Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 49, Issue 7, pp 843–860 | Cite as

Cassiterite LA-MC-ICP-MS U/Pb and muscovite 40Ar/39Ar dating of tin deposits in the Tengchong-Lianghe tin district, NW Yunnan, China

  • Xiao-Cui Chen
  • Rui-Zhong HuEmail author
  • Xian-Wu Bi
  • Hui-Min Li
  • Jiang-Bo Lan
  • Cheng-Hai Zhao
  • Jing-Jing Zhu


The Tengchong-Lianghe tin district in northwestern Yunnan, China, is an important tin mineralization area in the Sanjiang Tethyan Metallogenic Domain. There are three N–S trending granite belts in the Tengchong-Lianghe area, with emplacement ages ranging from Early Cretaceous to Late Cretaceous and Early Cenozoic. Tin mineralization is spatially associated with these granitic rocks. However, the petrogenetic link between the tin deposits and the host granites is not clear because of the lack of age data for the tin mineralization. We investigate the possibility of direct dating of cassiterite from three typical tin deposits in the Tengchong-Lianghe tin district, using laser ablation multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-MC-ICP-MS). In situ LA-MC-ICP-MS dating of seven cassiterite samples from the Lailishan (LLS-1 and LLS-2), Xiaolonghe (XLH, WDS, DSP, and HJS), and Tieyaoshan (TYS) tin deposits yielded well-defined 206Pb/207Pb–238U/207Pb isochron ages. To assess the accuracy of the in situ U/Pb dating of cassiterite, 40Ar/39Ar dating of coexisting muscovite (in samples LLS-1, DSP, and TYS) was also performed. The cassiterite in situ U/Pb ages (47.4 ± 2.0, 71.9 ± 2.3, and 119.3 ± 1.7 Ma, respectively) are in excellent agreement with the coexisting muscovite 40Ar/39Ar ages (48.4 ± 0.3, 71.9 ± 1.4, and 122.4 ± 0.7 Ma, respectively). The U/Pb ages of cassiterite combined with the 40Ar/39Ar ages of muscovite indicate that there are three tin mineralization events in this district: the Lailishan tin deposit at 47.4 ± 2.0 to 52 ± 2.7 Ma, the Xiaolonghe tin deposit at 71.6 ± 2.4 to 3.9 ± 2.0 Ma, and the Tieyaoshan tin deposit at 119.3 ± 1.7 to 122.5 ± 0.7 Ma. These ages are highly consistent with the zircon U/Pb ages of the host granites. It is su.ggested that the Cretaceous tin mineralization might have taken place in a subduction environment, while the Early Tertiary tin metallogenesis was in a postcollisional geodynamic setting.


Cassiterite LA-MC-ICP-MS U/Pb dating Muscovite 40Ar/39Ar dating Tin deposits Granite Yunnan Province China 



This work was financially supported by the State Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (41130423), the CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams (KZZD-EW-TZ-20), and the 12th Five-Year Plan Project of the State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SKLODG-ZY125-03). The Yunnan Tin Industry Co. Ltd. is gratefully acknowledged for their assistance during our fieldwork. Thanks are particularly extended to the reviewers and editor Bernd Lehmann for their constructive comments and suggestions which resulted in a major improvement of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao-Cui Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rui-Zhong Hu
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Xian-Wu Bi
    • 1
  • Hui-Min Li
    • 3
  • Jiang-Bo Lan
    • 1
  • Cheng-Hai Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jing-Jing Zhu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposits GeochemistryInstitute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of SciencesGuiyangChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Tianjin Institute of Geology and Mineral ResourcesTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of SciencesGuiyangPeople’s Republic of China

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