Ore genesis and hydrothermal evolution of the Shaxi porphyry Cu–Au deposit, Anhui province, Eastern China: evidence from isotopes (S–Sr–H–O), pyrite, and fluid inclusions
Wang, S and Zhou, T and Hollings, P and Yuan, F and Fan, Y and White, NC and Zhang, L, Ore genesis and hydrothermal evolution of the Shaxi porphyry Cu-Au deposit, Anhui province, Eastern China: evidence from isotopes (S-Sr-H-O), pyrite, and fluid inclusions, Mineralium Deposita, 56 pp. 767-788. ISSN 0026-4598 (2021) [Refereed Article]
The Shaxi porphyry Cu–Au deposit is located in the northern part of the Luzong Basin on the outer edge of the southern Middle-Lower Yangtze River metallogenic belt, China. It is typical of the porphyry Cu–Au deposits in the metallogenic belt, with more than 1 Mt Cu at 0.55 wt% and 45 tons Au at 0.47 g/t. Hydrothermal alteration consists of a core of potassic alteration overprinted by a phyllic alteration zone. Propylitic alteration occurs peripheral to the potassic zone, but can also be recognized in the core of the deposit, where vein density is low. The main mineralization occurs as sulfide veinlets in the potassic zone where it is superposed by phyllic alteration. The paragenetic sequence show that chalcopyrite began to precipitate late in stage 1, associated with potassic alteration, forming quartz-sulfide veins with potassium feldspar halos, and reached a peak in stage 3, forming chalcopyrite-pyrite ± quartz ± anhydrite ± chlorite ± illite veins that accompanied phyllic alteration. Sulfur, hydrogen-oxygen and strontium isotopes, fluid inclusions, and pyrite trace element data indicate that the stage 1 assemblage associated with potassic alteration were deposited from a magmatic brine. With the change from lithostatic to hydrostatic pressure late in stage 1, the brine generated stage 1 g quartz-pyrite-chalcopyrite ± anhydrite ± bornite ± molybdenite ± potassium feldspar veins with minor copper and gold. Mixing with minor external fluids (meteoric water or gypsum-saturated groundwater) in stage 2 triggered the peripheral propylitic alteration. As the proportion of external fluid increased with the onset of hydrostatic conditions, it changed the redox state and composition of the hydrothermal system, resulting in extensive stage 3 Cu and Au precipitation with phyllic alteration. Argillic alteration associated with stage 4 veins was generated by external fluids mixed with minor hydrothermal fluid, at shallow depths.
fluid inclusion, sulfur and strontium isotope, pyrite geochemistry, Shaxi deposit, Middle-Lower Yangtze Metallogenic Belt