Genesis of Luobuzhen Pb–Zn veins: Implications for porphyry Cu systems and exploration targeting at Luobuzhen-Dongshibu in western Gangdese belt, southern Tibet

Xiang Sun, Youye Zheng, Miao Li, Haitao Ouyang, Qiangqiang Liu, Xinkui Jing, Guoping Sun, Qingjie Song

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Porphyry systems are known to form in magmatic arc environment and commonly include porphyry Cu, epithermal Pb–Zn–Au–Ag, skarn polymetallic mineralization, etc. The systems are rarely reported in collisional zones, such as the Gangdese belt in southern Tibet where many postcollisional porphyry copper deposits occurred. In addition, other types of mineral systems are rarely present except porphyry copper mineralization in the Gangdese belt. In this study, we present Pb–Zn-bearing quartz veins at Luobuzhen in the western Gangdese belt. The Luobuzhen Pb–Zn veins cross-cut dacite of the Linzizong Group with zircon U–Pb age of 50.1 ± 0.2 Ma and monzogranite with zircon U–Pb age of 17.1 ± 0.1 Ma. Ore minerals include sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite, and pyrite; gangue minerals are quartz with minor chlorite and sericite. Primary fluid inclusions of quartz are liquid-rich, aqueous, and two-phase inclusions. The homogenization temperatures of these primary inclusions are moderate to high (267–400 °C), and salinities range from 8.9 to 18.4 wt.% NaCl equiv. Quartz has δ18OSMOW values of 6.2–9.3‰, while sulfides have δ34SV-CDT values of −5.1‰ to 0.1‰, 206Pb/204Pb of 18.722–18.849, 207Pb/204Pb of 15.640–15.785, and 208Pb/204Pb of 39.068–39.560. These data suggest that magmatic fluids with contribution from meteoric water, magmatic sulfur, and lead derived from upper crust and metasomatized mantle by Indian continental materials would be critical for the Luobuzhen base metal mineralization. The Dongshibu area, located at ∼2 km east of the Luobuzhen, is characterized by high concentrations of Cu (up to 1450 ppm) and Mo (up to 130 ppm) of stream sediments, which is quite different from high concentrations in Pb, Zn, Ag, and Au shown in the Luobuzhen area. In addition, porphyry copper mineralization-related alteration and veins/veinlets occur in the Miocene monzogranite at Dongshibu. The monzogranite is characterized by high Sr/Y ratios, which are also shown on ore-forming intrusions in the Gangdese postcollisional porphyry copper deposits, and shows similar zircon Hf isotopes to the ore-related high Sr/Y intrusions from the Zhunuo porphyry copper deposit which is located ∼20 km northeast of the Luobuzhen-Dongshibu. A comprehensive analysis allows us to infer that the base metal veins at Luobuzhen are components of a porphyry Cu system with porphyry Cu mineralization likely present at Dongshibu and epithermal Au–Ag veins possibly occurring at Luobuzhen, which are indicative of the existence of porphyry copper systems in collisional zones. The potential porphyry Cu mineralization and epithermal Au–Ag veins should be targeted in future exploration at Luobuzhen-Dongshibu.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)252-267
    Number of pages16
    JournalOre Geology Reviews
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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