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International Geology Review

ISSN: 0020-6814 (Print) 1938-2839 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tigr20

Timing of formation and geological setting of
low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits in the
continental margin of NE China

Jing-Gui Sun , Yong Zhang , Shi-Jiong Han , Lan-Jing Men , Yi-Xin Li , Peng Chai
& Fan Yang

To cite this article: Jing-Gui Sun , Yong Zhang , Shi-Jiong Han , Lan-Jing Men , Yi-Xin Li , Peng
Chai & Fan Yang (2013) Timing of formation and geological setting of low-sulphidation epithermal
gold deposits in the continental margin of NE China, International Geology Review, 55:5, 608-632,
DOI: 10.1080/00206814.2012.729658

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00206814.2012.729658

Published online: 01 Nov 2012.

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International Geology Review, 2013
Vol. 55, No. 5, 608–632, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00206814.2012.729658

Timing of formation and geological setting of low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits in the
continental margin of NE China
Jing-Gui Sun*, Yong Zhang, Shi-Jiong Han, Lan-Jing Men, Yi-Xin Li, Peng Chai and Fan Yang
College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun 130061, PR China
(Accepted 10 September 2012)

The margin of NE China, a part of the West Pacific metallogenic belt, contains innumerable low-sulphidation mineral
deposits. Gold deposits in this region can be classified into three distinct types based on geology and ore mineral paragenesis:
(1) low-sulphidation epithermal silver–gold deposits, (2) low-sulphidation tellurium–gold deposits, and (3) low-sulphidation
epithermal tellurium–gold deposits. Ores formed during the late Early Cretaceous and the early Late Cretaceous reflect three
distinct metallogenic periods: the Fuxin Stage at 115.98 ± 0.89 Ma, the Quantou Stage at 107.2 ± 0.6 Ma or <103 Ma,
and the Qingshankou or Yaojiajie Stage at < 97 Ma and 88.2 ± 1.4 Ma. The Fuxin Stage is dominated by trachyan-
desitic magmatism, with magmas emplaced at hypabyssal depths. In comparison, the Quantou Stage is characterized by
high-K calc-alkaline, calc-alkaline, and sodic andesitic, dacitic, and rhyolitic magmatism of three different suites. The first
of these is a high-K calc-alkaline andesitic magmatic suite that was accompanied by the emplacement of a calc-alkaline
sodic dacite during the formation of the Ciweigou and Wufeng ore deposits. The second suite is dominated by calc-alkaline
sodic rhyolite and high-K calc-alkaline sodic dacite magmatism associated with the formation of the Sipingshan ore deposit.
The third suite is typified by high-K calc-alkaline andesitic magmatism associated with the emplacement of calc-alkaline
hypabyssal granitoid complexes accompanying the formation of the Dong’an and Tuanjiegou ore deposits. The Qingshankou
or Yaojia Stage is characterized by calc-alkaline sodic dacite magmatism associated with the formation of the Wuxing ore
deposit. Metallogenesis during the Fuxin Stage characterized by trachytic magmatism is closely related to the formation of
a deep-seated fault within a magmatic arc or the back-arc region of an immature continental margin and is associated with
the Early Cretaceous subduction of the Pacific plate beneath Eurasia. Ore deposits that formed during the Fuxin Stage were
generally related to magmato-hydrothermal fluids associated with mantle-derived magmas. In contrast, metallogenesis dur-
ing the Quantou and Qingshankou or Yaojiajie stages was closely related to the formation of a mature high-K calc-alkaline
magmatic arc within a continental margin setting again associated with the westward subduction of the Pacific plate. This
metallogenic event was a product of magmato-hydrothermal systems derived from crust–mantle interaction and mixing of
magmas derived from partial melting of different sections of the continental crust.
Keywords: mineral deposit types; low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposit; ore-forming processes; continental margin of
NE China; West Pacific metallogenic belt

Introduction The continental margin of NE China, part of the
Since the 1970s, a great number of world-class super- West Pacific metallogenic belt, contains abundant gold-
large epithermal gold–copper deposits have been discov- rich porphyry copper, porphyry-like gold–copper, and
ered in the circum-Pacific, Mediterranean–Himalayan, and epithermal gold–copper deposits. Many mineral deposits
Central Asian metallogenic provinces (Jiang et al. 2004). have been discovered within the region, with the initial
A close temporal and spatial relationship has been iden- finding of the Wufeng gold deposit during the Japanese
tified between high-sulphidation epithermal gold–copper occupation, followed by later discoveries including the
deposits and gold-rich porphyry copper deposits contain- large-scale Xiaoxinancha gold-rich porphyry deposit, the
ing minor Mo (White and Hedenquist 1999; Corbett 2002; medium-scale Nongping, the Jinchang No. 18 orebody,
Müller et al. 2002; Heinrich 2003). Recent studies have and the Ermi gold-rich copper deposits. Epithermal
focused on these types of porphyry and epithermal Au–Cu gold deposits discovered to date include the large-scale
mineral deposits and their exploration potential (e.g. Cooke Tuanjiegou, Dong’an, Banmiao, and Jinchang deposits,
and Simmons 2000; Cooke and Deyell 2003; Mao et al. each containing >20 tonnes of Au; the medium-scale
2003b; Qi et al. 2005; Groves and Bierlein 2007; Wilkinson Ciweigou, Wufeng–Wuxingshan, Sipingshan, Naozhi, and
and Kesler 2007; Sillitoe 2008; Pirajno 2009). Sandaowanzi epithermal gold deposits, each containing

*Corresponding author. Email: sunjinggui@jlu.edu.cn

© 2013 Taylor & Francis
International Geology Review 609

130° 135°

70° 80° 90° 100° 110° 120° 130° 140°

Indochinese granite

50°
40°

30°

0 800 km
(A)

50°

45°

48°

(B)
North China craton
Tianshan–Chifeng orogenic belt/mutation belt
Kunlun-Qinling structural belt/mutation belt
Helanshan-Longmenshan structural belt/mutation belt
Great Xing’an Range–Wuyishan structural belt/mutation belt
Continental margin structural belt/mutation belt of NE China
Philippines Japan orogenic belt/mutation belt
F1: Mudanjiang fault; F2: Dunhua-Mishan fault;
F3: Yitong-Yilan fault; F4: Xilamulun-Changchun fault;
F5: Nenjiang fault; F6: Tayuan-Xiguitu fault;
F7: Raohe hyperplasia belt
Study area Epithermal Pb–Zn–Cu (Ag)
polymetallic deposit

Low-sulphdation epitherma Medium–sulphdation
gold deposit epithermal gold deposit

High-sulphdation epithermal Gold-rich porphyry/
gold deposit porphyry-like copper deposit 40°
(C)
125° 130°

Figure 1. (A) Geotectonic map of China [after Wu et al. (2000)]. (B) Geotectonic divisions in eastern China [after Shao and Tang
(1995)]. (C) Geological setting and distribution of epithermal gold (copper) deposits in NE China [after Meng et al. (2001) and Qi et al.
(2005)].

