Mineralium Deposita (v.48, #8)

The Eastern Tianshan Orogenic Belt of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt and the Beishan terrane of the Tarim Block, NW China, host numerous Fe deposits. The Cihai Fe deposit (>90 Mt at 45.6 % Fe) in the Beishan terrane is diabase-hosted and consists of the Cihai, Cinan, and Cixi ore clusters. Ore minerals are dominantly magnetite, pyrite, and pyrrhotite, with minor chalcopyrite, galena, and sphalerite. Gangue minerals include pyroxene, garnet, hornblende and minor plagioclase, biotite, chlorite, epidotite, quartz, and calcite. Pyrite from the Cihai and Cixi ore clusters has similar Re–Os isotope compositions, with ∼14 to 62 ppb Re and ≤10 ppt common Os. Pyrrhotite has ∼5 to 39 ppb Re and ∼0.6 ppb common Os. Pyrite has a mean Re–Os model age of 262.3 ± 5.6 Ma (n = 13), in agreement with the isochron regression of 187Os vs. 187Re. The Re–Os age (∼262 Ma) for the Cihai Fe deposit is within uncertainty in agreement with a previously reported Rb–Sr age (268 ± 25 Ma) of the hosting diabase, indicating a genetic relationship between magmatism and mineralization. Magnetite from the Cihai deposit has Mg, Al, Ti, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Mn, Zn, Ga, and Sn more elevated than that of typical skarn deposits, but both V and Ti contents lower than that of magmatic Fe–Ti–V deposits. Magnetite from these two ore clusters at Cihai has slightly different trace element concentrations. Magnetite from the Cihai ore cluster has relatively constant trace element compositions. Some magnetite grains from the Cixi ore cluster have higher V, Ti, and Cr than those from the Cihai ore cluster. The compositional variations of magnetite between the ore clusters are possibly due to different formation temperatures. Combined with regional tectonic evolution of the Beishan terrane, the Re–Os age of pyrite and the composition of magnetite indicate that the Cihai Fe deposit may have derived from magmatic–hydrothermal fluids related to mafic magmatism, probably in an extensional rift environment.
Keywords: Re–Os isotopes; Pyrite; LA-ICP-MS; Magnetite; Cihai Fe deposit; China

Interrogation and 3D visualisation of multiple multi-element data sets collected at the Ranger 1 No. 3 uranium mine, in the Northern Territory of Australia, show a distinct and large-scale chemical zonation around the ore body. A central zone of Mg alteration, dominated by extensive clinochlore alteration, overprints a biotite–muscovite–K-feldspar assemblage which shows increasing loss of Na, Ba and Ca moving towards the ore body. Manipulation of pre-existing geochemical data and integration of new data collected from targeted ‘niche’ samples make it possible to recognise chemical architecture within the system and identify potential fluid conduits. New trace element and rare earth element (REE) data show strong fractionation associated with the zoned alteration around the deposit and with fault planes that intersect and bound the deposit. Within the most altered portion of the system, isocon analysis indicates addition of elements including Mg, S, Cu, Au and Ni and removal of elements including Ca, K, Ba and Na within a zone of damage associated with ore precipitation. In the more distal parts of the system, processes of alteration and replacement associated with the mineralising system can be recognised. REE element data show enrichment in HREE centred about a characteristic peak in Dy in the high-grade ore zone while LREEs are enriched in the outermost portions of the system. The patterns recognised in 3D in zoning of geochemical groups and contoured S, K and Mg abundance and the observed REE patterns suggest a fluid flow regime in which fluids were predominately migrating upwards during ore deposition within the core of the ore system.
Keywords: Unconformity; Uranium; Pine Creek; REE; Northern Territory; Ranger

Archean komatiites host important resources of Ni, Cu, Co, and PGE, particularly in Western Australia and Canada. In Finland, several small, low-grade sulfide deposits have been found in komatiites, including the ca. 2.8 Ga Vaara deposit in the Archean Suomussalmi greenstone belt. It occurs in the central part of the serpentinized olivine cumulate zone of a komatiitic extrusive body and is composed of disseminated interstitial sulfides consisting of pyrite, pentlandite, millerite, violarite, and chalcopyrite accompanied by abundant magnetite. Although currently subeconomic, the mineralization is interesting due to the very high chalcophile element contents of the sulfide fraction (38 wt% Ni, 3.4 wt% Cu, 0.7 wt% Co, 22.4 ppm Pd, and 9.5 ppm Pt). The sulfides occur in relatively Cr-poor olivine cumulates suggesting involvement of a chromite-undersaturated magma. The parental magma was an Al-undepleted komatiite with an estimated MgO content of at least 24 wt%. In contrast to the common komatiite types in the eastern Finland greenstone belts, the Vaara rocks are moderately enriched in LREE relative to MREE, suggesting that crustal contamination played an important role in the genesis of the Vaara deposit. Multiple sulfur isotope data reveal considerable mass-independent sulfur isotope fractionation both in country rock sedimentary sulfides (Δ33S ranges from −0.50 to +2.37 ‰) and in the Vaara mineralization (Δ33S ranges from +0.53 to +0.66 ‰), which provides strong evidence for incorporation of crustal sulfur. Extensive replacement of interstitial sulfides by magnetite and the presence of millerite- and violarite-bearing, pyrrhotite-free sulfide assemblages indicate significant post-magmatic, low-temperature hydrothermal oxidation of the primary magmatic pyrrhotite-pentlandite-chalcopyrite assemblages and associated sulfur loss that led to a significant upgrading of the original metal tenors of the Vaara deposit.
Keywords: Komatiite; Magmatic Ni–Cu deposit; Sulfide; Sulfur isotopes; Alteration; Exploration; Greenstone belt; Suomussalmi; Finland

