Abstract

The Xiangdong W(-Sn) deposit is hosted in the Dengfuxian multiphase granites (biotite, two-mica, and muscovite granites) within the Nanling Range metallogenic belt in south China. Previous studies suggested that the W(-Sn) mineralization in the Xiangdong deposit is related to the Late Jurassic two-mica granite, whereas recently W-Sn–bearing quartz veins have also been identified in muscovite granite. We present new cassiterite and zircon U-Pb ages to constrain the timing of W-Sn mineralization and related granitic magmatism. Our laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry U-Pb dating of zircon grains, combined with previous zircon ages, in addition to the trace element composition of the muscovite granite, suggest the muscovite granite in the Dengfuxian pluton was emplaced at 145 to 142 Ma and shows highly evolved features. Cassiterite grains from the ore-bearing veins in two-mica granite yielded U-Pb ages of 151.6 ± 3.7 and 141 to 138 Ma, whereas cassiterite grains from quartz veins occurring in muscovite granite yielded a U-Pb age of 136.8 ± 3.3 Ma. The new ages and detailed geologic evidence indicate that the Early Cretaceous muscovite granite is also genetically related to W-Sn mineralization. Combining this with previously published data from the Late Jurassic two-mica granites and related mineralization, we suggest that there were two stages of W-Sn mineralization at Xiangdong. Arsenopyrite geothermometry from the two stages suggests temperatures of 300° to 491° and 308° to 450°C in stage I and stage II, respectively. Wolframite grains from the two stages also show different characteristics and patterns for their major and trace elements. The enrichment in Sc in wolframite suggests low-pH and low-Eh conditions for a fluid containing F and/or PO43 complexes during stage I, whereas higher contents of Nb and Ta and lower contents of Sc in wolframite from stage II indicate relatively lower pH and higher Eh conditions. In combination with data from other recent studies, we propose that the 145 to 130 Ma interval represents a newly recognized W-Sn metallogenic period linked with highly evolved granites in the Nanling Range metallogenic belt. The Early Cretaceous muscovite granite is an important new target for W and Sn resources in south China.

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