>10 tonnes of Au; and more than 10 small epithermal the low-sulphidation epithermal Au–Cu deposits to the east
gold deposits and other mineral occurrences of various of Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, and the southeast area
types (Figure 1C). The identification of these deposits of Jilin. Here, we discuss recent advances in geochrono-
highlights the high epithermal gold–copper prospectivity logical research and aim to provide a sound scientific
of the area. To determine the metallogenic history of the basis that will allow the determination of the genetic rela-
study area and define promising regions for further min- tionships and metallogenic systematics in low-sulphidation
eral exploration, we have undertaken a range of studies epithermal gold–copper systems, with significant implica-
over the past decade, including research on individual min- tions for mineral exploration along the continental margin
eral deposits, fluid inclusion studies, and geochronological of NE China.
research, focusing on previously discovered porphyry and
porphyry-like Cu, and epithermal Au–Cu deposits, using
the results of research from within China and abroad (e.g. Regional geology
Cooke and Simmons 2000; Mao et al. 2003b; Qi et al. The continental margin of NE China is located in the
2005; Sillitoe 2008; Pirajno 2009). This article deals with north of the North China platform, to the north of the
610 J.-G. Sun et al.

Kaiyuan–Gudonghe fault, containing the Lesser Xing’an geological characteristics of these different types of ore
range, the Zhangguangcai range, Wandashan, Taipingling, deposits are summarized below.
and Laoyeling (Figure 1A), bounded by the Russian bor-
der to the east. The study area was located between the
Siberia and Sino–Korean cratons (prior to the Mesozoic) Low-sulphidation epithermal silver–gold deposits
and underwent tectonism as part of the circum-Pacific The low-sulphidation epithermal silver–gold deposits are
continental margin during the Mesozoic. The area con- the most commonly exploited mineral deposit type in
tains multiple land masses and a basin and range region the study area and are present in Mesozoic volcanic or
that underwent crustal evolution during the Archaean and marginal basins, such as those found in the Yanbian, Raohe,
Proterozoic rifting, Neopalaeozoic amalgamation of the Jiayin, and Xunke areas (Figure 1C).
Siberian and North China plates, closure of the Palaeo-
Asian Ocean and subduction of the Mesozoic Pacific plate
beneath the Eurasian plate, and Cenozoic to recent litho- Wufeng silver–gold deposit
spheric thinning and rifting (Figure 1B). The geology of the
area is dominated by Archaean high-grade metamorphic, The Wufeng deposit is a medium-sized low-sulphidation
abyssal intrusive, and supracrustal rocks, with Proterozoic silver–gold deposit and was the first orebody discovered in
and Palaeozoic low-grade metamorphosed marine sedi- the study area. The deposit is hosted by Early Cretaceous
ments, subaerial and submarine volcanics, and sedimen- intermediate to acidic volcanic rocks of andesitic composi-
tary rocks exposed in uplifted areas. Mesozoic (early to tion, including andesitic pyroclastics, and is located within
middle Yanshanian) granitoid complexes are widespread the Badao volcanic basin in the Yanbian area (Figure 1C).
throughout the area, with locally exposed Hercynian Mineralization within the orebody is hosted by adularia–
and Caledonian granites, Indochinese mafic complexes, quartz, quartz–calcite, or stockwork veins and is associ-
and a late Yanshanian granitic complex (Figure 1C). ated with propylitic and carbonate alteration, silicification,
Mesozoic continental facies volcanic–sedimentary rocks, and more rarely adularia and zeolite deposition. The ore-
Cenozoic continental basalts, and fluvial clastic sediments forming processes within the deposit can be divided into
are also present within sedimentary basins in the area (Sun four mineralization stages: (I) an ivory-coloured quartz
et al. 2000). The formation of base metal and precious vein stage, (II) a sulphide–quartz vein stage, (III) a calcite–
metal mineral deposits, including numerous porphyry quartz vein stage, and (IV) a calcite–zeolite stage, with the
and epithermal gold, copper, and molybdenum deposits, majority of mineralization forming during stage III (Feng
occurred during multiphase tectonic activity and magma- 1994; Chen et al. 2008a).
tism; consequently, the geology of the study area has been
investigated in detail (e.g. Wu et al. 2000; Meng et al. 2001;
Mao et al. 2003b; Qi et al. 2005; Sun et al. 2006). Wuxingshan silver–gold deposit
The Wuxingshan silver–gold deposit is located in the
same area as the Wufeng deposit (Figure 1C). Here, the
Ore deposit geology orebody is hosted by a dacite intrusion in the north of
Regional geological mapping and prospecting suggests that the Badao basin, with mineralization controlled by exten-
low-sulphidation gold deposits in the study area are con- sional faulting that led to the development of a shear
centrated in the region around Yanbian and Wandashan, zone along the contact between a Late Permian alkali
and within the Sunwu–Jiayin volcano-sedimentary basin, granite and the host dacite. Mineralization within the
with the type, scale, and abundance of deposits vary- deposit is hosted by stockwork-type adularia–quartz and
ing spatially. Here, we use the genetic classification for quartz–calcite veins associated with propylitic and carbon-
epithermal deposits of Hedenquist et al. (1996), and ate alteration, silicification, and minor sericite and adularia
the description of gold-rich porphyry copper deposits by deposition (Table 1). Three stages of mineralization have
Sillitoe (1997, 2000), to classify porphyry and epithermal been identified using paragenetic mineral relationships:
mineral deposits within this region into two distinct cat- (I) a stockwork-type sulphide-bearing adularia–quartz vein
egories: low-sulphidation epithermal silver–gold deposits stage, (II) a sulphide-bearing quartz vein stage, and (III) a
and low-sulphidation tellurium–gold deposits. The former calcite vein stage, with Au deposition associated with min-
deposits in the study area are exemplified by the Ciweigou, eralization stages II and III (Feng 1994; Chen et al. 2008a;
Wufeng, and Wuxingshan deposits in the Yanbian area, the Pang 2009).
Sipingshan deposit in the Naohe area, and the Tuanjiegou
and Dong’an deposits in the Sunwu–Jiayin basin. Low-
sulphidation tellurium–gold deposits are rare within the Ciweigou silver–gold deposit
study area, with the only mineral deposit of this type The Ciweigou silver–gold deposit is a medium-sized
identified so far being the Sandaowanzi deposit in the low-sulphidation gold deposit that was discovered in
Sunwu–Jiayin basin (Figure 1C and Table 1). The basic the 1970s. It is located along the eastern portion of a
Table 1. Genetic type and geological characteristics of epithermal gold (copper) deposits in the continental margin of NE China.

