Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 883–902 | Cite as

Magmatic-hydrothermal origin of the early Triassic Laodou lode gold deposit in the Xiahe-Hezuo district, West Qinling orogen, China: implications for gold metallogeny

  • Xiao-ye Jin
  • Jian-wei LiEmail author
  • Albert H. Hofstra
  • Ji-xiang Sui


The Xiahe-Hezuo district in the West Qinling orogen contains numerous Au-(As-Sb) and Cu-Au-(W) deposits. The district is divided into eastern and western zones by the Xiahe-Hezuo Fault. The western zone is exposed at a shallow level and contains sediment-hosted disseminated Au-(As-Sb) deposits, whereas the eastern zone is exposed at a deeper level and contains Cu-Au-(W) skarn and lode gold deposits within or close to granitic intrusions. The Laodou gold deposit in the eastern zone consists of auriferous quartz-sulfide-tourmaline and minor quartz-stibnite veins that are structurally controlled by fault zones transecting the Laodou quartz diorite porphyry stock and enveloped by potassic and phyllic alteration. Both the veins and alteration halos commonly contain quartz, sericite, tourmaline, pyrite, and arsenopyrite, with minor galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, and enargite. Gold occurs mainly as invisible gold in pyrite or arsenopyrite and locally as inclusions less than 50 μm in diameter. The zircon U-Pb age of 247.6 ± 1.3 Ma (2σ) on the host quartz diorite porphyry and the sericite 40Ar/39Ar plateau ages of 249.1 ± 1.6 and 249.0 ± 1.5 Ma (2σ) on two ore-related hydrothermal sericite samples are within analytical errors of one another. At the formation temperature (275 °C) inferred from microthermometric measurements of fluid inclusion, sericite and tourmaline yield calculated δDH2O values of −70 to −45‰ and δ 18OH2O of 5.8 to 9.7‰, while quartz yields calculated δ 18OH2O values of 5.1∼5.7‰. Hydrothermal tourmaline in quartz-sulfide-tourmaline veins has δ 11B of −11.2 to −0.9‰ (mean of −6.3‰) that are similar to the values of magmatic tourmaline (−8.9 to −5.5‰ with a mean of −6.8‰) in the host quartz diorite porphyry. The δ 34S values of sulfide minerals range from −5.9 to +5.8‰ with a mean of −0.6‰ that is typical of magmatic sulfur. Pyrite from hydrothermally altered quartz diorite porphyry and quartz-sulfide-tourmaline veins have relatively homogeneous lead isotopic compositions, compatible with granitic intrusions in the district. The geochronological and isotopic data combined support a magmatic origin for the Laodou gold deposit, most likely formed from fluids exsolved from the Laodou quartz diorite porphyry or associated intrusive phases at deeper levels beneath the stock. Orogenic and Carlin-like gold deposits in the West Qinling orogen have been commonly thought to have formed from metamorphic fluids. This study, however, highlights the role of magmatic-derived fluids in the formation of lode gold deposits. Synthesis of geochronological, geological, and geochemical data on magmatic rocks and ore deposits in and surrounding the Xiahe-Hezuo district indicates that gold mineralization predominantly occurred within a subduction-related magmatic arc prior to collision between the Yangtze and North China cratons that produced the West Qinling orogen.


Laodou gold deposit West Qinling orogen Magmatic-hydrothermal fluids Intrusion-related gold deposit 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 41072057; 41325007) and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2014CB440906). We are grateful to Chenzhou Mining Limited for access to the mine and to Liangping Dong for logistical support, geologic guidance, and useful discussion. The manuscript benefited from detailed and constructive reviews by Profs. Jingwen Mao and Dave Craw, and proofreading by Dr. Craig A. Johnson, which are gratefully appreciated. We thank Profs. Shaoyong Jiang and Georges Beaudoin for editorial handling. Thanks are extended to Zhaochu Hu, Wen Zhang, Lin Lin, and Chengsheng Jin for their help with the Pb, B, and S isotope analysis and Qiang Li, Le Xiong, Zhiling Yi, Banxiao Ruan, and Wu Yang for their help during mineral separation.

Supplementary material

126_2016_710_MOESM1_ESM.xls (30 kb)
ESM 1 Appendix 1. LA-ICP-MS U-Pb isotope data of zircon from the Laodou quartz diorite porphyry (XLS 29 kb)
126_2016_710_MOESM2_ESM.xls (32 kb)
ESM 2 Appendix 2. 40Ar/39Ar analytical data of ore-related sericite from the Laodou gold deposit (XLS 32 kb)
126_2016_710_MOESM3_ESM.xls (22 kb)
ESM 3 Appendix 3. Hydrogen and oxygen isotope data of the Laodou gold deposit (XLS 22 kb)
126_2016_710_MOESM4_ESM.xls (32 kb)
ESM 4 Appendix 4. Boron isotopic composition of tourmaline from the Laodou gold deposit (XLS 32 kb)
126_2016_710_MOESM5_ESM.xls (31 kb)
ESM 5 Appendix 5. Sulfur isotopic composition of sulfides from the Laodou gold deposit (XLS 31 kb)
126_2016_710_MOESM6_ESM.xls (27 kb)
ESM 6 Appendix 6. Lead isotopic composition of pyrite from the Laodou gold deposit (XLS 27 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao-ye Jin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jian-wei Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Albert H. Hofstra
    • 3
  • Ji-xiang Sui
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral ResourcesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Earth ResourcesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  3. 3.Denver Inclusion Analysis LaboratoryU.S. Geological SurveyDenverUSA

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