Redox-controlled generation of the giant porphyry Cu-Au deposit at Pulang, southwest China

Li, Weikai, Yang, Zhiming, Cao, Kang, Lu, Yongjun, and Sun, Maoyu (2019) Redox-controlled generation of the giant porphyry Cu-Au deposit at Pulang, southwest China. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 174 (2). 12.

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Some porphyry Cu-Au deposits with relatively reduced ore assemblages, characterized by high hydrothermal pyrrhotite contents and a lack of primary hematite and magnetite, are generally considered to be associated with reduced I-type granitoids. However, the role of magmatic oxygen fugacity (fO₂) in controlling Cu-Au mineralization in such reduced porphyry deposits is poorly understood. The giant Late Triassic (ca 216Ma) Pulang porphyry Cu-Au deposit of southwest China shows typical reduced ore assemblages. This study reported the systematical variation of upper crustal magmatic fO₂ of Pulang deposit, based on detailed investigations of mineral crystallization sequences and compositional features of the mineralization-related porphyries (early P1 and late P2 porphyry). Results indicate that magma of the mineralization-related porphyries experienced complex fO₂ fluctuations during its upper crustal evolution. The early primary magma had very high initial fO₂, with ΔFMQ+3.0at depths of >12km [ΔFMQ is the deviation of logfO₂ from the fayalite-magnetite-quartz (FMQ) buffer]. The fO₂ of evolved parental magma subsequently decreased, with ΔFMQ+1.9, due to injection of relatively reduced dioritic magmas (ΔFMQ=+1.4 to +2.3) from a deeper chamber (17-21km depth) into the primary magma chamber at 10-12km depth. Magma mixing had largely ceased at 6-10km depth. The parental magma then ponded within the reduced Tumugou formation at a depth of similar to 3.7km where magmatic fO₂ decreased to a moderately oxidized state (ΔFMQ = similar to +1.6), and finally to a moderately reduced state [reflected by log(Fe₂O₃/FeO) ratios of <-0.5 for P1 porphyry] due to contamination of parental magma by wall-rock Tumugou Formation. This decrease of fO₂ in the parental magma resulted in separation of magmatic sulfide, and the subsequent exsolution of reduced ore fluids responsible for the generation of Pulang ore assemblages. The fO₂ of the residual parental magma increased after exsolution of the reduced fluids to ΔFMQ values of +3.2 to +4.2 [also reflected by high log(Fe₂O₃/FeO) ratios of >-0.5 for P2 porphyry]. Results of this study of magmatic fO₂ indicate that porphyry magmas associated with reduced Pulang ore assemblages were initially generated as highly oxidized magma which was subsequently reduced through magma mixing and contamination by reduced sedimentary rocks of the Tumugou Formation. The sharp fO₂ decrease at very shallow depth prevented the early loss of Cu and Au because the magma remained oxidized until it was emplaced at similar to 3.7km depth. Moderately reduced magmas may thus have a genetic association with porphyry Cu-Au mineralization.

Item ID: 57244
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0967
Keywords: porphyry Cu-Au deposit, oxygen fugacity (fO₂), fractional crystallization, magma mixing, geothermobarometer, Pulang
Copyright Information: © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019.
Funders: National Key Research and Development Program of China (NKRDP), National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSF), Ministry of Land and Resources of China (MLRC)
Projects and Grants: NKRDP 2016YFC0600305, NNSF 41825005, 41320104004, 41273051, 41473041, MLRC 201011011
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2019 07:41
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040307 Ore Deposit Petrology @ 100%
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