of the lead mines, it is also possible that they are from either the Macomb or Muskalonge Lake fluorite occurrences, neither of which is distant from Rossie (Kunz, 1889; Beck 1842).

Two samples of blue-green and purple fluorite collected from the dumps at the Coal Hill vein were analyzed by electron microprobe for trace Sr, Ba, K, Cl, Mg, Mn, Fe, Na and REE. The blue-green sample was found to contain 221 ppm Sr, and the purple sample, 1123 ppm Dy. Other than Ca and F, no other elements were detected in either sample.

Galena PbS

After calcite, galena is probably the best-known mineral from the Rossie veins. The most common crystal form is the simple cube, occasionally modified by octahedron faces, though predominantly octahedral crystals are sometimes found embedded in massive calcite. Dana (1869) illustrates more complex crystals, exhibiting the forms {100}, {110}, {111} and {322}, as well as spinel-law twinned crystals. Cubic crystals up to 15 cm are known, and Whitney (1854) states that "groups of crystals weighing over a hundred pounds" were obtained from near the surface of the Coal Hill vein. One specimen preserved in the Harvard University Mineralogical Museum measures 30 cm across, with cubic crystals to 12 cm. Although many of the galena specimens seen in museum collections show large gray cubes with dull surfaces, similar to those collected from the dumps today, specimens with splendent faces are present in the Oren Root collection at Hamilton College, The New York State Museum in Albany, the American Museum of Natural his tory, the Harvard University Mineralogical Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, and elsewhere. Calcite is often associated, and crystal aggregates of these two minerals are common.

Emmons (1842) described the occurrence of these specimens:

Soon after the [Coal Hill] vein was opened, a large geode, or cavity termed a water course by miners, was struck. This course was found lined with crystals of galena, whose edges bounding the faces were three inches in length: Some of the single crystals weighed thirty-five pounds; generally they came out in groups, whose aggregate weight exceeded one hundred pounds.

Remnants of such a water course were still visible in a pillar between the "Crystal" and "Engine" shafts (Fig. 8) circa 1965, though no galena crystals remained.

Rossie-type vein galena is relatively pure PbS. Trace amounts of silver have been reported (Whitney. 1854), but electron microprobe trace element analyses (this study) for Bi, Ag, Cu, Fe, Zn, As, Sb, Cd, Se, Te and Mn failed to detect any of these elements in samples from seven different localities (estimated minimum detection limits for the method used varied from [sim]100-600 ppm for all elements except Bi, which is [sim]2000 ppm). However, ICP-MS analyses of two specimens in the New York State Museum collection showed up to 289 ppm Mn. 50 ppm Ni. 3,013 ppm Cu and I ppm Co (M. Hawkins, personal communication).

Marcasite (Fe[S.sub.2])

Whitlock ([1910.sub.a]) reported the presence of microscopic crystals of marcasite associated with chalcopyrite coating scalenohedral faces of a calcite specimen in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. A second specimen in the collection of Richard and Elna Hauck of Franklin, New Jersey, consists of a 5-mm thick crust of botryoidal marcasite partially coating a calcite crystal.

Microcline KAIS[i.sub.3][O.sub.8]

Microscopic pink to greenish tan colored crystals of microcline occur rather abundantly with quartz and albite on the surfaces of altered granitic xenoliths at the Coal Hill mine. This mineral was earlier misidentified by collectors as strontianite or stilbite. Microcline also has been observed as orange-pink adularia-habit crystals up to 5 mm in length growing on the surfaces of calcite crystals from pockets within the main vein. One such crystal was extracted and prepared for radiometric dating by the [Ar.sup.40]/[Ar.sup.39] method. Procedures used were similar to those given in Hall and Farrell (1995). Mass spectrometry was performed using a VGl200S mass spectrometer equipped with a Daly detector operated in analog mode, Typical [Ar.sup.40] blanks consisted of [sim]2 x [10.sup.-16] moles and the blank at mass 36 was about 1 x [10.sup.-13] moles. Gas fractions were extracted using a Coherent Innova 5 W Ar-ion laser operated in multi-line mode. The results for the Coal Hill K-feldspar yielded a plateau segm ent over 80.4% of the [Ar.sup.39] released with an apparent age of 186.6 [+ or -] 1.8 (2[sigma]) Ma and an indistinguishable total gas age of 186.2 [+ or -] 1.3 Ma (Fig. 38). We interpret the plateau age to be our best estimate for the K-feldspar's formation age. The age is calculated relative to an age of 520.4 Ma for standard hornblende MMHb-1 (Samson and Alexander, 1987).

