The Kuntabin Sn-W deposit, located in southern Myanmar, is characterized by abundant greisen-type and quartz vein-type cassiterite and wolframite mineralization. We have conducted multiple geochronological methods and isotope and trace element analyses to reveal the age and evolution of the Kuntabin magmatichydrothermal system.
Zircon U-Pb dating of the two-mica granite yielded a weighted mean 206Pb/238U age of 90.1 ± 0.7 Ma. Cassiterite U-Pb dating provided a lower intercept age of 88.1 ± 1.9 Ma in the Tera-Wasserburg U-Pb concordia diagram. Molybdenite Re-Os dating returned a weighted mean model age of 87.7 ± 0.5 Ma and an isochron age of 88.7 ± 2.7 Ma. These ages indicate a genetic relationship between granite and Sn-W mineralization in the Kuntabin deposit and record the earliest magmatism and Sn-W mineralization in the Sibumasu and Tengchong terranes related to subduction of the Neo-Tethys oceanic slab. Three generations of cassiterite have been identified with distinctive cathodoluminescence textures and trace element patterns, indicating the episodic input of ore-forming fluids and distinctive changes in the physical-chemical conditions of the Kuntabin magmatichydrothermal system. Sudden changes of fluid pressure, temperature, pH, etc., may have facilitated the deposition of Sn and W. Rhenium contents of molybdenite from the Kuntabin deposit and many other Sn-W deposits in Myanmar are characteristically low compared to porphyry Cu-Mo-(Au) deposits worldwide. In combination with zircon Hf isotope signatures, we infer that granites associated with Sn-W deposits in Myanmar were predominantly derived by melting of ancient continental crust and contain minimal mantle contribution.
Subduction of the Neo-Tethys oceanic slab from west of the West Burma terrane reached beneath the Sibumasu terrane and led to magmatism and Sn-W mineralization at ~90 Ma when the Kuntabin deposit was formed. The Paleoproterozoic Sibumasu crust was activated during the subduction-related magmatism to form predominantly crust derived melts. After a high degree of fractional crystallization and fluid exsolution, physical-chemical changes of the hydrothermal fluid resulted in Sn and W precipitation to form the Kuntabin Sn-W deposit.