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Chapter 6: Are There Carlin-Type Gold Deposits in China? A Comparison of the Guizhou, China, Deposits with Nevada, USA, Deposits

By
Zhuojun Xie
Zhuojun Xie
1
State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550002, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China
3
University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154, USA
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Yong Xia
Yong Xia
1
State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550002, China
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Jean S. Cline
Jean S. Cline
3
University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154, USA
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Alan Koenig
Alan Koenig
4
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado 80225, USA
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Dongtian Wei
Dongtian Wei
5
Guilin University of Technology, Guilin 541004, China
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Qinping Tan
Qinping Tan
1
State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550002, China
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Zepeng Wang
Zepeng Wang
6
No. 105 Geological Team, Guizhou Bureau of Geology and Mineral Exploration and Development, Guiyang 550018, China
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Published:
January 01, 2018

Abstract

Carlin-type Au deposits in Guizhou Province, China, have similarities to and differences from the Carlin-type Au deposits in Nevada, USA. The Shuiyindong and Jinfeng deposits, located in the Guizhou Province of southern China, are compared with the Getchell and Cortez Hills Carlin-type Au deposits of Nevada in terms of ore paragenesis and pyrite chemistry. The Guizhou deposits formed in a tectonic setting similar to Nevada with the deposition of passive-margin sequences in a rifted cratonic margin context with subsequent deformation. In both districts, orebodies are preferentially hosted in limestone and calcareous siltstone and are related to faults, gold is invisible and ionically bound in arsenian pyrite, and ore-stage minerals include quartz and illite with late ore-stage minerals, including calcite, realgar, orpiment, and stibnite.

Despite major similarities, however, the Guizhou deposits have characteristics that contrast with those of Carlin-type deposits of Nevada. Significant differences include the following:

  1. Guizhou ore-stage pyrite is commonly subhedral to euhedral, and typical Nevada fuzzy ore pyrite is absent. Guizhou ore pyrite contains significantly less Au, As, Hg, Tl, Cu, and Sb than the Nevada ore pyrite.

  2. Decarbonatization in Nevada deposits is expressed by extensive removal of calcite, dolomite, and Fe dolomite. In contrast, decarbonatization in the Guizhou deposits results in loss of most primary calcite, but Fe dolomite was instead sulfidized, forming ore pyrite and dolomite. This alteration is a key process in the formation of ore pyrite in the Guizhou deposits. Silicification in Nevada deposits is characterized by jasperoid replacement of calcite, dolomite, and Fe dolomite, whereas in the Guizhou deposits jasperoid replaced mainly calcite but not Fe dolomite or dolomite. Minor vein quartz, which formed during the early ore stage in Guizhou deposits, has not been identified in Nevada deposits. Clay alteration in the Nevada deposits is characterized by formation of significant illite and variable kaolinite/dickite; however, in the Guizhou deposits, trace to minor illite is present and kaolinite is uncommon.

  3. Late ore-stage arsenopyrite and vein quartz are common in Guizhou deposit but are rare in Nevada deposits.

  4. Guizhou ore fluids contained significantly more CO2 and were higher in temperature and pressure compared with the ore fluids in Nevada deposits.

  5. To date, magmatism spatially or temporally associated with the Guizhou deposits has not been recognized. Conversely, the Nevada deposits coincide in time and space with the southward sweep of Eocene magmatism and related extension.

Dolomite-stable alteration in Guizhou formed from less acidic, CO2-rich ore fluids at higher temperature and pressure compared with Nevada deposits, reflecting similarities between Guizhou deposits and orogenic systems. Study results are consistent with Guizhou deposits having formed in a transitional setting between typical orogenic gold and shallow Carlin-type deposits, as indicated by estimated pressure-temperature conditions at the time of gold deposition and ore-forming fluid chemistry.

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Contents

Reviews in Economic Geology

Diversity in Carlin-Style Gold Deposits

John L. Muntean
John L. Muntean
Ralph J. Roberts Center for Research in Economic Geology, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, University of Nevada Reno
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
20
ISBN electronic:
9781629491189
Publication date:
January 01, 2018

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