Representative Deposit scale Ore-bearing wall rock and related
Deposit type deposit (tonnes) Orebody type Ore minerals Altered type magmato-thermal events

Epithermal Wufeng 1.5 Stockwork quartz Main: pyrite (<0.5%) Main: propylitic alteration, Early Cretaceous andesite, andesitic
silver–gold vein and carbonate development, and volcaniclastic rock and associated
deposits sulphide–quartz silicification dacite porphyry veins
Minor: sphalerite, chalcopyrite, less Minor: adularization
native gold, lectrum, and argentite
Wuxingshan >1 Stockwork Main: pyrite (<0.5%) Main: silicification Early Cretaceous dacite and Early
sulphide–quartz Jurassic alkali-feldspar granite
Minor: arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, Minor: propylitic alteration,
sphalerite, galena, less electrum, sericite–quartz alteration,
and native gold carbonate development, and
adularization
Ciweigou 6.5 Calcite–quartz veins, Main: pyrite (<0.5%) Main: silicification Early Cretaceous andesitic
stockwork quartz brecciated lava and tuff
vein, veinlet, and
disseminated
Minor: chalcopyrite, galena, less Minor: propylitic alteration,
electrum, argentite, and native sericite–quartz alteration,
gold carbonate development, and
adularization
Sipingshan 4.1 Banded and Main: pyrite (<0.5%) Main: silicification Early Cretaceous albite rhyolite and
brecciated dacite and associated pyroclastic
rock and siliceous rock
Minor: chalcopyrite, galena, Minor: carbonate development,
sphalerite, less electrum, and chloritization, and sericite–quartz
International Geology Review

native gold alteration
Dong’an >24.0 Veins, Main: pyrite (<5%) Main: silicification, sericite–quartz Andesite, rhyolite, and pyroclastic
crypto-explosive alteration, and fluoritization rock and associated development
breccias (pipe) of Early Jurassic granite complex
in the mining area
Minor: chalcopyrite, sphalerite, Minor: adularization and propylitic
galena, native gold, and electrum alteration
Antimony– Tuanjiegou >31.2 Brecciated and Main: pyrite, marcasite (<2%) and Main: silicification Early Cretaceous granite porphyry
silver–gold sulphide–quartz stibnite and associated development of
deposits veins andesite and dacite pyroclastic
rock in the mining area
Minor: chalcopyrite, sphalerite, Minor: carbonate development,
native gold, and electrum sericite–quartz alteration, and
adularization
Tellurium Sandaowanzi >15 Veins and Main: pyrite(<0.5%), chalcopyrite, Silicification, propylitic alteration, Early Cretaceous trachyandensite,
gold sulphide-poor sphalerite, galena, chalcocite, sericite–quartz alteration, and alkaline rhyolite/pyroclastic rock,
deposits quartz vein tellurium golden (silver) ore, and carbonate development associated diabase porphyrite,
less electrum and rhyolite-porphyry
611
612 J.-G. Sun et al.

NNW–SSE-trending fault in the western part of the deposits is similar to that found within world-class gold-
Diyingou basin in the Yanbian area (Figure 1C). The rich low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits elsewhere
deposit is hosted by Permian Kedao Group sediments, (Hedenquist et al. 1996).
Early Cretaceous volcanics and quartz diorite intrusives,
and a porphyritic diorite intrusion. Individual orebodies
within the deposit are hosted by fractures within andesites, Low-sulphidation epithermal antimony–silver–gold
andesitic brecciated tuffs, and the volcanic edifice. These deposits
orebodies can be divided into five different vein associa- This type of deposit is exemplified by the Tuanjiegou gold
tions: gold-bearing calcite–quartz veins, adularia–quartz deposit, which is located in the easternmost downthrown
veins, calcite veins, medium-grained quartz veins, and part of the Wulaga basin. The Tuanjiegou gold deposit
chalcedony–microcrystalline quartz veins (Table 1). is a large-sized low-sulphidation epithermal silver–gold
Mineralization hosted by these veins is associated with deposit that hosts mineralization associated with abundant
alteration similar to that in the Wufeng gold deposit (Pang antimony. The orebodies that form the deposit are hosted
2009). by a fracture system in the downfaulted eastern part
of the Wulaga basin. Mineralization within the deposit
is associated with silicification, minor sericite–quartz
Sipingshan and Daiwanglazi silver–gold deposits alteration, and carbonate development (Table 1). Ore-
The Sipingshan and Daiwanglazi silver–gold deposits are forming processes within the deposit can be divided
medium-sized low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits into four mineralization stages based on paragenetic
and are both hosted by Mesozoic volcanic units in the mineral relationships: (I) a pyrite–stibnite–quartz stage,
Wandashan area of Heilongjiang Province. Of the two (II) a pyrite–marcasite–grey to black quartz stage, (III)
deposits, the Sipingshan silver–gold deposit is larger and a quartz-free polymetallic sulphide stage, and (IV) a
has been the focus of more research. Mineralization in both quartz–carbonate vein stage (Nie 2010).
deposits is hosted by Early Cretaceous albite-bearing rhyo-
lites, pyroclastic rocks, and siliciclastic rocks. The orebod-
ies are stratiform, occur as bands and more rarely breccias Low-sulphidation epithermal tellurium–gold deposits
within the host rocks, and are associated with silicification, The low-sulphidation epithermal tellurium–gold miner-
carbonate development, propylitic alteration, and serici- alization is exemplified by the high-grade Sandaowanzi
tization (Table 1). Three stages of mineralization have deposit, which hosts gold mineralization in the form of gold
been identified within these deposits: (I) a quartz–adularia tellurides and has been the focus of a significant amount of
stage, (II) a pyrite–quartz stage, and (III) a chalcedony research (Tran et al. 2008; Liu et al. 2011). The deposit is
quartz–calcite sulphide stage (Sun et al. 2000). hosted by fractures in a Jurassic volcanic basin to the west
of Heihe, with mineralization associated with the intru-
sion of a porphyritic diabase dike. Alteration within the
Dong’an silver–gold deposit deposit is dominated by silicification and propylitic alter-
The Dong’an deposit is a large-sized low-sulphidation ation, with minor sericite–quartz alteration, and adularia
epithermal silver–gold deposit within the Mesozoic Xunke and carbonate development. Three distinct mineralization
volcanic basin in Heilongjiang Province. Silver and gold stages during the formation of the deposit have been iden-
mineralization within the deposit is associated with minor tified using cross-cutting relationships: (I) a quartz–pyrite
copper, lead, and zinc, is hosted by sulphide–quartz veins, stage, (II) a pyrite–gold telluride–polymetallic sulphide
and is associated with silica-cemented crypto-explosive stage, and (III) a carbonate stage (Table 1), with Au min-
sulphide breccias. Alteration within the deposit is domi- eralization occurring during stage II. The geology and
nated by silicification, sericite–quartz and propylitic alter- mineralogy of these deposits is similar to the Golden Mile
ation, and the growth of fluorite. Three stages of miner- deposit in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia (1457 tonnes of
alization have been identified using paragenetic mineral Au; Shackleton et al. 2003), the Cripple Creek deposit in
relationships (Table 1): (I) a sericite–quartz–adularia stage, Colorado, USA (700 tonnes of Au; Thompson et al. 1985),
(II) a quartz–polymetallic sulphide stage, and (III) a chal- the Emperor gold deposit in Fiji (310 tonnes of Au; Pals
cedonic quartz–chalcopyrite vein stage, with stage III min- and Spry 2003), the Acupan gold deposit in the Philippines
eralization occurring in shallow parts of the orebody and (200 tonnes of Au; David and Mcphail 2001), the Rosia
stage II mineralization in deeper sections (Yang 2008). Montan˘a gold deposit in Romania (350 tonnes of Au;
The majority of these deposits are characterized Stefan et al. 2006), the Pingyi gold deposit in Shandong
by silicification, carbonate development, and propylitic Province, China (45 tonnes of Au; Hu et al. 2006),
alteration, indicating that the mineralizing event that and the Dongping gold deposit in Hebei Province, China
formed these deposits involved reduced fluids. This (100 tonnes of Au; Mao et al. 2003a). In addition, the
indicates that the mineralization and alteration within these hydrothermal alteration within these deposits is similar to
International Geology Review 613

