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Geology and timing of mineralization at the Cangshang gold deposit, north-western Jiaodong Peninsula, China


The Cangshang gold deposit of the north-western Jiaodong Peninsula contains reserves of greater than 50 tonnes (t) and is developed by the largest open pit gold mine in China. This deposit is a Jiaojia-style (i.e. disseminated-and-veinlet) deposit. It is controlled by the San-Cang fault zone, which trends ~040° and dips 40–75°SE at the mine site. The main (no. 1) orebody lies between a hanging wall of Precambrian metamorphic rocks (mainly amphibolite) of the Fenzishan Group and a footwall composed of the Mesozoic Linglong granitoid. The ore zone is mainly composed of pyritized, sericitized and silicified granitoid, which has undergone variable degrees of cataclasis. SHRIMP U–Pb dating of zircon indicates that the protolith of the hanging wall amphibolite was formed at 2530±17 Ma and underwent metamorphism at 1852±37 Ma. The footwall granodiorite has been dated at 166±4 Ma, whereas zircons from the ore zone yield a younger age of 154±5 Ma. Cathodoluminescence images of zircons from the granodiorite and ore zone show oscillatory zonation indicative of an igneous origin for both and the ages of these zircons, therefore, are all interpreted to be representative of magmatic crystallization. Dating of sericite by 40Ar–39Ar has been used to directly determine the timing of formation of the Cangshang deposit, providing the first time absolute age on formation of the Jiaojia-style gold deposits. The well-defined age of 121.3±0.2 Ma provides the precise timing of gold mineralization at the Cangshang deposit. This age is consistent with those of Linglong-style (vein type) gold mineralization, also from the north-western Jiaodong Peninsula, at between 126 and 120 Ma. Therefore, our work indicates that both styles of gold deposits in the Jiaodong Peninsula were formed during the same mineralization event.

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Zhang, X., Cawood, P.A., Wilde, S.A. et al. Geology and timing of mineralization at the Cangshang gold deposit, north-western Jiaodong Peninsula, China. Miner Deposita 38, 141–153 (2003).

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  • 40Ar–39Ar dating Cangshang gold deposit Gold mineralization North China craton SHRIMP U–Pb dating