Abstract

The Erbutu Ni-Cu sulfide deposit is hosted in a small ultramafic intrusion located at the southern margin of the Central Asian orogenic belt, Inner Mongolia. This deposit is the first case of a magmatic sulfide deposit related to boninitic magmatism in an arc setting. The host intrusion is composed of orthopyroxenite and olivine orthopyroxenite. More than three quarters of the intrusion contains economic, disseminated sulfide mineralization. SHRIMP U-Pb dating of zircons from the intrusion gives a crystallization age of 294.2 ± 2.7 Ma, similar to the age of the Permian Tarim plume in northwest China. Olivine orthopyroxenite is characterized by olivine crystals with relatively high Fo contents (85–88 mol %) and extremely low Ca contents (<250 ppm). Coexisting orthopyroxene crystals have clinoenstatite composition with enstatite from 86 to 88 mol %. Whole-rock data show characteristic enrichments of light REE relative to heavy REE, pronounced negative Nb-Ta anomalies, and moderately positive Hf anomaly. The δ34S values of sulfide separates are 4 to 5‰, significantly higher than the typical mantle value (0 ± 2‰). The ɛHf values of zircons are from −4 to −9. These data indicate that the parental magma was a boninite. Crustal contamination was involved during magma evolution and ore formation.

You do not currently have access to this article.