Pyrite Fe[S.sub.2]

Pyrite is a minor constituent in most of the Rossie-type veins in the area, but large well-formed crystals are not common. Beck (1842) and Dana (1844a,b) describe perfect, lustrous, cubic crystals modified by various combinations of forms (Fig. 32), but few of these appear to have been preserved in collections.

Quartz Si[O.sub.2]

Quartz occurs abundantly as colorless prismatic crystals up to 2 mm in length associated with albite, microcline and minor anatase forming drusy coatings on altered granitic xenoliths at the Coal Hill vein. Excellent micromounts of this assemblage are still collectable on the dumps.

Smithsonite ZnC[O.sub.3]

Smithsonite is a major constituent of most of the gray-white alteration coatings present on sphalerite specimens from the Rossie veins. It is relatively abundant at Locality 9 (Fig. 1) near Redwood, where it forms pink, yellow and gray-white botryoidal crusts up to 1 mm thick on and in altered sphalerite. Collector-quality specimens are not known.

Sphalerite ZnS

Like pyrite, small amounts of sphalerite are common in virtually all Rossie-type veins, but seldom in collector-quality crystals. Most sphalerite in these deposits forms disseminated massive brown clots or stringers in the calcite, though occasionally aggregates of euhedral, yellow-brown crystals up to 3 mm may be found in vugs with calcite and galena. An electron microprobe analysis of one sample from the Coal Hill vein gave Zn 63.43, Fe 3.12, Cd 0.21, Hg 0.36, Ga 0.04, S 33.11, sum 100.27 weight % (Mn, Cu, Ag, Sn, In, Se, Te and Tl were also sought but not detected).

Synchysite-(Ce) Ca(Ce,La)[([CO.sub.3]).sub.2]F

During the course of this investigation, REE-carbonate minerals were observed as rare microscopic inclusions in calcite from several Rossie-type and related veins in both northern New York and southeastern Ontario. However, at the Coal Hill vein, free-standing crystals of synchysite-(Ce) have been found in association with the albite-quartz-microcline-anatase assemblage, as well as with calcite in vugs in the primary vein. In both instances the crystals form colorless-to-pale pink tabular hexagonal individuals up to 0.5 mm in diameter. Whereas such crystals are not common, they easily may be overlooked due to their size and pale color. An electron microprobe analysis of one crystal yielded a composition of [Ca.sub.1.03] ([Ce.sub..37][Nd.sub..21][La.sub..15][Y.sub..13][Pr.sub..05][Sm.sub.. 04][Gd.sub..02][Dy.sub..02])[([CO.sub.3]).sub.2]F, based on 7 anions and assuming 2 C and 1 F atoms.

DISCUSSION

The origin of Rossie-type veins has long been a subject of debate. The deposits are distributed over a wide geographic area, yet are characterized by remarkably similar mineral assemblages, structural relationships and geochemical trends in spite of diverse host-rock lithologies. Stable-isotope and trace-element analyses of calcites from Rossie-type and related gash vein deposits (Brown, 1983; Dix and Robinson, submitted) are quite similar overall and show no apparent correlation with sample color, host rock lithology or geographic distribution. Figure 35 compares [delta] [O.sup.18] and [delta] [O.sup.13] isotope data for calcites from the localities given in Table 2 to those from a number of nearby gash vein and other, probably related, deposits (Table 3). These observations suggest the deposits share a common origin (Uglow, 1916; Alcock, 1930; Fletcher and Farquhar, 1982; Brown, 1983; Ayuso et al., 1987; Carignan et al., 1997; Dix and Robinson, submitted).

