Abstract

The Luoboling Cu-Mo deposit, with 1.4 million tons (Mt) Cu and 0.11 Mt Mo, is the largest porphyry deposit in the Zijinshan district of southeast China. Mineralization at Luoboling is divided into premineralization, synmineralization, and late-mineralization stages. Consistent Cs/(Na + K) ratios in fluid inclusions suggest that the mineralizing fluids originated from a common source—the Luoboling granodiorite porphyry. The absence of initial supercritical fluid inclusions and abundant coexisting vapor and brine fluid inclusions imply that the fluids exsolved at low-pressure two-phase conditions, with temperatures of 250° to 600°C and salinities of 30 to 60 wt % NaCl equiv (brines) and <10 wt % NaCl equiv (vapors). The deposit formed at ~120 to 800 bar, corresponding to the depths of ~1.2 to 3.2 km (assuming a transition from lithostatic to hydrostatic load). Metals such as Mo (up to 77 ppm), Pb (up to 8,800 ppm), Zn (up to 13,000 ppm), and Ag (up to 130 ppm) migrated mainly in brines. Although vapor inclusions have high concentrations of Cu (up to 20,000 ppm), hypersaline fluid was the major medium for Cu transport and precipitation. The successive precipitation of Mo and Cu occurred when fluids cooled to ~500°C and ~350° to 450°C, respectively. The late-stage quartz-pyrite veins with phyllic alteration were formed by Cu-rich magmatic hydrothermal fluids. The Zijinshan epithermal Cu-Au deposit and the Luoboling porphyry Cu-Mo deposit originated from independent hydrothermal systems. Nonetheless, the increasing trends of Pb, Zn, and Ag concentrations in different stage inclusions from Luoboling imply potential for distal Pb-Zn-Ag mineralization.

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