Geologic and geochemical insights into the formation of the Taiyangshan porphyry copper–molybdenum deposit, Western Qinling Orogenic Belt, China

Gondwana Research
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Abstract

Taiyangshan is a poorly studied copper–molybdenum deposit located in the Triassic Western Qinling collisional belt of northwest China. The intrusions exposed in the vicinity of the Taiyangshan deposit record episodic magmatism over 20–30 million years. Pre-mineralization quartz diorite porphyries, which host some of the deposit, were emplaced at 226.6 ± 6.2 Ma. Syn-collisional monzonite and quartz monzonite porphyries, which also host mineralization, were emplaced at 218.0 ± 6.1 Ma and 215.0 ± 5.8 Ma, respectively. Mineralization occurred during the transition from a syn-collisional to a post-collisional setting at ca. 208 Ma. A barren post-mineralization granite porphyry marked the end of post-collisional magmatism at 200.7 ± 5.1 Ma. The ore-bearing monzonite and quartz monzonite porphyries have a εHf(t) range from − 2.0 to + 12.5, which is much more variable than that of the slightly older quartz diorite porphyries, with TDM2 of 1.15–1.23 Ga corresponding to the positive εHf(t) values and TDM1 of 0.62–0.90 Ga corresponding to the negative εHf(t) values. Molybdenite in the Taiyangshan deposit with 27.70 to 38.43 ppm Re suggests metal sourced from a mantle–crust mixture or from mafic and ultramafic rocks in the lower crust. The δ34S values obtained for pyrite, chalcopyrite, and molybdenite from the deposit range from + 1.3‰ to + 4.0‰, + 0.2‰ to + 1.1‰, and + 5.3‰ to + 5.9‰, respectively, suggesting a magmatic source for the sulfur. Calculated δ18Ofluid values for magmatic K-feldspar from porphyries (+ 13.3‰), hydrothermal K-feldspar from stockwork veins related to potassic alteration (+ 11.6‰), and hydrothermal sericite from quartz–pyrite veins (+ 8.6 to + 10.6‰) indicate the Taiyangshan deposit formed dominantly from magmatic water. Hydrogen isotope values for hydrothermal sericite ranging from − 85 to − 50‰ may indicate that magma degassing progressively depleted residual liquid in deuterium during the life of the magmatic–hydrothermal system. Alternatively, δD variability may have been caused by a minor amount of mixing with meteoric waters. We propose that the ore-related magma was derived from partial melting of the ancient Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic middle to lower continental crust. This crust was likely metasomatized during earlier subduction, and the crustal magmas may have been contaminated with lithospheric mantle derived magma triggered by MASH (e.g., melting, assimilation, storage, and homogenization) processes during collisional orogeny. In addition, a significant proportion of the metals and sulfur supplied from mafic magma were simultaneously incorporated into the resultant hybrid magmas.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Geologic and geochemical insights into the formation of the Taiyangshan porphyry copper–molybdenum deposit, Western Qinling Orogenic Belt, China
Series title Gondwana Research
DOI 10.1016/j.gr.2016.03.014
Volume 35
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher International Association for Gondwana Research
Contributing office(s) Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description 19 p.
First page 40
Last page 58
Country China
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N