Abstract

The Ashele Cu-Zn deposit is a recently discovered volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit in Xinjiang, China, hosted by Lower to Middle Devonian submarine bimodal volcanic rocks. The primary ores of this polygenetic deposit are represented by massive syn-depositional pyrite, chalcopyrite, and sphalerite, and were formed by submarine exhalation. Hydrothermal alteration consists of strong sericitization, chloritization, silicification, and carbonatization of the metavolcanic rocks beneath the massive orebodies. Depletion of Na 2 O is an obvious chemical change in the hydrothermal halo. Geological and geochemical evidence suggest that the Ashele Cu-Zn massive sulfide deposit was formed by submarine exhalation related to bimodal volcanic rocks, trapped in a rifting basin, then deformed by shearing, and thermally metamorphosed by the intrusion of dacitic porphyry. Sulfur and lead isotopic studies indicate that metals such as copper and zinc may have originated from spilites, but that volatile components, especially sulfur, were derived directly from submarine volcanic magmas.

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