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Nature, diversity of deposit types and metallogenic relations of South China

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Zaw, K and Peters, SG and Cromie, PW and Burrett, CF and Hou, Z (2007) Nature, diversity of deposit types and metallogenic relations of South China. Ore Geology Reviews, 31 (1 - 4). pp. 3-47. ISSN 0169-1368

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Abstract

The South China Region is rich in mineral resources and has a wide diversity of deposit types. The region has undergone
multiple tectonic and magmatic events and related metallogenic processes throughout the earth history. These tectonic and
metallogenic processes were responsible for the formation of the diverse styles of base and precious metal deposits in South China
making it one of the resource-rich regions in the world. During the Proterozoic, the South China Craton was characterised by rifting
of continental margin before eruption of submarine volcanics and development of platform carbonate rocks, and the formation of
VHMS, stratabound copper and MVT deposits. The Phanerozoic metallogeny of South China was related to opening and closing of
the Tethyan Ocean involving multiple orogenies by subduction, back-arc rifting, arc–continent collision and post-collisional
extension during the Indosinian (Triassic), Yanshanian (Jurassic to Cretaceous) and Himalayan (Tertiary) Orogenies. The Late
Palaeozoic was a productive metallogenic period for South China resulting from break-up and rifting of Gondwana. Significant
stratabound base and precious metal deposits were formed during the Devonian and Carboniferous (e.g., Fankou and Dabaoshan
deposits). These Late Palaeozoic SEDEX-style deposits have been often overprinted by skarn systems associated with Yanshanian
magmatism (e.g., Chengmenshan, Dongguashan and Qixiashan). A number of Late Palaeozoic to Early Mesozoic VHMS deposits
also developed in the Sanjiang fold belt in the western part of South China (e.g., Laochang and Gacun).
South China has significant sedimentary rock-hosted Carlin-like deposits, which occur in the Devonian- to Triassic-aged
accretionary wedge or rift basins at the margin of the South China Craton. They are present in a region at the junction of Yunnan,
Guizhou, and Guangxi Provinces called the ‘Southern Golden Triangle’, and are also present in NW Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi,
in an area known as the ‘Northern Golden Triangle’ of China. These deposits are mostly epigenetic hydrothermal microndisseminated
gold deposits with associated As, Hg, Sb+Tl mineralisation similar to Carlin-type deposits in USA. The important
deposits in the Southern Golden Triangle are Jinfeng (Lannigou), Zimudang, Getang, Yata and Banqi in Guizhou Province, and the
Jinya and Gaolong deposits in Guangxi District. The most important deposits in the Northern Golden Triangle are the Dongbeizhai
and Qiaoqiaoshang deposits.
Many porphyry-related polymetallic copper–lead–zinc and gold skarn deposits occur in South China. These deposits are related
to Indosinian (Triassic) and Yanshanian (Jurassic to Cretaceous) magmatism associated with collision of the South China and North
China Cratons and westward subduction of the Palaeo-Pacific Plate. Most of these deposits are distributed along the Lower to
Middle Yangtze River metallogenic belt. The most significant deposits are Tonglushan, Jilongshan, Fengshandong, Shitouzui and
Jiguanzui. Au–(Ag–Mo)-rich porphyry-related Cu–Fe skarn deposits are also present (Chengmenshan and Wushan in Jiangxi Province and Xinqiao, Mashan-Tianmashan, Shizishan and Huangshilaoshan in Anhui Province). The South China fold belt
extending from Fujian to Zhejiang Provinces is characterised by well-developed Yanshanian intrusive to subvolcanic rocks
associated with porphyry to epithermal type mineralisation and mesothermal vein deposits. The largest porphyry copper deposit in
China, Dexing, occurs in Jiangxi Province and is hosted by Yanshanian granodiorite. The high-sulphidation epithermal system
occurs at the Zijinshan district in Fujian Province and epithermal to mesothermal vein-type deposits are also found in the Zhejiang
Province (e.g., Zhilingtou). Part of Shandong Province is located at the northern margin of the South China Craton and the province
has unique world class granite-hosted orogenic gold deposits. Occurrences of Pt–Pd–Ni–Cu–Co are found in Permian-aged
Emeishan continental flood basalt (ECFB) in South China (Jinbaoshan and Baimazhai in Yunnan Province and Yangliuping in
Sichuan Province). South China also has major vein-type tungsten–tin–bismuth–beryllium–sulphide and REE deposits associated
with Yanshanian magmatism (e.g., Shizhuyuan and Xihuashan), important world class stratabound base metal–tin deposits
(Dachang deposit), and the large antimony deposits (Xikuangshan and Woxi). During the Himalayan Orogeny, many giant deposits
were formed in South China including the recently emerging Yulong and Gangdese porphyry copper belts in Tibet and the
Ailaoshan orogenic gold deposits in Yunnan.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Mineral deposits; Metallogeny; Base metals; Gold; South China; SE Asia; China
Journal or Publication Title: Ore Geology Reviews
Page Range: pp. 3-47
ISSN: 0169-1368
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2005.10.006
Additional Information:

The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com

Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2008 03:09
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:42
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