Genesis of orogenic gold systems in the Daduhe belt: Evidence of long-lived fertile mantle lithosphere as a source of diverse metallogeny on the western margin of the Yangtze Craton, China

Hesen Zhao, Qingfei Wang, David I. Groves, M. Santosh, Jili Zhang, Tao Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The poorly documented Daduhe gold belt on the western margin of the Yangtze Craton, an important metallogenic belt in southwest China, is characterized by typical orogenic gold systems against a highly anomalous geodynamic setting. A synthesis of regional and deposit geology, mineralization ages, and S-O isotopic compositions of 33 gold deposits from the Danba-Kangding-Shimian-Mianning area of the belt reveals regional metallogenic patterns, establishes a consistent genetic model, and demonstrates a source equivalent to other diverse mineral systems on the western margin of the Yangtze Craton. The Daduhe orogenic gold deposits are controlled by the lithosphere-scale Xianshuihe and Anninghe strike-slip faults in the northern and southern segments of the belt, respectively. The alteration and ore mineral assemblages of the Daduhe orogenic gold deposits define a wide range of hypozonal, mesozonal, and epizonal sub-types. They formed during two episodes: 1) Early Jurassic gold mineralization related to closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean, with a large hypozonal gold deposit on the margin of the Danba dome in the northern segment; 2) Cenozoic gold mineralization associated with continental collision on the Tibetan Plateau, with small mesozonal and epizonal gold deposits in shear zones in migmatite basement and at contacts with cover sequences in both the northern and southern segments. At the belt and deposit scales, the ore-controlling structures for both mineralization episodes are NNE-trending second-order extensional faults or their intersections with the dominant NW-trending compressional faults. The three deposit sub-types have overlapping δ34S of 0 ∼ 10‰, δ18Ofluid of 6 ∼ 11‰, and low He-Ar isotope ratios, all consistent with derivation of ore fluids from metasomatized mantle lithosphere. Importantly, the Daduhe orogenic gold deposits have similar S-O-He-Ar isotope compositions to the giant IOCG, Cu-Ni-PGE, Fe-V-Ti, anomalous porphyry Cu-Mo-Au, and carbonatite-related REE deposits in the Panxi region on the shared margin of the western Yangtze Craton. This suggests that these diverse mineral systems have a common source of ore fluids and metals derived from fertile mantle lithosphere during different geodynamic and metallogenic events. Such a widespread hydrous metal-rich deep source with lithosphere-scale faults as ore fluid pathways, and a depth continuum of orogenic gold deposits in the Daduhe belt suggest a high prospectivity and a higher future gold endowment for the belt. This study adds to an increasing awareness of the diversity of mineral systems on specific craton margins globally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104861
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Volume145
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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