The Xiaoqinling gold province, located in the Neoarchean−Paleoproterozoic uplifted footwalls of the Xiaoqinling metamorphic core complex (XMCC), is one of China’s largest gold producers; however, achieving a consensus regarding their metallogenic model remains elusive. Scheelite is an indicator mineral that commonly occurs in lode gold deposits worldwide used to recognize deposit types and understand hydrothermal evolution and the origin of features. Xenotime, monazite, and rutile are common hydrothermal minerals in association with lode gold deposits worldwide. Here, we provide textual, in situ U-Pb geochronology of xenotime, monazite, and rutile, and in situ elemental and Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of scheelite within different stages from the large Yangzhaiyu lode gold deposit, aiming to elucidate its genesis and, for the first time, establish a holistic correlation between the lode gold mineralization and the evolution of the XMCC. Notably low εNd(t) values (−30.7 to −23.7), high 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.72659−0.75914), and distinct rare earth elements, Sr, Mo, and As contents of scheelite confirm a metamorphic crustal source. Xenotime U-Pb dating and pre-ore (Stage I) scheelite reveal that ore-barren metamorphic fluids at ca. 140 Ma were oxidized with low Bi contents and buffered by greenschist facies metamorphism when the XMCC initiated. Monazite and rutile U-Pb dating combined with ore-stage scheelite geochemistry indicate a compositional shift in the more reduced auriferous metamorphic fluids, which dominated during major gold deposition periods (stages II and III) from 130 Ma to 120 Ma, characterized by significantly depleted Na and increased Bi contents. This resulted from the prograde greenschist-to-amphibolite metamorphism at mid-lower crustal depths as the result of the XMCC isostatic doming and the lithospheric mantle thinning after 130 Ma. This study highlights the crucial role of metamorphic core complexes in governing the timing, locations, and resources of the lode gold metallogenic system.

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