Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 109–120 | Cite as

Geology, Geochronology, and Hf Isotopic Composition of the Pha Lek Fe Deposit, Northern Laos: Implications for Early Permian Subduction-Related Skarn Fe Mineralization in the Truong Son Belt

  • Lin Hou
  • Shusheng LiuEmail author
  • Linnan Guo
  • Fuhao Xiong
  • Chao Li
  • Meifeng Shi
  • Qiming Zhang
  • Siwei Xu
  • Songyang Wu


The Truong Son metallogenic belt in central Laos and Vietnam is an important Fe-Cu-Sn-Au polymetallic ore district. The Pha Lek Fe deposit is closely related to Late Carboniferous- Early Permian I-type granitic magmatism, and contains >50 Mt @ 45% to 50% of Fe ore. Ore minerals occur mainly as magnetite and hematite in the skarn alteration zone between a granitic pluton and metamorphosed Middle-Upper Devonian carbonates. The granitic pluton comprises granodiorite and granite, with zircon U-Pb dating indicating synchronous emplacement at 288.2±1.3 and 284.9±1.2 Ma, respectively. Zircons from these granitoids have εHf(t) values of 2.9-11.2 and relatively young TDM2 ages (<1.0 Ga), indicating an origin by partial melting of depleted mafic crust or magma mixing. Previous studies have shown that these granitoids have high Y, Yb, and K2O contents, and low Sr and Na2O contents, which are interpreted as the melting of mafic continental crust. Pyrite of the main mineralization stage yields an 187Re/188Os-187Os/188Os isochron age of 287±17 Ma, indicating that mineralization is associated with Pha Lek granitic magmatism. A Late Carboniferous-Early Permian subduction-related skarn-type Fe mineralization model is proposed for the Pha Lek deposit. More evidence is needed to verify a hypothesis of volcanic overprinting during Late Triassic post-collisional extension.

Key words

Truong Son belt Pha Lek Fe deposit granitic intrusions geochronology Hf isotopic composition 


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This research was supported financially by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41402074 and 41502074), Applied Fundamental Research Funding of Sichuan Province, China (No. 2015JY0055), and the National Geological Survey Foundation of China (No. 121201010000150013). The final publication is available at Springer via

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chengdu CenterChina Geological SurveyChengduChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Tectonic Controls on Mineralization and Hydrocarbon Accumulation of Ministry of Land and ResourcesChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  3. 3.National Research Center of GeoanalysisChinese Academy of Geological ScienceBeijingChina
  4. 4.China University of GeosciencesBeijingChina

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