that of the low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposit class 207 ± 3 Ma and 198–196 Ma represent the crystallization
of Hedenquist et al. (1996). Thus, we have classified these age of the granite, a date that coincides with a regional
orebodies as low-sulphidation tellurium–gold deposits. magmato-thermal event (Zhang 2002), suggesting that the
andesite formed at 108.7 ± 1.3 Ma. Single-zircon U–Pb
dating of propylitically altered net-textured quartz–calcite
Sampling and analytical methods veins (sample CWG-2) yielded five distinct groups of
In this article, we focus on the dating of ore deposits in ages at 311–292 Ma (mean = 299.6 ± 3.7 Ma, n = 11,
the study area, which is a topic of controversy. Even given MSWD = 5.2), 287–281 Ma (n = 3), 71 ± 2 Ma
our previous research on these ore deposits (Table 2) and (n = 1), 137 ± 1 Ma (n = 1), and 111–110 Ma (n = 2)
the relative chronology that has already been published (Table 5; Figure 2C). 111–110 Ma is consistent with
in Chinese journals, prior to this article, no radiogenic the age of an ore-bearing porphyritic andesite from the
isotope dating of these ore deposits had been under- same deposit (Li 2006). Single-zircon U–Pb dating of
taken. The samples analysed in this article are from the a sulphide vein-bearing rhyolite (sample 09SPS-1) from
Wuxingshan, Wufeng, Dong’an, Sipingshan, Tuanjiegou the Sipingshan gold deposit yielded six distinct ages at
low-sulphidation epithermal antimony–silver–gold 346 ± 3 Ma, 299 ± 3 Ma (n = 1), 254 ± 2 Ma (n = 1),
deposits and Sandaowanzi low-sulphidation epithermal 185 ± 3 Ma (n = 1), 139 ± 2 Ma (n = 1), and 114–126 Ma
tellurium–gold deposits, and associated intrusive and (mean = 118.6 ± 2.3 Ma, n = 19, MSWD = 0.64)
volcanic rocks (Table 2). (Table 6; Figure 2D). Zircons within a sulphide–quartz vein
yielded seven distinct ages at 1499 ± 36 Ma (n = 1),
757 ± 11 Ma (n = 1), 328–441 Ma (n = 2), 226–250 Ma
U–Pb dating of zircon
(n = 4), 154–164 Ma (n = 3), 134 ± 4 Ma (n = 1),
Zircons were separated using heavy liquid and mag- and 93.8–100 Ma (mean = 96.7 ± 2.6 Ma, n = 6,
netic separation methods at Langfang Regional Geological MSWD = 2.2). In contrast to these samples, zircons
Survey, Hebei Province, China. U–Pb isotope analysis of from a rhyolite (09SPS2-5) gave a crystallization age
the separated zircons was undertaken at the State Key of 118.6 ± 2.3 Ma, with erupted volcanics dated at
Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources 96.7 ± 2.6 Ma (Table 7; Figure 2E). Single-zircon U–Pb
(GPMR), China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China, dating of brecciated quartz–pyrite ore (sample TJG-5) gave
using an ELAN6100 DRC ICP-MS (Agilent Technologies, three groups of ages at 256.7–241.9 Ma, 178.7–171.6 Ma,
Santa Clara, CA, USA) connected to a GeoLas 200 M laser and 98.8–109.4 Ma (mean = 102.5 ± 1.7 Ma, n = 12,
ablation system (Agilent Technologies) equipped with a MSWD = 8.8; Table 8; Figure 2F), whereas a pyrite-
193 nm ArF excimer laser and using a 32 µm diameter and quartz-cemented silicified granite porphyry (sam-
laser spot. U, Th, and Pb concentrations were calibrated ple KD21T-4, Table 9; Figure 3A) gave an age of
using 29 Si as an internal standard and a National Institute 103.0 ± 1.1 Ma (n = 21, MSWD = 4.4). Combining
of Standards and Technology (NIST)-610 glass reference the dates obtained from the two samples, we infer that
standard. Details of the analytical procedures are given in 256.7–241.9 Ma and 178.7–171.6 Ma represent zircons
Compston et al. (1992), Williams (1998), and Xu et al. inherited from Heilongjiang sediments and Jurassic gran-
(2004), and the results are given in Tables 3–12. The ites (unpublished data by the authors), whereas the
ICPMSDataCal (Ver. 6.7, Liu et al. 2008, 2010) and Isoplot 102.5 ± 1.7 Ma and 103.0 ± 1.1 Ma dates represent the
(Ver. 3.0, Ludwig 2003) programmes were used for data timing of crystallization of the ore-bearing granite por-
reduction. Correction for common Pb was made following phyry. The ore-bearing biotite granite (sample Da1A) from
Anderson (2002). the No. 5 orebody of the Dong’an gold deposit yielded a
concordia age of 175.4 ± 1.9 Ma (n = 21, MSWD = 5.9;
Table 10; Figure 3B). In comparison, an ore-bearing propy-
Results litically altered andesite (sample Da-2) yielded a concordia
Single-zircon U–Pb dating of an ore-bearing wall rock age of 106.6 ± 2.0 Ma (n = 26, MSWD = 5.9; Table 11;
alkali granite (sample 09WX-4) from the Wuxing gold Figure 3C). We suggest that the earlier age represents
deposit gave two distinct groups of ages at 207–213 Ma the emplacement of the ore-bearing granite in the Middle
and 193.3 ± 1.7 Ma (n = 12; Table 3; Figure 2A). Single- Jurassic, whereas the later date represents the eruption age
zircon U–Pb dating of a propylitic-altered andesite (sample of the andesite in the late Early Cretaceous. Single-zircon
09WF-1) from the Wufeng gold deposit gave three distinct U–Pb dating of a diabase porphyry (Sdwz-1) associated
groups of ages at 270.2 ± 2.5 Ma (n = 1), 198–196 Ma with mineralization within the Sandaowanzi gold deposit
(n = 3), and 104–114 Ma (mean = 108.7 ± 1.3 Ma, gave a concordia age of 115.98 ± 0.89 Ma (n = 14,
n = 19, mean standard weighted deviation (MSWD = 3.3; MSWD = 1.07; Table 12; Figure 3D), indicating that this
Table 4; Figure 2B). We consider that the zircons dated at mineral deposit formed during the late Early Cretaceous.
614

