The genesis of the Liancheng Cu–Mo deposit in the Lanping Basin of SW China: Constraints from geology, fluid inclusions, and Cu–S–H–O isotopes

Changming Wang, Leon Bagas, Jingyuan Chen, Lifei Yang, Duan Zhang, Bin Du, Kangxing Shi

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Liancheng is an important Cu–Mo deposit hosted by red-beds in the Mesozoic to Cenozoic Lanping Basin located in the Sanjiang Tethyan Orogen of SW China. The deposit is fault controlled where it has been affected and enriched by four hydrothermal events indicated by four distinct sets of veins and their cross-cutting relationships. A detailed Cu–S–H–O isotopic study is reported here on the mineralization focusing on the source of the metals and fluid, and on the mineralizing processes. The first two hydrothermal events are characterised by CO2 and fluid-rich inclusions with homogenisation temperatures of 124–446 °C and salinities ranging from 0.4 to 24.6 wt% NaCl equiv. The next two hydrothermal events are characterised by liquid–rich fluid inclusions that homogenise at 145–256 °C, with salinities ranging from 1.4 to 22.9 wt% NaCl equiv. The H–O isotope values obtain from the fluid inclusions indicate that the first three hydrothermal events relate to mineralizing fluids derived from a metamorphic source, but the last event includes a mixed metamorphic and meteoric source. Chalcopyrite, tennantite, and bornite from the deposit have δ34S values between −11.5 and 3‰. The δ65Cu values for quartz-Cu sulfide mineralization associated with the second hydrothermal event range from −0.31 to 0.2‰, but carbonate-Cu sulfide mineralization associated with the third hydrothermal event ranges from −1.01 to −1.08‰. The combination of the Cu and S isotopic values and field observations indicate that the controlling factors include structures, the temperature of regional metamorphism, and the pH of the mineralizing fluid. The zation is, therefore, characteristic of an orogenic-type deposit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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