The genesis of mineralized systems across the Mountain Freegold area, in the Dawson Range Cu–Au ± Mo Belt of the Tintina Au province was constrained using Pb and stable isotope compositions and Ar–Ar and Re–Os geochronology. Pb isotope compositions of sulfides span a wide compositional range (206Pb/204Pb, 18.669–19.861; 208Pb/204Pb, 38.400–39.238) that overlaps the compositions of the spatially associated igneous rocks, thus indicating a magmatic origin for Pb and probably the other metals. Sulfur isotopic compositions of sulfide minerals are broadly similar and their δ34S (Vienna-Canyon Diablo Troilite (V-CDT)) values range from −1.4 to 3.6 ‰ consistent with the magmatic range, with the exception of stibnite from a Au–Sb–quartz vein, which has δ34S values between −8.1 and −3.1 ‰. The δ34S values of sulfates coexisting with sulfide are between 11.2 and 14.2 ‰; whereas, those from the weathering zone range from 3.7 to 4.3 ‰, indicating supergene sulfates derived from oxidation of hypogene sulfides. The δ13C (Vienna Peedee Belemnite (VPDB)) values of carbonate range from −4.9 to 1.1 ‰ and are higher than magmatic values. The δ18O (V-SMOW) values of magmatic quartz phenocrysts and magmatic least-altered rocks vary between 6.2 and 10.1 ‰ and between 5.0 and 10.1 ‰, respectively, whereas altered magmatic rocks and hydrothermal minerals (quartz and magnetite) are relatively 18O-depleted (4.2 to 7.9 ‰ and −6.3 to 1.5 ‰, respectively). Hydrogen isotope compositions of both least-altered and altered igneous rock samples are D-depleted (from −133 to −161 ‰ Vienna-Standard Mean Ocean Water (V-SMOW)), consistent with differential magma degassing and/or post-crystallization exchange between the rocks and meteoric ground water. Zircon from a chlorite-altered dike has a U–Pb crystallization age of 108.7 ± 0.4 Ma; whereas, the same sample yielded a whole-rock Ar–Ar plateau age of 76.25 ± 0.53 Ma. Likewise, molybdenite Re–Os model ages range from 75.8 to 78.2 Ma, indicating the mineralizing events are genetically related to Late Cretaceous volcano-plutonic intrusions in the area. The molybdenite Re–Os ages difference between the nearby Nucleus (75.9 ± 0.3 to 76.2 ± 0.3 Ma) and Revenue (77.9 ± 0.3 to 78.2 ± 0.3 Ma) mineral occurrences suggests an episodic mineralized system with two pulses of hydrothermal fluids separated by at least 2 Ma. This, in combination with geological features suggest the Nucleus deposit represents the apical and younger portion of the Revenue–Nucleus magmatic-hydrothermal system and may suggest an evolution from the porphyry to the epithermal environments.
Keywords: Lead; Sulfur; Oxygen; Hydrogen; And carbon isotopes; Skarn; Epithermal; Porphyry; Ar–Ar plateau age; Re–Os geochronology; Mountain Freegold; Yukon

The Dexing porphyry Cu–Mo–Au deposit in east China (1,168 Mt at 0.45 % Cu) is located in the interior of the South China Craton (SCC), made up of two lithospheric blocks, the Yangtze and Cathaysia blocks. The Cu–Mo–Au mineralization is associated with mid-Jurassic granodioritic porphyries with three high-level intrusive centers, controlled by a series of lineaments at the southeastern edge of the Yangtze block. Available age data define a short duration (172–170 Ma) of the felsic magmatism and the mineralization (171 ± 1 Ma). The deposit shows broad similarities with deposits in volcanoplutonic arcs, although it was formed in an intracontinental setting. Porphyries associated with mineralization are mainly granodiorites, which contain abundant phenocrysts (40–60 %) and carry contemporaneous microgranular mafic enclaves (MMEs). They are mainly high-K calc-alkaline and show geochemical affinities with adakite, characterized by relatively high MgO, Cr, Ni, Th, and Th/Ce ratios. The least-altered porphyries yielded relatively uniform ε Nd(t) values from −0.9 to +0.6, and wide (87Sr/86Sr)i range between 0.7046 and 0.7058 partially overlapping with the Sr–Nd isotopic compositions of the MMEs and mid-Jurassic mafic rocks in the SCC. Zircons from the porphyries have positive ε Hf(t) values (3.4 to 6.9), and low δ18O values (4.7 to 6.3 ‰), generally close to those of depleted mantle. All data suggest an origin by partial melting of a thickened juvenile lower crust involving mantle components (e.g., Neoproterozoic mafic arc magmas), triggered by invasion of contemporaneous mafic melts at Dexing. The MMEs show textural, mineralogical, and chemical evidence for an origin as xenoliths formed by injection of mafic melts into the felsic magmas. These MMEs usually contain magmatic chalcopyrite, and have original, variable contents of Cu (up to 500 ppm). Their geochemical characteristics suggest that they were derived from an enriched mantle source, metasomatized by Proterozoic slab-derived fluids, and supplied a part of Cu, Au, and S for the Dexing porphyry system during their injection into the felsic magmas. The 171 ± 1 Ma magmatic-hydrothermal event at Dexing is contemporaneous with the mid-Jurassic extension in the SCC, followed by 160–90 Ma arc-like magmatism in southeastern China. With respect to the tectono-magmatic evolution of the SCC, the emplacement of Cu-bearing porphyries and the associated Cu mineralization occurred in response to the transformation from a tensional regime, related to mid-Jurassic extension, to a transpressional regime, related to the subduction of the Paleo-Pacific oceanic lithosphere.
Keywords: Dexing; China; Porphyry Cu deposit; Sr–Nd–Hf–O isotopes; Petrogenesis; Intracontinental setting