Giant Mesozoic gold provinces related to the destruction of the North China craton

Li, Jian-Wei, Bi, Shi-Jian, Selby, David, Chen, Lei, Vasconcelos, Paulo, Thiede, David, Zhou, Mei-Fu, Zhao, Xin-Fu, Li, Zhan-Ke and Qiu, Hua-Ning (2012) Giant Mesozoic gold provinces related to the destruction of the North China craton. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 349-350 26-37. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2012.06.058

Author Li, Jian-Wei
Bi, Shi-Jian
Selby, David
Chen, Lei
Vasconcelos, Paulo
Thiede, David
Zhou, Mei-Fu
Zhao, Xin-Fu
Li, Zhan-Ke
Qiu, Hua-Ning
Title Giant Mesozoic gold provinces related to the destruction of the North China craton
Journal name Earth and Planetary Science Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-821X
Publication date 2012-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.06.058
Volume 349-350
Start page 26
End page 37
Total pages 12
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Lode gold deposits in Precambrian cratons represent the world's major gold source and were mostly generated during formation and stabilization of the cratons. However, there is an extraordinary exception in the North China craton (NCC), where lode gold deposits formed after prolonged stabilization of the craton. Molybdenite Re-Os and hydrothermal sericite and biotite 40Ar/ 39Ar dating of major gold deposits from the Xiaoqinling district, southern NCC, bracket their emplacement in the range of 154.1±1.1 to 118.9±1.2Ma (n=23), postdating formation of the craton by more than 1.7 billion years. Fluid inclusions extracted from gold-bearing pyrite have elevated 3He/ 4He ratios (1.52-0.22Ra) and mantle-like Ne isotopes ( 20Ne/ 22Ne=10.02-9.22 and 21Ne/ 22Ne=0.033-0.027), indicating presence of mantle-derived fluids in the ore system. Measured δ 34S of pyrite and δD and δ 18O of hydrothermal micas and fluid inclusion waters in auriferous quartz further confirm a magmatic/mantle source for sulfur and ore fluids. Gold deposits of similar ages also widely occur in the eastern and northern margins of the NCC, which, together with those in the Xiaoqinling district, have a total reserve of ~2500t gold, forming the only known giant late Mesozoic gold province in the world's Precambrian cratons. These deposits formed coevally with extensive felsic to mafic magmatism, development of intracontinental rift basins, and exhumation of metamorphic core complexes across the eastern NCC, events interpreted as indicating thinning and destruction of the lithosphere beneath the craton. Rising of asthenosphere coupled with destruction of the lithosphere has generated voluminous mafic and felsic magmas that provided sufficient fluids, sulfur and, by inference, other ore components to form the giant gold provinces.
Keyword Lode gold
Lithospheric destruction
Mantle-derived fluids
North China craton
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 25 July 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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