Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 731–747 | Cite as

Fe–Cu deposits in the Kangdian region, SW China: a Proterozoic IOCG (iron-oxide–copper–gold) metallogenic province

  • Xin-Fu Zhao
  • Mei-Fu Zhou


Numerous Fe–Cu deposits are hosted in the late Paleoproterozoic Dongchuan and Dahongshan Groups in the Kangdian region, SW China. The Dongchuan Group is composed of siltstone, slate, and dolostone with minor volcanic rocks, whereas the Dahongshan Group has undergone lower amphibolite facies metamorphism and consists of quartz mica-schist, albitite, quartzite, marble and amphibolite with local migmatite. Deposits in the Dongchuan Group are commonly localized in the cores of anticlines, in fault bends and intersections, and at lithological contacts. Orebodies are closely associated with breccias, which are locally derived from the host rocks. Fe-oxides (magnetite and/or hematite) and Cu-sulfides (chalcopyrite, bornite) form disseminated, vein-like and massive ores, and typically fill open spaces in the host rocks. The deposits have extensive albite alteration and local K-feldspar alteration overprinted by quartz, carbonate, sericite and chlorite. Deposits in the Dahongshan Group have orebodies sub-parellel to stratification and show crude stratal partitioning of metals. Fe-oxide ores occur as massive and/or banded replacements within the breccia pipes, whereas Cu-sulfide ores occur predominantly as disseminations and veinlets within mica schists and massive magnetite ores. Ore textures suggest that Cu-sulfides formed somewhat later than Fe-oxides, but are possibly within the same mineralization event. Both ore minerals predated regional Neoproterozoic metamorphism. Both orebodies and host rocks have undergone extensive alteration of albite, scapolite, amphibole, biotite, sericite and chlorite. Silica and carbonate alterations are also widespread. Ore-hosting strata have a LA-ICP-MS zircon U–Pb age of 1681 ± 13 Ma, and a dolerite dyke cutting the Fe-oxide orebodies has an age of 1659 ± 16 Ma. Thus, the mineralization age of the Dahongshan deposit is constrained at between the two. All ores from the two groups have high Fe and low Ti, with variable Cu contents. Locally they are rich in Mo, Co, V, and REE, but all are poor in Pb and Zn. Sulfides from the Fe–Cu deposits have δ34S values mostly in the range of +2 to +6 per mil, suggesting a mix of several sources due to large-scale leaching of the strata with the involvement of evaporites. Isotopic dating and field relationships suggest that these deposits formed in the late Paleoproterozoic. Ore textures, mineralogy and alteration characteristics are typical of IOCG-type deposits and thus define a major IOCG metallogenic province with significant implications for future exploration.


IOCG deposit Kangdian district Yangtze Block China 



This study is supported by Opening Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, CAS (200802), a Small Project Funding from HKU (201007176073), a grant from the Research Grant Council of Hong Kong (HKU707009P), and the CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams (KZCX2-YW-t004). We are grateful to Mr. Zhanke Li, Mr. Yousheng Kui, and Mr. Bo Zhao for field assistance and Dr. Liang Qi and Ms. Ying Liu for helping with geochemical analyses. Dr. Louise Corriveau and Prof. Paul Robinson provided useful suggestions on an earlier draft of this paper. The editor, Prof. Bernd Lehmann, and an anonymous reviewer provided insightful and constructive suggestions, which greatly improved the manuscript.

Supplementary material

126_2011_342_Fig13_ESM.gif (66 kb)
Appendix 1

Simplified geological map of the Dahongshan ore district (after NGTYP 2006). See Fig. 1 for location (GIF 66 kb)

126_2011_342_MOESM1_ESM.eps (5.6 mb)
High resolution image (EPS 5711 kb)
126_2011_342_Fig14_ESM.gif (21 kb)
Appendix 2

Geological map of the E’touchang deposit and a simplified cross section (AB) across the core of the anticline (GIF 20 kb)

126_2011_342_MOESM2_ESM.eps (5.7 mb)
High resolution image (EPS 5836 kb)
126_2011_342_Fig15_ESM.gif (30 kb)
Appendix 3

Geological cross section of the E’touchang deposit, showing the relationship between the Fe–(Cu) orebodies, breccias, and faults (based on drilling hole data of the geological team) (GIF 30 kb)

126_2011_342_MOESM3_ESM.eps (5.2 mb)
High resolution image (EPS 5320 kb)
126_2011_342_Fig16_ESM.gif (62 kb)
Appendix 4

Simplified geological map of the Dahongshan deposit (after NGTYP 2006) (GIF 61 kb)

126_2011_342_MOESM4_ESM.eps (4.2 mb)
High resolution image (EPS 4348 kb)
126_2011_342_Fig17_ESM.gif (59 kb)
Appendix 5

Geological cross section of the Dahongshan deposit, showing the relationship of Fe–Cu orebodies and dolerite (modified from the Qian and Shen 1990) (GIF 59 kb)

126_2011_342_MOESM5_ESM.eps (4.3 mb)
High resolution image (EPS 4450 kb)
126_2011_342_MOESM6_ESM.xls (55 kb)
Appendix 6 Bulk ore composition of the Fe–Cu deposits in the Kangdian region (XLS 55 kb)
126_2011_342_MOESM7_ESM.xls (34 kb)
Appendix 7 Summary of sulfur isotope data of the Fe–Cu deposits in the Kangdian region. (XLS 33 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry, Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuiyangChina

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