Whether giant porphyry ore deposits are the products of single, short-lived magmatic-hydrothermal events or multiple events over a prolonged interval is a topic of considerable debate. Previous studies, however, have all been devoted to porphyry Cu and Cu-Mo deposits. In this paper, we report high-precision isotope dilution-negative-thermal ionization mass spectrometric (ID-N-TIMS) molybdenite Re-Os ages for the newly discovered, world-class Chalukou porphyry Mo deposit (reserves of 2.46 Mt @ 0.087 wt % Mo) in NE China. Samples were selected based on a careful evaluation of the relative timing of the different vein types (i.e., A, B, and D veins), thereby ensuring that the suite of samples analyzed could be used to reliably determine the age and duration of mineralization.
The molybdenite Re-Os geochronology reveals that hydrothermal activity at Chalukou involved two magmatic-hydrothermal events spanning an interval of 6.92 ± 0.16 m.y. The first event (153.96 ± 0.08/0.63/0.79 Ma, molybdenite ID-N-TIMS Re-Os age) was associated with the emplacement of a granite porphyry dated at 152.1 ± 2.2 Ma (zircon laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-microscopic [LA-ICP-MS] U-Pb ages), and led to only minor Mo mineralization, accounting for <10% of the overall Mo budget. The bulk of the Mo (>90%) was deposited in less than 650 kyr, between 147.67 ± 0.10/0.60/0.76 and 147.04 ± 0.12/0.72/0.86 Ma (molybdenite ID-N-TIMS Re-Os ages), coincident with the emplacement of a fine-grained porphyry at 148.1 ± 2.6 Ma (zircon LA-ICP-MS U-Pb ages). The high-precision Re-Os age determinations presented here show, contrary to the finding of a number of studies of porphyry Cu and Cu-Mo systems, that the giant Chalukou porphyry Mo deposit primarily formed in a single, short-lived (<650 kyr) hydrothermal event, suggesting that this may also have been the case for other giant porphyry Mo deposits.