Table 2. Test methods, measured mineral, and age results for metallogenic chronology from all types of epithermal gold (copper) deposits.
40
Deposit Sample U–Pb (Ma) Ar/39 Ar (Ma) K–Ar (Ma) Rb–Sr (Ma) Measured mineral Reference

Wuxingshan-Wufeng K-feldspar granite 193.3 ± 1.7 (N = 37)a Zircon This article
Gold-bearing pyrite quartz veins 123 ± 7d Quartz Zhao et al. (2010)
Purple andesite within basin 103.6 ± 1a Zircon Chen et al. (2008b)
Celadon dacite of the Tundianying Group 88.2 ± 1.4b Zircon Ji (2004)
Ciweigou Gold-bearing calcite quartz veins 140 ± 12c Quartz This article
Gold-bearing quartz calcite veins 176.8 ± 1d Quartz Meng et al. (2001)
Basaltic andesite of Tundianying Group 97.3 ± 1.4a Zircon Ji (2004)
Andesite of Jingouling Group 106.6 ± 2.1a Zircon
Basalt of Jingouling Group 107.0 ± 0.6c Whole Li (2006)
Sipingshan Rhyolite porphyry 87 Whole Sun et al. (2000)
Grey-green-altered dacite 120.1 ± 1.8 (N = 16)a Zircon This article
Sulphide-bearing veinlets rhyolite 119.0 ± 1.4 (N = 25)a Zircon This article
Sulphide–quartz vein 96.7 ± 2.6 (N = 6)a Zircon This article
Tuanjiegou Plagiogranite 106 ± 1.1a Wang et al. (2012)
Plagiogranite 108.2 ± 1.2a
Andesitic porphyrite 113.3 ± 1.2a This article
Pyrite–quartz veins and brecciated ore 102.5 ± 1.7a Zircon This article
J.-G. Sun et al.

(breccia is composed of granite
porphyry)
Dong’an Rhyolite from the No. 5 orebody 112.51 ± 3.5e Whole Guo et al. (2004)
Ore 108.37 ± 1.3e Whole
Rhyolite of the Fuminhe Group 108.1 ± 2.4b Zircon Zhang et al. (2010)
No. 5 gold-bearing sericitolite 107.2 ± 0.6c Sericite
Andesite 108.5 ± 1.3 (N = 19)a Zircon This article
Granite 175.4 ± 1.9 (N = 21)a Zircon This article
Sandaowanzi Diabase 115.98 ± 0.89 (N = 14)a Zircon This article

Notes: a LA-ICP-MS.
b U–Pb SHRIMP.
c40 Ar/39 A plateau age of neutron activation analysis.
d Isochrone of neutron activation analysis.
e Rb–Sr isochrone.
Table 3. Zircon U–Pb data of ore-hosting rock (alkali-feldspar granite) from the Wuxingshan silver (gold) deposit.

Isotopic ratios Ages (Ma)
207 207 206 207 207 206
Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U

Sample no. Th (ppm) U (ppm) Th/U Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ

09WX4-01 139 241 0.58 0.0598 0.0035 0.2335 0.0128 0.0286 0.0004 598 126 213 11 181.5 2.4
09WX4-02 78 143 0.55 0.0545 0.0034 0.2144 0.0127 0.0288 0.0005 391 134 197 11 183.3 3.2
09WX4-03 371 1343 0.28 0.0506 0.0012 0.2042 0.0050 0.0291 0.0002 233 57 189 4 184.8 1.4
09WX4-04 137 220 0.63 0.0533 0.0030 0.2177 0.0120 0.0298 0.0004 343 130 200 10 189.4 2.5
09WX4-05 241 312 0.77 0.0628 0.0033 0.2628 0.0150 0.0297 0.0004 702 115 237 12 188.9 2.4
09WX4-06 272 1193 0.23 0.0507 0.0015 0.2146 0.0065 0.0305 0.0003 228 64 197 5 193.4 2.0
09WX4-07 130 232 0.56 0.0508 0.0030 0.2067 0.0119 0.0301 0.0005 232 131 191 10 191.0 2.9
09WX4-08 244 328 0.74 0.0472 0.0025 0.1915 0.0103 0.0293 0.0004 61 122 178 9 186.4 2.3
09WX4-09 264 859 0.31 0.0530 0.0016 0.2827 0.0130 0.0376 0.0010 328 70 253 10 237.8 6.3
09WX4-10 56 115 0.49 0.0577 0.0039 0.2172 0.0138 0.0283 0.0006 520 151 200 11 179.8 3.5
09WX4-11 221 307 0.72 0.0489 0.0023 0.1941 0.0087 0.0288 0.0003 146 109 180 7 182.8 2.1
09WX4-12 169 317 0.53 0.0532 0.0024 0.2117 0.0094 0.0287 0.0004 345 100 195 8 182.3 2.3
09WX4-13 619 1925 0.32 0.0505 0.0013 0.2143 0.0054 0.0306 0.0003 217 55 197 5 194.4 1.7
09WX4-14 129 509 0.25 0.0513 0.0020 0.2208 0.0086 0.0313 0.0004 254 91 203 7 198.7 2.5
09WX4-15 41 137 0.30 0.0624 0.0046 0.2458 0.0167 0.0293 0.0005 687 157 223 14 185.9 3.0
International Geology Review

09WX4-16 218 336 0.65 0.0497 0.0022 0.2105 0.0096 0.0306 0.0004 189 106 194 8 194.6 2.7
09WX4-17 278 420 0.66 0.0471 0.0022 0.1917 0.0087 0.0297 0.0004 54 113 178 7 189.0 2.4
09WX4-18 196 264 0.74 0.0515 0.0028 0.1996 0.0103 0.0287 0.0004 261 94 185 9 182.5 2.8
09WX4-19 132 256 0.51 0.0483 0.0026 0.2165 0.0117 0.0326 0.0005 122 113 199 10 207.1 3.3
09WX4-20 81 159 0.51 0.0596 0.0039 0.2185 0.0125 0.0277 0.0005 591 144 201 10 176.3 3.1
09WX4-21 330 446 0.74 0.0483 0.0014 0.1942 0.0055 0.0291 0.0003 122 67 180 5 184.9 1.6
09WX4-22 172 489 0.35 0.0499 0.0016 0.1954 0.0062 0.0284 0.0003 191 71 181 5 180.6 1.6
09WX4-23 111 255 0.43 0.0491 0.0019 0.2257 0.0083 0.0337 0.0004 150 94 207 7 213.9 2.4
09WX4-24 286 400 0.72 0.0534 0.002 0.2174 0.0082 0.0296 0.0003 346 87 200 7 188.1 1.9
09WX4-25 159 377 0.42 0.0501 0.0017 0.2155 0.0071 0.0313 0.0003 198 80 198 6 198.9 2.0
09WX4-26 187 725 0.26 0.0483 0.0013 0.203 0.0053 0.0305 0.0003 122 63 188 4 193.4 1.6
09WX4-27 214 415 0.52 0.0568 0.0021 0.2439 0.0098 0.0307 0.0004 483 49 222 8 195.2 2.7
615
616

Table 4. Zircon U–Pb data of brecciform quartz–pyrite ore (09WF1) from the Wufeng silver (gold) deposit.

