Abstract

The Hongge giant Fe-Ti-V oxide ore deposit is hosted by a layered intrusion located in the central part of the Emeishan large igneous province, SW China. The intrusion is relatively small in comparison with other typical oxide-bearing intrusions worldwide; it consists of a lower olivine clinopyroxenite zone, a middle clinopyroxenite zone, and an upper gabbro zone (herein referred to as the lower, middle, and upper zones). Most of the economic Fe-Ti-V oxide ore layers occur within the middle zone. The Hongge oxide ores are depleted in REE and enriched in Zr, Hf, Nb, and Ta as compared to the associated clinopyroxenites. This enrichment of elements that are compatible in titanomagnetite is consistent with the interpretation that the ores formed by accumulation of magnetite and ilmenite. As in the nearby coeval Panzhihua Fe-Ti-V oxide deposit described previously by others, mafic silicates in the Hongge deposit have much higher MgO contents than those in other oxide deposits associated with large layered intrusions in the world. This highlights the importance of relatively primitive parental magma becoming saturated in titanomagnetite at an early stage in the genesis of the giant Fe-Ti-V oxide deposits in the Emeishan large igneous province. Phase equilibrium constraints suggest that the parental magma of the Hongge deposit is similar to that of some of the most primitive high Ti basalts in the Emeishan large igneous province. The ferrobasaltic parental magma and the ferropicritic primary magma of the Hongge intrusion are similar in major and trace element composition to the ferropicritic-ferrobasaltic magma in the Pechenga belt, Kola peninsula, Russia. Depletion of incompatible trace elements in the oxide ores and associated rocks in the Hongge intrusion as compared to the coeval high-Ti basalts suggest that not all the magma involved in the development of the Hongge intrusion has been retained in the intrusion. The occurrence of multiple Fe-Ti oxide layers alternating with Fe-Ti oxide-bearing silicate layers within a single zone and the repetitive appearance of sulfides, olivine, and Cr-rich layers suggest that multiple pulses of magma were involved in the formation of the Hongge intrusion and related Fe-Ti-V oxide deposit. We propose that the middle zone of the Hongge intrusion was a magma stepwise flow-through system and that some of the liquid was lost to the peripheral lavas to form the basalt.

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