Abstract

The Dahu Au-Mo deposit is located in the Xiaoqinling region and belongs to the Qinling-Dabie orogen of central China. The quartz vein-style Dahu Au-Mo deposit (31 t Au, average grade: 4.7 g/t; 30,000 t Mo, average grade: 0.13 %) formed in four stages, i.e., an early quartz-K-feldspar stage (I), a pyrite-molybdenite stage (II), a sulfide-telluride-sulfosalt-gold stage (III), and a late carbonate-barite stage (IV). Abundant tellurides and sulfosalts occur in stage III: altaite, tellurobismuthite, buckhornite, hessite, petzite, calaverite, aikinite, kupcikite, lindstromite, salzburgite, wittichenite, and tetradymite. The system is characterized by carbono-aqueous fluids of low to moderate salinity and high oxygen fugacity. Total homogenization temperatures of the H2O-CO2 fluid inclusions in stage I and stage III quartz range from 230° to 440°C and 198° to 320°C, respectively. The variation in CO2/H2O ratios and microthermometric data of the H2O-CO2 fluid inclusions results from a combination of fluid unmixing and sequential trapping of fluid inclusions, but also from postentrapment reequilibration. Abundant minerals are present as solid phases in H2O-CO2 fluid inclusions in stage I quartz: Cu1.65S, covellite, chalcopyrite, bornite, molybdenite, pyrite, colusite, anhydrite, and celestine. δ18Oquartz values of stage I quartz range from 10.2 to 12.0‰, with calculated δ18Ofluid values ranging from 5.6 to 7.4‰. The δD values of fluid inclusion waters (thermal decrepitation) in stage I quartz range from −117 to −54‰. The low and scattered δD values reflect a mixture of ore-forming fluids trapped by the H2O-CO2 fluid inclusions at deep crustal levels and postmineralization fluids, possibly meteoric waters, trapped by secondary aqueous fluid inclusions at higher crustal levels during uplift of the Xiaoqinling core complex. Four molybdenite samples yield an Re-Os isochron age of 206.4 ± 3.9 Ma (MSWD = 0.88), suggesting ore formation in the Late Triassic. Metal signature, mineral association, fluid characteristics, and isotope data of the Dahu deposit, together with the tectonomagmatic setting, imply that the ore-forming fluids were derived from an unexposed and oxidized magmatic system, which likely stems from partial melting of enriched lithospheric mantle beneath the North China craton in a postcollisional extensional setting.

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