The alpine-type albite-quartz-microcline assemblages associated with altered gneiss xenoliths at the Coal Hill and Mineral Point veins most likely resulted from minor reaction of the xenoliths with the mineralizing solutions that deposited the vein material. At the Coal Hill vein, the alpine assemblage is most prevalent in altered granitic gneiss, but is not confined to that lithology. Less frequently, the same minerals occur on the surfaces of altered dioritic gneiss xenoliths, and microcline, clinochlore, cerian epidote and synchysite-(Ce) have all been identified as rare accessory minerals in vugs within the calcite vein. In one instance microcrystals of synchysite-(Ce) and quartz were observed growing from the surface of an inclusion of bleached Potsdam (?) Sandstone.

Electron microprobe analyses of samples from the Coal Hill vein prove all the elements essential to form the observed alpine minerals are present in the host gneisses. Potassium feldspars in the host gneiss and unaltered xenoliths contain approximately 10 atomic percent Na, whereas those in altered blocks contain an order of magnitude less Na, suggesting Na was leached from them. Unaltered plagioclase in the same samples varies from 0.2-0.3 mole % anorthite, while altered plagioclase appears more sodic with 0.02-0.2 mole % anorthite. Fresh biotite in the host gneiss and unaltered xenoliths contains approximately 0.26-0.33 atoms pfu Ti, and alters to clinochlore. Similarly, fresh potassian ferropargasite in the dioritic gneiss contains approximately 0.3 atoms Ti pfu and trace amounts of Ce and Sr, and alters to a mixture of calcite and clinochlore similar in composition to that derived from biotite, but with a lower Mg/Fe ratio. Magnetite, pyrite, a Ti[O.sub.2] polymorph (probably rutile), zircon, apatite and monazite-(Ce) are present as accessory minerals, but do not appear to be altered in the specimens examined.

It appears the alpine assemblage resulted from minor chemical leaching of the host gneisses during vein mineralization, given the analyses summarized above, the fact that the amount of alpine mineralization is proportional to the degree of alteration, and the general absence of such mineralization at Rossie-type veins hosted solely by Grenville marble or Paleozoic sediments. These observations as well as earlier petrographic studies (Smyth, 1903) show that the alteration is minimal, which essentially eliminates the immediate host-rocks as significant sources for the major constituent vein minerals.

Based on lead isotope studies, Fletcher and Farquhar (1982) have concluded that the Grenville basement is the most likely source of lead in the mineralizing solutions. These authors interpret isotopic variations in galena as reflecting a general uniformity of Th/Pb and variability of U/Pb in the Grenville gneisses. [Pb.sup.207]/[Pb.sup.204] VS [Pb.sup.206]/[Pb.sup.204] plots define a secondary isochron which, by extrapolation, passes through the Central Metasedimentary Belt data field, suggesting these rocks may have contributed lead to the system. Both of these authors and Ayuso et al. (1987) note that the secondary isochron probably represents a mixing line, and if so, a second, more radiogenic "end member" lead source was also involved.

The present study allows the above hypothesis to be tested, since it is the first time an absolute age has been determined for the Rossie-type veins. Using the relationship

m = 1/137.88 [e.sup.[[lambda]8[t.sub.1]]] - [e.sup.[[lambda]5[t.sub.2]]]/[e.sup.[[lambda]8[t.sub.1]]] - [e.sup.[[lambda]5[t.sub.2]]

where m is the slope of the secondary isochron, [lambda]5 and [lambda]8 are the decay constants of 235U and 238U, respectively, [t.sub.1] and [t.sub.2] are the production ages of the radiogenic leads, and a calculated slope of 0.0773628 from the data of Ayuso et al. (1987), our age date of 186 Ma for [t.sub.2] yields a corresponding value for [t.sub.1] of 1.04 Ga, confirming the Grenvillian sediments as the most probable source of lead.

Based on the available stable-isotope and fluid inclusion data, Ayuso et al. (1987) proposed that Paleozoic basinal brines migrated down faults, where they were heated and reacted with both Precambrian and Paleozoic wall-rocks as they convected upward. Metals leached from these rocks were deposited along fractures and faults upon cooling, forming the Rossie-type veins. Carignan et al. (1997) proposed a similar model, but argued that downward-moving meteoric water rather than basinal brines was responsible for the hydrothermal system based on [Pb.sup.208]/[Pb.sup.204] data. Dix and Robinson (submitted) have identified at least four possible sources for mineralizing fluids in the Ottawa Embayment based on fluid inclusion and stable-isotope data: MVT-type basinal brines, Canadian Shield-like brines, brines dissolved from Ordovician evaporites, and meteoric water.

