The Early Cambrian Niutitang Formation in South China consists of a black shale sequence with a synsedimentary organic carbon-rich polymetallic sulfide layer with extreme metal enrichment locally mined as Ni-Mo-PGE-Au ore. We report a new composite Re-Os isochron age of the sulfide ore layer of 521 ± 5 Ma (n = 14) from three mine sites (Dazhuliushui and Maluhe in the Guizhou province and Sancha in the Hunan province) several hundred kilometers apart. This age corresponds to the biostratigraphic Tommotian age, and is in agreement with recent interpolated Pb-Pb and SHRIMP zircon U-Pb ages from an underlying tuff unit. The initial 187Os/188Os value of the sulfide ore is 0.87 ± 0.07, which is equal to the initial 187Os/188Os ratio of ~0.80 of the black shale host rock, consistent with the seawater origin of the metals under depositional conditions of very low clastic input.

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