Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 80–94 | Cite as

Fluid Inclusion and H-O Isotope Geochemistry of the Phapon Gold Deposit, NW Laos: Implications for Fluid Source and Ore Genesis

  • Linnan Guo
  • Shusheng LiuEmail author
  • Lin Hou
  • Jieting Wang
  • Meifeng Shi
  • Qiming Zhang
  • Fei Nie
  • Yongfei Yang
  • Zhimin Peng


The Phapon gold deposit, located in northern Laos, is a unique large-scale gold deposit in Luang Prabang-Loei metallogenic belt. It is hosted in the Lower Permian limestone and controlled by a NE-trending ductile-brittle fault system. There are three types of primary ore including auriferous calcite vein type, disseminated type, and breccia type, and the first two are important in the Phapon gold deposit. Based on fluid inclusion petrography and microthermometry, three types of primary fluid inclusions including type 1 liquid-rich aqueous, type 2 vapor-rich aqueous and type 3 daughter mineral-bearing aqueous were identified in hydrothermal calcite grains. The ore-forming fluids are normally homogeneous, as indicated by the widespread type 1 inclusions with identical composition. The coexistence of type 1 and type 2 inclusions, showing similar final homogenization temperature but different compositions, indicate that fluid immiscibility did locally take place in both two types of ores. The results of microthermometry and H-O isotopes geochemistry indicate that there are little differences on ore-fluid geochemistry between the auriferous calcite vein-type and disseminated type ores. The oreforming fluids are characterized by medium-low temperatures (157—268 °C) and low salinity (1.6 wt.%-9.9 wt.% NaCl eq.). It is likely to have a metamorphic-dominant mixed source, which could be associated with dehydration and decarbonisation of Lower Permian limestone and Middle-Upper Triassic sandstones during the dynamic metamorphism. The fluid-wallrock interaction played a major role, and the locally occurred fluid-immiscible processes played a subordinate role in gold precipitation. Combined with the regional and ore deposit geology, and ore-fluid geochemistry, we suggest that the Phapon gold deposit is best considered to be a member of the epizonal orogenic deposit class.

Key words

fluid inclusion H-O isotopes fluid source ore genesis Phapon gold deposit northern Laos 


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We thank the geologists from the Tianjin Huakan Mining Investment, Co., Ltd. with their assistance with the field work in the Phapon gold deposit. This study was financially supported by the China Geological Survey Project (No. 121201010000150013). The final publication is available at Springer via

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© 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.Tianjin North China Geological Exploration BureauTianjinChina

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