, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 739-750
Date: 28 Jun 2003

Ore-forming fluids associated with granite-hosted gold mineralization at the Sanshandao deposit, Jiaodong gold province, China

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Abstract

The Sanshandao gold deposit, with total resources of more than 60 t of gold, is located in the Jiaodong gold province, the most important gold province of China. The deposit is a typical highly fractured and altered, disseminated gold system, with high-grade, quartz-sulphide vein/veinlet stockworks that cut Mesozoic granodiorite. There are four stages of veins that developed in the following sequence: (1) quartz-K-feldspar-sericite; (2) quartz-pyrite±arsenopyrite; (3) quartz-base metal sulfide; and (4) quartz-carbonate. Fluid inclusions in quartz and calcite in vein/veinlet stockworks contain C-O-H fluids of three main types. The first type consists of dilute CO2–H2O fluids coeval with the early vein stage. Molar volumes of these CO2–H2O fluid inclusions, ranging from 50–60 cm3/mol, yield estimated minimum trapping pressures of ≥3 kbar. Homogenization temperatures, obtained mainly from CO2–H2O inclusions with lower CO2 concentration, range from 267–375 °C. The second inclusion type, with a CO2–H2O±CH4 composition, was trapped during the main mineralizing stages. These fluids may reflect the CO2–H2O fluids that were modified by fluid/rock reactions with altered wallrocks. Isochores for CO2-H2O±CH4 inclusions, with homogenization temperatures ranging from 204–325 °C and molar volumes from 55 to 70 cm3/mol, provide an estimated minimum trapping pressure of 1.2 kbar. The third inclusion type, aqueous inclusions, trapped in cross-cutting microfractures in quartz and randomly in calcite, are post-mineralization, and have homogenization temperatures between 143–228 °C and salinities from 0.71–7.86 wt% NaCl equiv. Stable isotope data show that the metamorphic fluid contribution is minimal and that ore fluids are of magmatic origin, most likely sourced from 120–126 Ma mafic to intermediate dikes. This is consistent with the carbonic nature of the fluid, and the cross-cutting nature of those deposits relative to the host Mesozoic granitoid.

Editorial handling: R.J. Goldfarb