Geological, geochemical characteristics and isotope systematics of the Longqiao iron deposit in the Lu-Zong volcano-sedimentary basin, Middle-Lower Yangtze (Changjiang) River Valley, Eastern China
Zhou, TF and Wu, MA and Fan, Y and Duan, C and Yuan, F and Zhang, LJ and Liu, J and Qian, B and Pirajno, F and Cooke, DR, Geological, geochemical characteristics and isotope systematics of the Longqiao iron deposit in the Lu-Zong volcano-sedimentary basin, Middle-Lower Yangtze (Changjiang) River Valley, Eastern China, Ore Geology Reviews: Journal for Comprehensive Studies of Ore Genesis and Ore Exploration, 43, (1) pp. 154-169. ISSN 0169-1368 (2011) [Refereed Article]
The Middle-Lower Yangtze (Changjiang) River Valley metallogenic belt is located on the northern margin of the Yangtze Craton of eastern China. Most polymetallic deposits in the Changjiang metallogenic belt are clustered in seven districts where magmatism of Mesozoic age (Yanshanian tectono-thermal event) is particularly extensive. From west to east these districts are: E-dong, Jiu-Rui, Anqing-Guichi, Lu-Zong, Tong-Ling, Ning-Wu and Ning-Zhen. World-class iron ore deposits occur in the Lu-Zong and Ning-Wu ore clusters, which are mainly located in continental fault-bound volcanic-sedimentary basins. One of these deposits is the Longqiao iron deposit, discovered in the northern part of the Lu-Zong Basin in 1985. This deposit consists of a single stratabound and stratiform orebody, hosted in sedimentary carbonate rocks of the Triassic Dongma'anshan Formation. A syenite pluton (Longqiao intrusion) is situated below the deposit. The iron ore is massive and disseminated and the ore minerals are mainly magnetite and minor pyrite. Wall rock alteration mostly consists of skarn minerals, such as diopside, garnet, potassic feldspar, quartz, chlorite, phlogopite and anhydrite. Thin sedimentary siderite beds of Triassic age occur as relict laminated ore at the top and the margin of the magnetite orebody. These sideritic laminae are part of Triassic evaporite-bearing carbonate deposits (Dongma'anshan Formation).
Sulfur isotopic compositions show that the sulfur in the deposit was derived from a mixture of magmatic hydrothermal fluids and carbonate-evaporite host rocks. Similarly, the C and O isotopic compositions of limestones from the Dongma'anshan Formation indicate that these rocks interacted with magmatic hydrothermal fluids. The O isotopic compositions of the syenitic rocks and minerals from the deposit show that the hydrothermal magnetite and skarn minerals were formed from magmatic fluids. The Pb isotopic compositions of sulfides are similar to those of the Longqiao syenite. Phlogopite coexisting with magnetite in the magnetite ores yielded a plateau age of 130.5 +/- 1.1 Ma (2 sigma), whereas the LA-ICP MS age of the syenite intrusion is 131.1 +/- 1.5 Ma, which is slightly older than the age of phlogopite.
The Longqiao syenite intrusion may have crystallized from a parental alkaline magma, generated by partial melting of lithospheric mantle, during extensional tectonics. The ore fluids were probably first derived from magma at depth, later emplaced in the sedimentary rocks of the Dongma'anshan Formation, where it interacted with siderite and evaporite-bearing carbonate strata, resulting in the formation of magnetite and skarn minerals. The Longqiao iron deposit is a skarn-type stratabound and stratiform mineral system, genetically and temporally related to the Longqiao syenite intrusion. The Longqiao syenite is part of the widespread Mesozoic intracontinental magmatism (Yanshanian event) in eastern China, which has been linked to lithospheric delamination and asthenospheric upwelling.
Syenite; Lu-Zong volcano-sedimentary basins; Longqiao iron deposit; Intracontinental magmatism and metallogeny