Isotopic ratios Ages (Ma)
207 207 206 207 207 206
Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U

Sample no. Th (ppm) U (ppm) Th/U Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ

09WF1-01 135 215 0.63 0.0538 0.0026 0.1241 0.0058 0.0170 0.0003 361 107 119 5 108.7 1.6
09WF1-02 64 153 0.42 0.0549 0.0033 0.1286 0.0076 0.0173 0.0003 409 103 123 7 110.4 1.8
09WF1-03 157 233 0.68 0.0511 0.0032 0.1161 0.0071 0.0165 0.0002 243 144 112 6 105.7 1.5
09WF1-04 370 514 0.72 0.0502 0.0018 0.1183 0.0043 0.0170 0.0002 206 81 114 4 108.8 1.1
09WF1-05 145 227 0.64 0.0526 0.0031 0.1229 0.0072 0.0171 0.0003 322 135 118 6 109.5 1.8
09WF1-06 103 147 0.70 0.0523 0.0028 0.1222 0.0062 0.0174 0.0003 298 124 117 6 111.5 1.9
09WF1-07 220 258 0.85 0.0546 0.0030 0.1251 0.0062 0.0169 0.0002 394 94 120 6 108.1 1.4
09WF1-08 130 272 0.48 0.0533 0.0022 0.2201 0.0091 0.0300 0.0003 343 88 202 8 190.8 2.2
09WF1-09 290 382 0.76 0.0528 0.0024 0.1191 0.0052 0.0164 0.0002 343 88 202 8 105.1 1.1
09WF1-10 155 220 0.71 0.0531 0.0030 0.1230 0.0072 0.0168 0.0002 343 88 202 8 107.5 1.6
09WF1-11 186 225 0.82 0.0571 0.0033 0.1379 0.0079 0.0178 0.0003 343 88 202 8 113.5 1.7
09WF1-12 368 328 1.12 0.0799 0.0033 0.1763 0.0067 0.0163 0.0002 343 88 202 8 104.0 1.4
09WF1-13 105 240 0.44 0.0500 0.0028 0.1182 0.0062 0.0175 0.0003 343 88 202 8 111.9 1.7
J.-G. Sun et al.

09WF1-14 279 1703 0.16 0.0503 0.0011 0.2075 0.0044 0.0298 0.0002 206 45 191 4 189.4 1.2
09WF1-15 204 631 0.32 0.0540 0.0015 0.2307 0.0060 0.0309 0.0002 372 61 211 5 196.1 1.5
09WF1-16 265 309 0.86 0.0485 0.0023 0.1125 0.0053 0.0168 0.0002 124 109 108 5 107.3 1.3
09WF1-17 250 274 0.91 0.0514 0.0031 0.1160 0.0064 0.0167 0.0002 257 134 111 6 107.0 1.4
09WF1-18 215 273 0.79 0.0580 0.0032 0.1382 0.0073 0.0174 0.0002 528 119 131 7 111.1 1.5
09WF1-19 34 87 0.40 0.0991 0.0071 0.2358 0.0163 0.0178 0.0004 1607 101 215 13 113.9 2.5
09WF1-20 138 192 0.72 0.0670 0.0039 0.1575 0.0090 0.0174 0.0003 839 116 149 8 111.0 1.8
09WF1-21 251 390 0.64 0.0571 0.0016 0.3382 0.0094 0.0428 0.0004 494 68 296 7 270.2 2.5
09WF1-22 100 145 0.69 0.1655 0.0100 0.5098 0.0366 0.0206 0.0004 2512 102 418 25 131.3 2.8
09WF1-23 306 365 0.84 0.0661 0.0027 0.1596 0.0068 0.0175 0.0002 809 87 150 6 112.1 1.5
09WF1-24 146 229 0.64 0.0645 0.0034 0.1561 0.0081 0.0175 0.0002 767 111 147 7 112.1 1.5
09WF1-25 64 111 0.57 0.0753 0.0056 0.1705 0.0116 0.0169 0.0003 1080 150 160 10 108.3 2.1
Table 5. Zircon U–Pb data of stockwork quartz and calcite veins in propylite from the Ciweigou silver (gold) deposit.

Isotopic ratios Ages (Ma)
207 207 206 207 207 206
Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U

Sample no. Th (ppm) U (ppm) Th/U Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ

CWG-2-01 111 218 0.51 0.0549 0.0016 0.3561 0.0099 0.0471 0.0004 406 69 309 7 296.7 2.4
CWG-2-02 109 229 0.48 0.0519 0.0015 0.3400 0.0096 0.0476 0.0004 280 67 297 7 299.6 2.3
CWG-2-03 115 232 0.49 0.0560 0.0016 0.3456 0.0106 0.0445 0.0005 454 68 301 8 280.5 2.9
CWG-2-04 109 154 0.70 0.0509 0.0031 0.1188 0.0069 0.0174 0.0002 239 136 114 6 111.1 1.5
CWG-2-05 179 165 1.09 0.0523 0.0034 0.1238 0.0081 0.0173 0.0002 302 150 119 7 110.4 1.4
CWG-2-06 104 238 0.43 0.0564 0.0021 0.3747 0.0148 0.0479 0.0004 478 81 323 11 301.7 2.7
CWG-2-07 126 248 0.51 0.0593 0.0017 0.3802 0.0111 0.0463 0.0004 589 58 327 8 292.0 2.3
CWG-2-08 71 173 0.41 0.0559 0.0020 0.3667 0.0129 0.0477 0.0005 450 80 317 10 300.2 2.9
CWG-2-09 340 404 0.84 0.0542 0.0012 0.3538 0.0080 0.0471 0.0003 389 52 308 6 296.9 2.0
CWG-2-10 90 236 0.38 0.0515 0.0016 0.3042 0.0090 0.0429 0.0004 261 70 270 7 271.0 2.2
CWG-2-11 118 240 0.49 0.0521 0.0015 0.3257 0.0089 0.0455 0.0004 300 60 286 7 286.8 2.4
International Geology Review

CWG-2-12 114 252 0.45 0.0532 0.0016 0.3553 0.0104 0.0485 0.0004 339 36 309 8 305.3 2.4
CWG-2-13 112 248 0.45 0.0549 0.0016 0.3445 0.0102 0.0455 0.0004 406 67 301 8 286.8 2.4
CWG-2-14 156 301 0.52 0.0607 0.0018 0.3900 0.0118 0.0465 0.0004 628 69 334 9 292.9 2.3
CWG-2-15 157 280 0.56 0.0905 0.0022 0.6156 0.0148 0.0494 0.0004 1435 48 487 9 311.1 2.5
CWG-2-16 340 345 0.98 0.0552 0.0021 0.1627 0.0063 0.0214 0.0002 420 85 153 6 136.5 1.4
CWG-2-17 118 245 0.48 0.0580 0.0017 0.3801 0.0104 0.0477 0.0004 532 58 327 8 300.6 2.6
CWG-2-18 123 227 0.54 0.0529 0.0016 0.3512 0.0109 0.0480 0.0004 324 69 306 8 302.5 2.5
617
618

Table 6. Zircon U–Pb data of sulphide-bearing silicified rhyolite from the Sipingshan silver (gold) deposit.

