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Tectono-magmatic controls on decratonic gold deposits

Title data

Chang, Jia ; Audétat, Andreas ; Li, Jian-Wei:
Tectono-magmatic controls on decratonic gold deposits.
In: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. Vol. 176 (2021) Issue 9 . - 69.
ISSN 1432-0967

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

Magmatic-hydrothermal gold–copper deposits in post-subduction settings represent essential targets for mineral exploration, but controls on their formation remain controversial. The early Cretaceous lode Au districts that formed during lithosphere destruction of the North China Craton provide an ideal opportunity to better understand the key tectono-magmatic factors responsible for the genesis of Au-rich deposits in post-subduction settings. Here, we present a LA-ICP-MS study of silicate melt inclusions and sulfide inclusions from ore-related mafic to intermediate rocks in the central Taihangshan Au district in the interior of the North China Craton to constrain the content and evolution of magmatic ore metals ± volatiles. The results, combined with numerical modeling, suggest that the ore-related magmas contained only a few ng/g Au, which is similar to the Au content of non-mineralization-related mafic to intermediate magmas worldwide. The low Au content of the lode Au-related magmas suggest that large volumes of magmas had to accumulate in the middle to lower crust through trans-lithospheric fault systems to produce the lode Au deposits. It is further suggested that the lode Au-related magmas were alkali-rich, hydrous, oxidized and relatively rich in sulfur and chlorine (mafic melt inclusions contain 0.14‒0.24 wt% S and 0.1‒0.2 wt% Cl). These properties are considered critical for the generation of auriferous ore fluids. By comparing the tectono-magmatic setting of the giant Jiaodong Au province (~ 4000 t Au) with the central Taihangshan district (~ 150 t Au), we propose that the much larger total Au tonnage of the Jiaodong district results from the accumulation of a much larger volume of ore-forming magmas at deep crustal levels, induced by a stronger degree of lithosphere modification. In addition, given that the composition of lode Au-related magmas is similar to that of porphyry Cu–Au-related magmas, the lack of giant, early Cretaceous porphyry Cu–Au deposits in the North China Craton suggests that strong extensional settings favor the formation of lode Au deposits instead of porphyry Cu–Au deposits. The present study, therefore, has general implications for the genesis of Au-rich deposits in strongly extensional settings.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Lode Au deposits; LA-ICP-MS; Sulfide inclusions; Melt inclusions; Extensional settings; Craton destruction
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions > Central research institutes > Bavarian Research Institute of Experimental Geochemistry and Geophysics - BGI
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Central research institutes
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2022 22:00
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 11:07