SUMMARY

The Rossie lead mines and related gash vein deposits such as the Macomb and Muskalonge Lake fluorite occurrences in northern New York State are among the most famous early American mineral localities. The classic calcite, galena and fluorite specimens they produced are preserved in museums around the world. The origin of these deposits is best explained by a model of downward-migrating fluids, which reacted both chemically and isotopically with Grenvillian gneisses and marbles. This reaction formed hydrothermal solutions that mineralized faults and gash veins which developed in response to westward-translated stress due to Acadian orogenesis. The mineralization may have been long-lived and episodic, and was active at least through early Mesozoic time.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We are especially grateful to Richmond Rogers, Arthur Wilm, Helen Simons, Charles Washburn and other landowners who granted access to their properties. Elwood Simons, Rossie town historian, and the staff at the St. Lawrence County Historical Society provided a wealth of historical information. William Kelly and Michael Hawkins (New York State Museum), Carl Francis (Harvard University) and Ellen Faller (Peabody Museum, Yale University) furnished specimens for study and photography. Robert Gault (Canadian Museum of Nature) provided the microprobe analysis of synchysite-(Ce), and Ronald Conlon (Carelton University) provided the X-ray identification of covellite and allanite, We also thank Marcus Johnson for help in the laboratory, and use of the Phoenix-Ford Memorial Reactor for performing the neutron irradiation. Lastly, GWR gratefully acknowledges the Canadian Museum of Nature, and SCC, the Department of Bioengineering and Neuroscience at Syracuse University for their generous support of this research project .