Isotopic ratios Ages (Ma)
207 207 206 207 207 206
Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U

Sample no. Th (ppm) U (ppm) Th/U Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ

09SPS-1-01 305 565 0.54 0.0512 0.0020 0.1275 0.0049 0.0181 0.0002 256 89 122 4 115.8 1.1
09SPS-1-02 98 356 0.28 0.0510 0.0024 0.1312 0.0061 0.0188 0.0002 239 111 125 5 119.9 1.6
09SPS-1-03 194 567 0.34 0.0459 0.0018 0.1203 0.0047 0.0191 0.0002 121.7 1.2
09SPS-1-04 139 529 0.26 0.0465 0.0019 0.1218 0.0049 0.0189 0.0002 33 87 117 4 121.0 1.1
09SPS-1-05 336 741 0.45 0.0527 0.0014 0.2125 0.0064 0.0291 0.0004 322 61 196 5 184.9 2.7
09SPS-1-06 107 384 0.28 0.0641 0.0037 0.1684 0.0102 0.0189 0.0003 743 122 158 9 120.9 1.6
09SPS-1-07 386 539 0.72 0.0468 0.0018 0.1171 0.0045 0.0181 0.0002 39 89 112 4 115.7 1.1
09SPS-1-08 784 724 1.08 0.0509 0.0018 0.1297 0.0045 0.0185 0.0002 235 84 124 4 118.3 1.1
09SPS-1-09 167 469 0.36 0.0486 0.0019 0.1248 0.0050 0.0186 0.0002 132 93 119 5 118.9 1.2
09SPS-1-10 151 398 0.38 0.0583 0.0025 0.1540 0.0066 0.0191 0.0002 543 88 145 6 122.2 1.4
09SPS-1-11 650 923 0.70 0.0511 0.0016 0.1388 0.0041 0.0197 0.0002 256 72 132 4 126.1 1.2
09SPS-1-12 104 241 0.43 0.0461 0.0022 0.1176 0.0056 0.0187 0.0002 119.2 1.4
09SPS-1-13 194 488 0.40 0.0533 0.0021 0.1351 0.0053 0.0184 0.0002 343 88 129 5 117.8 1.2
09SPS-1-14 144 408 0.35 0.0496 0.0023 0.1303 0.0061 0.0191 0.0002 176 107 124 5 122.0 1.5
09SPS-1-15 122 416 0.29 0.0522 0.0024 0.1317 0.0059 0.0184 0.0002 295 104 126 5 117.3 1.3
09SPS-1-16 242 615 0.39 0.0508 0.0017 0.1245 0.0040 0.0178 0.0002 232 76 119 4 113.7 1.0
J.-G. Sun et al.

09SPS-1-17 152 441 0.34 0.0497 0.0020 0.1232 0.0049 0.0181 0.0002 183 93 118 4 115.4 1.2
09SPS-1-18 204 616 0.33 0.0472 0.0016 0.1172 0.0039 0.0181 0.0002 61 78 113 4 115.5 1.1
09SPS-1-19 2264 2636 0.86 0.0519 0.0012 0.1352 0.0030 0.0189 0.0002 280 49 129 3 120.9 1.1
09SPS-1-20 85 247 0.35 0.0519 0.0029 0.1313 0.0072 0.0185 0.0003 280 158 125 6 118.1 1.6
09SPS-1-21 142 221 0.64 0.0483 0.0019 0.3157 0.0120 0.0475 0.0004 122 95 279 9 299.0 2.7
09SPS-1-22 2633 3120 0.84 0.2062 0.0147 0.8363 0.0780 0.0242 0.0007 2876 116 617 43 154.0 4.3
09SPS-1-23 173 520 0.33 0.0489 0.0019 0.1226 0.0044 0.0183 0.0002 143 89 117 4 116.9 1.0
09SPS-1-24 55 504 0.11 0.0523 0.0023 0.1383 0.0059 0.0192 0.0002 302 100 132 5 122.9 1.2
09SPS-1-25 158 444 0.35 0.0533 0.0022 0.1441 0.0060 0.0196 0.0002 339 94 137 5 125.4 1.2
09SPS-1-26 120 517 0.23 0.0465 0.0018 0.1240 0.0046 0.0193 0.0002 20 89 119 4 123.2 1.2
09SPS-1-27 702 553 1.27 0.0535 0.0013 0.4078 0.0096 0.0551 0.0004 350 56 347 7 345.6 2.6
09SPS-1-28 182 707 0.26 0.0768 0.0034 0.2634 0.0159 0.0233 0.0005 1117 88 237 13 148.5 2.9
09SPS-1-29 200 310 0.65 0.0524 0.0017 0.2908 0.0092 0.0402 0.0003 302 69 259 7 254.0 1.9
09SPS-1-30 273 648 0.42 0.0480 0.0016 0.1203 0.0039 0.0182 0.0001 98 80 115 4 116.3 0.9
09SPS-1-31 178 537 0.33 0.0562 0.0021 0.1466 0.0055 0.0189 0.0002 457 85 139 5 120.9 1.3
09SPS-1-32 239 581 0.41 0.1272 0.0048 0.3921 0.0166 0.0218 0.0003 2061 67 336 12 138.8 1.7
Table 7. Zircon U–Pb data of sulphide-bearing quartz veins in propylite from the Sipingshan silver (gold) deposit.

