Illite is a distinctive clay mineral formed by K alteration within hydrothermal alteration zones in porphyry Cu deposits. Based on differences in spatial distribution, Kübler index, number of swelling layers, and polytype, two kinds of illite are recognized within the Dexing porphyry Cu deposit, East China. One is a hydrothermal mineral within hydrothermally-altered granodiorite porphyry and altered tuffaceous phyllite near the contact zone with the granodiorite porphyry cupola. The hydrothermal illite is formed by illitization of plagioclase and/or micas during hydrothermal fluid-rock interaction. The considerable variation of their higher Kübler indices (0.17–1.41°Δ2𝛉) with swelling layer is affected by fluid/rock ratio or fluid flux. The other type of illite is a product of low-grade metamorphism within tuffaceous phyllite away from the porphyry cupola (>2 km), and has a lower Kübler index (0.06–0.13°Δ2𝛉), a 2M1 polytype, and no swelling layers. We suggest that, within the mineralized alteration zone, the lower the Kübler index, the stronger the degree of alteration, and the higher the copper grade. This is caused by a higher fluid/rock ratio in the middle–upper portions of the contact zone.

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