New insights into the genesis of IOCG deposits: From a case study of the Yinachang deposit in SW China

Ligang Zhu, Jiajun Liu, Leon Bagas, Degao Zhai, Guangzhi Meng, Michael Verrall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The Yinachang Fe-Cu-Au-U-REE deposit is hosted by the lower part of the Paleoproterozoic Kunyang Group in the central Yunnan Province of SW China in an area known to contain iron-oxide Cu-Au mineralisation. The deposit includes: (i) the sulphide assemblage chalcopyrite – pyrite – magnetite – cobaltite – molybdenite – cassiterite; (ii) Rare Earth Element assemblage bastnaesite – parasite – fergusonite – xenotime – monazite; (iii) the uranyl hydroxide mineral vandendriesscheite; (iv) gold commonly hosted by ankerite; and (v) the gangue mineral assemblage apatite – biotite – fluorspar – quartz – calcite. The ore is commonly massive, disseminated, banded, or in calcite veins. The banded mineralisation contains high concentration of Au, Co, Mo, U, Fe, Cu and REE, and the vein-type mineralisation has abundant REE minerals of bastnaesite, parisite, fergusonite and xenotime. Monazite exists as inclusions in apatite or as discrete grains on the surface of magnetite, and the uranium is associated with chalcopyrite. The mineralising process can be divided into an initial Na-alteration followed by the ore-forming assemblages of Fe-REE and Cu-Au-U-REE mineralisation. The average δ18OH2O values in the quartz and calcite change are between 3.5 and 10.7‰, with δDV-SMOW values ranging between −98.2 and −47.7‰. The calcite, siderite and ankerite have δ13C isotope composition ranges from –14 to +1‰ and δ18O compositions of +6.9 to +22‰. The H–O–C isotope systematics indicate that the mineralising fluids have mixed magmatic and metamorphic sources, whereas the carbon is sourced from marine carbonate, and the low temperature alternation of polyphase mantle material. In situ δ34S sulphide value ranges between 1.1 and 11.9‰, and the bulk δ34S value ranges between −4.7 and 10.5‰. In situ Pb isotopes of sulphide samples have 206Pb/204Pb values of 18.58–18.76, 207Pb/204Pb values of 15.51–15.66 and 208Pb/204Pb values of 37.47–38.06. These values plot in the upper crust Pb-evolution curve, indicative of a complex source of Pb in the deposit. The Pb is interpreted to have a deep-seated magmatic source with a contribution from the crust. It is also proposed that the REE-mineralised fluids are derived from a late stage of alkaline magma differentiation. The 40Ar-39Ar biotite date indicates that the Precambrian rocks in the Kangdian region were regionally metamorphosed at ca. 900 Ma. The Yinachang Fe-Cu-Au-U-REE deposit is interpreted as an IOCG deposit based on geological and isotopic studies. The banded ore and vein type ore are the main exploration targets for uranium, gold and REE. This study helps us better understand IOCG deposits in China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103664
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'New insights into the genesis of IOCG deposits: From a case study of the Yinachang deposit in SW China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this