Magmatic Origin for Sediment-Hosted Au Deposits, Guizhou Province, China: In Situ Chemistry and Sulfur Isotope Composition of Pyrites, Shuiyindong and Jinfeng Deposits

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Economic Geology





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The southwest Guizhou Province, China, contains numerous sediment-hosted Au deposits with Au reserves greater than 700 tonnes. To date, the source of ore fluids that formed the Guizhou sediment-hosted Au deposits is controversial, hampering the formulation of genetic models. In this study, we selected the Shuiyindong and Jinfeng Au deposits, the largest strata-bound and fault-controlled deposits in Guizhou, respectively, for detailed research on pyrite chemistry and S isotope composition using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and laser ablation-multicollector-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-MC-ICP-MS), respectively. Petrography and pyrite chemistry studies distinguished five generations of pyrite. Among these, pre-ore pyrite 2 and ore pyrite are the most abundant types in the deposits. Pre-ore pyrite 2 is anhedral to euhedral and with ~2,639 ppm As and wider ranges of Cu, Sb, and Pb (18‰), resulting in elevated δ34S values of ore-related sulfide minerals and especially late ore-stage sulfide minerals. Although few igneous rocks are exposed in the mining area around these deposits, there is evidence of magmatic activity ~20 km away. Furthermore, gravity and magnetic geophysical investigations indicate the presence of a pluton ~5 km below the surface of the Shuiyindong district. Based on in situ S isotope results and recent data indicating proximal intrusions, we interpret a deep magmatic S source for the ore fluids that formed the Guizhou sediment-hosted Au deposits. However, as the age for Au mineralization of Guizhou sediment-hosted Au deposits is still debated, the mineralization-magma connection remains hypothetical. Identifying an ore fluid source and time frame for Guizhou Au mineralization continues to be a critically important research goal for this district.





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