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Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 731–755 | Cite as

A revised oxygen barometry in sulfide-saturated magmas and application to the Permian magmatic Ni–Cu deposits in the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt

  • Ya–Jing MaoEmail author
  • Ke–Zhang QinEmail author
  • Stephen J. Barnes
  • Clément Ferraina
  • Giada Iacono–Marziano
  • Michael Verrall
  • Dongmei Tang
  • Shengchao Xue
Article

Abstract

Oxygen fugacity is a key parameter in controlling the petrogenesis of mafic-ultramafic rocks and their associated sulfide mineralization, especially in convergent settings. This study uses new and previously published experimental data on olivine-sulfide pairs to reparameterize an expression for oxygen barometry using the distribution coefficient K D FeNi for Fe-Ni exchange between olivine and sulfide. We derive a new expression, ΔQFM = (9.775 + 0.416 ∙ C Ni − K D FeNi)/4.308, where ΔQFM denotes divergence from the fayalite–magnetite–quartz buffer. The revised oxygen barometry has been applied to the Permian magmatic Ni–Cu deposits in the Central Asian Orogenic Belt, NW China. The Ni–Cu deposits in the East Tianshan—North Tianshan, Central Tianshan, and Beishan—are considered as a single mineral system, whereas the spatially separated deposits in the East Junggar are considered as a separate system. The deposit of the East Tianshan group exhibits a large range of oxygen fugacity (QFM − 2 to ~QFM + 1) and Ni tenor (metal concentration in pure sulfide, ~ 5 to 16 wt%). The Poyi and Huangshannan deposits contain high-Ni tenor sulfides, varying from 12 to 16 wt%. The relatively high Fo values (> 85 mol%) and Ni contents (> 2000 ppm) in olivine of these deposits indicate that the high-Ni tenor sulfides were segregated from less differentiated high-Ni magmas that also had relatively high oxygen fugacity (~QFM + 1). The remaining Ni–Cu deposits in the East Tianshan—the Huangshandong, Huangshanxi, Hulu, Tulaergen, Tudun, and Xiangshanzhong deposits—have intermediate Ni tenors (5–8 wt%). These sulfides correspond to intermediate Fo values (80–84 mol%) and Ni contents (700–1400 ppm) in the coexisting olivine, illustrating that they were segregated from magmas with lower Ni contents thought to be the result of a large amount (15–20%) of olivine fractionation at depth. These magmas are more reduced (− 2 < ΔQFM < + 0.3) than the less evolved magmas (~QFM + 1). It is shown that the ΔQFM value calculated for the deposits in East Tianshan decreases with decreasing Fo value, indicating that the host magmas became gradually reduced during evolution, which can be explained by primarily oxidizing magma progressively assimilating crustal material containing reducing agents, such as carbon. The Kalatongke deposit in the East Junggar belt, with the lowest Ni tenors in sulfides (3–5 wt%) and low Fo values in olivine (< 78 mol%), was derived from relatively oxidizing magmas (~QFM + 1) that had experienced significant olivine plus clinopyroxene and plagioclase fractionation at depth. We propose that the variation in oxygen fugacity and Ni tenor in the Permian Ni–Cu deposits in the Central Asian Orogenic Belt is the result of gradual contamination and a variable degree of fractional crystallization.

Keywords

Magmatic sulfide deposit Oxygen barometer Sulfide-olivine Fe-Ni exchange Nickel tenor Central Asian Orogenic Belt 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study has been financially supported by grants from the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0601204), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41502095), the French agency for research (ANR project #12-JS06-0009-01), and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2015M570146 Ya–Jing Mao). Xinjiang Nonferrous Metal Industry Group Ltd. is thanked for access to the Ni–Cu deposits in NW China. Xue–Jun Yan, Jun–Hui Xie, Yong Wang, Bin Wang, Guan–Liang Ren, Ding–Min Guo, and Yu–Zong Liang are thanked for their sharing of knowledge of the deposits in the field work. The assistance of Ida Di Carlo and Patricia Benoist-Julliot with the SEM and the electron microprobe in Orléans is acknowledged. Guohui Chen, Tongcheng Han, and Na Guo are acknowledged for their help on best-fit calibration for the experimental data. Ya–Jing Mao acknowledges the funding of the China Scholarship Council to support the visit to CSIRO as a postdoctoral fellow. SJB acknowledges support from the CSIRO Science Plus Science Leader program. Valuable comments from Margaux Le Vaillant, Sheng-Hong Yang, and Chusi Li improved the manuscript. Editors Wolfgang Maier and Bernd Lehmann are acknowledged for their helpful suggestions and editorial handling.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mineral ResourcesInstitute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.CSIRO Mineral ResourcesPerthAustralia
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.ISTO, UMR 7327 CNRS-Université d’Orléans–BRGMOrléans Cedex 2France
  5. 5.State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral ResourcesChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina

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