(*.) Research Associate, New York State Museum, Albany

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Table 1
Other species from Rossie-type vein deposits.
Species       Occurrence
Barite        General occurrence
Brochantite   Coal Hill vein; oxidation product
              on chalcopyrite
Clinochlore   Coal Hill vein; gray-green
              microcrystals with microcline and
              pyrite
Covellite     Locality 9, Redwood; microcrystals
              resembling iridescent hematite
Dolomite      Macomb group mines; locality 5; 1-2
              mm tan-white rhombohedra
Fluorapatite  Coal Hill vein; colorless 0.3 mm
              microcrystal; alphine assemblage
Kaolinite     Locality 5; cream-white micaceous
              crystal aggregates to 1 mm
Malachite     Locality 9, Redwood; green film
              staining calcite
Strontianite  General occurrence
Sulfur        Locality 5; subhedral microcrystals
              to 0.5 mm on altered galena
Titanite      Mineral Point mine, pinkish brown
              microcrystals; alpine assemblage
Species       Reference
Barite        Brown (1983), (unconfirmed)
Brochantite   This study
Clinochlore   This study
Covellite     This study
Dolomite      Buddington (1934), this study
Fluorapatite  This study
Kaolinite     This study
Malachite     This study
Strontianite  Buddington (1934), (unconfirmed)
Sulfur        This study
Titanite      This study
Table 2. Trace element and stable-isotope analyses--Rossie-tupe
vein calcites.
Sample                        Mg    Fe   Mn    Sr  Other *
White crystal, zone 1        440   968  1883    0     0
Union Vein, Rossie, NY
Host: gneiss
White crystal, zone 2       1172  1124  3039    0     0
Union Vein, Rossie, NY
Host: gneiss
Purple crystal               272   543  1542  297     0
Coal Hill Vein, Rossie, NY
Host: gneiss
White crystal                136   484   694  226  Cl = 187
Clute mine, Gouverneur, NY
Host: marble
White crystal               2329  2050  2968  200     0
Mineral Point, Hammond, NY
Host: marble + gneiss
White cleavage               602   919  1957    0  Al = 85
Redwood, NY
Host: sandstone
White cleavage               478   818  2666  193     0
Frontenac mine
Draper Lake, Ontario
Host: marble + gneiss
Purple crystal               314   358  1125  250     0
Kingdon mine
Galetta, Ontario
Host: marble + gneiss
White cleavage               286   622  1360  184     0
Ramsay mine
Carleton Place, Ontario
Host: sandy dolostone
White cleavage               339   909  2947    0     0
unnamed prospect
Fermoy, Ontario
Host: marble
Sample                      [delta] [C.sup.13]  [delta] [O.sup.18]
White crystal, zone 1               --                  --
Union Vein, Rossie, NY
Host: gneiss
White crystal, zone 2               --                  --
Union Vein, Rossie, NY
Host: gneiss
Purple crystal                    -1.45               -11.96
Coal Hill Vein, Rossie, NY
Host: gneiss
White crystal                     -2.71               -13.00
Clute mine, Gouverneur, NY
Host: marble
White crystal                     -2.66               -12.48
Mineral Point, Hammond, NY
Host: marble + gneiss
White cleavage                    -0.20               -13.28
Redwood, NY
Host: sandstone
White cleavage                    -1.01               -10.35
Frontenac mine
Draper Lake, Ontario
Host: marble + gneiss
Purple crystal                    -3.39               -13.54
Kingdon mine
Galetta, Ontario
Host: marble + gneiss
White cleavage                    +0.33               -12.98
Ramsay mine
Carleton Place, Ontario
Host: sandy dolostone
White cleavage                    +0.61               -13.45
unnamed prospect
Fermoy, Ontario
Host: marble
(*)sought elements: Pb, U, Zn, Co, Rb, Ni, Cu, Y, Al, Ce, Na, S,
Cl, K & Ba elemental concentrations reported as ppm; [delta]
[C.sup.13] and [delta] [O.sup.18] reported as [degrees] PDB
Table 3. Trace element and stable-isotope analyses--selected gash
vein calcites.
Sample                          Mg    Fe    Mn   Sr   Other *
White crystal                   246   569   645    0     0
Macomb fluorite mine
Macomb, New York
Host: marble
White crystal                     0   652  1286  211     0
Muskalonge Lake fluorite vein
Jefferson County, New York
Host: marble
White crystal                   373  1125  1878    0     0
Black Creek barite occurrence
Westport, Ontario
Host: marble
White crystal                   331   495   538    0     0
Galetta celestine occurrence
Galetta, Ontario
Host: marble
Pale yellow crystal             807  1601  1380  233     0
Yellow Lake roadcut
North of Oxbow, New York
Host: marble
Pale lavender crystal           235   558  2303    0     0
Sterlingbush calcite cave
Sterlingbush, New York
Host: marble
Colorless crystal               846  1593  1883  307     0
Natural Bridge, New York
Host: marble
Gray-white crystal              428   938   946    0     0
Crawford barite mine
Sharbot Lake, Ontario
Host: marble
White crystal (pre-fluorite)    257   887   754    0     0
Gray crystal (post-fluorite)   1182  1272   789  230     0
Madoc fluorite mines
Madoc, Ontario
Host: various
Sample                         [delta] [C.sup.13]  [delta] [O.sup.18]
White crystal                        -5.43               -11.93
Macomb fluorite mine
Macomb, New York
Host: marble
White crystal                        -1.28               -11.61
Muskalonge Lake fluorite vein
Jefferson County, New York
Host: marble
White crystal                        +0.23               -11.34
Black Creek barite occurrence
Westport, Ontario
Host: marble
White crystal                        +1.39               -13.06
Galetta celestine occurrence
Galetta, Ontario
Host: marble
Pale yellow crystal                  -0.72               -11.39
Yellow Lake roadcut
North of Oxbow, New York
Host: marble
Pale lavender crystal                -0.87               -13.15
Sterlingbush calcite cave
Sterlingbush, New York
Host: marble
Colorless crystal                    -2.25               -13.22
Natural Bridge, New York
Host: marble
Gray-white crystal                   +1.74               -11.75
Crawford barite mine
Sharbot Lake, Ontario
Host: marble
White crystal (pre-fluorite)         +1.31               -11.61
Gray crystal (post-fluorite)         -2.22                -8.85
Madoc fluorite mines
Madoc, Ontario
Host: various
(*)sought elements: Pb, U, Zn, Co, Rb, Ni, Cu, Y, Al, Ce, Na, S, Cl, K
& Ba elemental concentrations reported as ppm; [delta] [C.sup.13]
and [delta] [O.sup.18] reported as %[degrees] PDB
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Author:Robinson, George W.; Dix, George R.; Chamberlain, Steven C.; Hall, Chris
Publication:The Mineralogical Record
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jul 1, 2001
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