Isotopic ratios Ages (Ma)
207 207 206 207 207 206
Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U

Sample no. Th (ppm) U (ppm) Th/U Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ

09SPS2-5-01 96 238 0.40 0.1187 0.0022 4.3981 0.1626 0.2617 0.0071 1937 34 1712 31 1499 36
09SPS2-5-02 88 102 0.86 0.0857 0.0049 0.2993 0.0166 0.0258 0.0004 1332 111 266 13 164 3
09SPS2-5-03 472 1191 0.40 0.0576 0.0010 0.5648 0.0099 0.0708 0.0005 522 37 455 6 441 3
09SPS2-5-04 302 1755 0.17 0.0520 0.0009 0.3753 0.0075 0.0522 0.0006 287 36 324 6 328 3
09SPS2-5-05 126 154 0.82 0.1108 0.0095 0.2228 0.0182 0.0150 0.0003 1813 155 204 15 96 2
09SPS2-5-06 73 94 0.77 0.0678 0.0046 0.1392 0.0093 0.0155 0.0003 861 138 132 8 99 2
09SPS2-5-07 127 103 1.23 0.0957 0.0075 0.2058 0.0166 0.0157 0.0003 1543 147 190 14 100 2
09SPS2-5-08 69 92 0.75 0.0896 0.0062 0.1900 0.0133 0.0153 0.0003 1417 133 177 11 98 2
09SPS2-5-09 142 358 0.40 0.0679 0.0013 1.1763 0.0283 0.1245 0.0019 866 39 790 13 757 11
09SPS2-5-10 371 572 0.65 0.0566 0.0015 0.3099 0.0083 0.0396 0.0004 522 37 455 6 250 2
09SPS2-5-11 53 62 0.85 0.1028 0.0088 0.3382 0.0282 0.0250 0.0006 698 130 122 7 159 4
International Geology Review

09SPS2-5-12 226 502 0.45 0.0529 0.0014 0.2622 0.0072 0.0357 0.0003 328 61 236 6 226 2
09SPS2-5-13 169 228 0.74 0.0515 0.0031 0.1050 0.0059 0.0153 0.0002 265 139 101 5 98 2
09SPS2-5-14 485 774 0.63 0.0523 0.0013 0.2601 0.0065 0.0360 0.0003 298 62 235 5 228 2
09SPS2-5-15 161 195 0.83 0.0522 0.0025 0.2725 0.0125 0.0381 0.0004 300 105 245 10 241 3
09SPS2-5-16 77 96 0.80 0.1279 0.0120 0.4495 0.0556 0.0211 0.0007 2070 167 377 39 134 4
09SPS2-5-17 246 334 0.74 0.0627 0.0038 0.1278 0.0081 0.0147 0.0002 698 130 122 7 94 1
09SPS2-5-18 1257 1497 0.84 0.0494 0.0012 0.1653 0.0041 0.0242 0.0002 165 56 155 4 154 1
619
620

Table 8. Zircon U–Pb data of brecciform quartz–pyrite ore from the Tuanjiegou silver (gold) deposit.

Isotopic ratios Ages (Ma)
207 207 206 207 207 206
Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U

Sample no. Th (ppm) U (ppm) Th/U Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ

TJG-5-01 111 310 0.36 0.0572 0.0025 0.1245 0.0051 0.0161 0.0002 502 64 119 5 102.9 1.1
TJG-5-02 162 423 0.38 0.0500 0.0018 0.1123 0.0037 0.0164 0.0002 195 81 108 3 105.0 1.0
TJG-5-03 291 593 0.49 0.0477 0.0017 0.1074 0.0039 0.0163 0.0001 83 85 104 4 103.9 0.8
TJG-5-04 282 570 0.49 0.0519 0.0017 0.1120 0.0035 0.0157 0.0001 280 69 108 3 100.7 0.8
TJG-5-05 177 522 0.34 0.0509 0.0018 0.1197 0.0041 0.0171 0.0002 239 81 115 4 109.4 1.0
TJG-5-06 185 453 0.41 0.0493 0.0018 0.1086 0.0041 0.0160 0.0001 161 92 105 4 102.3 0.9
TJG-5-07 305 457 0.67 0.0523 0.0013 0.2930 0.0075 0.0406 0.0003 298 57 261 6 256.7 1.7
TJG-5-08 95.5 175 0.54 0.0529 0.0024 0.2047 0.0091 0.0281 0.0003 324 102 189 8 178.7 1.6
J.-G. Sun et al.

TJG-5-09 314 606 0.52 0.0540 0.0018 0.1141 0.0035 0.0154 0.0001 369 74 110 3 98.8 0.8
TJG-5-10 162 387 0.42 0.0532 0.0020 0.1185 0.0043 0.0162 0.0002 345 82 114 4 103.8 1.0
TJG-5-11 268 400 0.67 0.0525 0.0015 0.1953 0.0058 0.0270 0.0002 309 67 181 5 171.6 1.4
TJG-5-12 175 410 0.43 0.0638 0.0030 0.1392 0.0064 0.0159 0.0002 744 102 132 6 101.7 1.0
TJG-5-13 276 508 0.54 0.0545 0.0012 0.2873 0.0065 0.0382 0.0003 391 50 256 5 241.9 1.6
TJG-5-14 210 463 0.45 0.0527 0.0020 0.1146 0.0043 0.0157 0.0001 317 119 110 4 100.4 0.8
TJG-5-15 144 424 0.34 0.0518 0.0022 0.1142 0.0051 0.0160 0.0002 280 100 110 5 102.6 1.1
TJG-5-16 235 496 0.47 0.0508 0.0018 0.1103 0.0038 0.0159 0.0001 232 88 106 3 101.4 1.0
Table 9. Zircon U–Pb data of porphyry granite breccia from the Tuanjiegou silver (gold) deposit.

Isotopic ratios Ages (Ma)
207 207 206 207 207 206
Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U

Sample no. Th (ppm) U (ppm) Th/U Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ

KD21-T-4-01 331 565 0.59 0.0749 0.0046 0.1738 0.0112 0.0163 0.0002 1066 122 163 10 104.5 1.2
KD21-T-4-02 220 519 0.42 0.0563 0.0024 0.1202 0.0050 0.0156 0.0002 461 94 115 5 99.6 1.2
KD21-T-4-03 272 543 0.50 0.0501 0.0021 0.1085 0.0045 0.0157 0.0002 211 96 105 4 100.4 1.0
KD21-T-4-04 191 428 0.45 0.0540 0.0026 0.1237 0.0061 0.0166 0.0002 369 109 118 5 106.1 1.2
KD21-T-4-05 176 390 0.45 0.0490 0.0033 0.1077 0.0074 0.0159 0.0002 150 148 104 7 101.6 1.2
KD21-T-4-06 94 258 0.36 0.0520 0.0029 0.1167 0.0061 0.0166 0.0003 283 128 112 6 106.1 1.7
KD21-T-4-07 247 528 0.47 0.0502 0.0021 0.1075 0.0043 0.0157 0.0002 206 96 104 4 100.2 1.1
KD21-T-4-08 147 369 0.40 0.0539 0.0029 0.1179 0.0061 0.0161 0.0002 369 120 113 6 102.8 1.3
KD21-T-4-09 137 470 0.29 0.0481 0.0027 0.1063 0.0057 0.0163 0.0002 102 130 103 5 104.1 1.2
KD21-T-4-10 448 528 0.85 0.0529 0.0031 0.1257 0.0086 0.0174 0.0003 324 135 120 8 111.0 2.1
KD21-T-4-11 182 492 0.37 0.0487 0.0021 0.1064 0.0045 0.0160 0.0002 132 102 103 4 102.2 1.1
KD21-T-4-12 237 912 0.26 0.0497 0.0016 0.1201 0.0034 0.0177 0.0002 189 76 115 3 113.1 1.3
KD21-T-4-13 209 468 0.45 0.0515 0.0025 0.1139 0.0054 0.0161 0.0002 265 109 110 5 103.0 1.2
International Geology Review

KD21-T-4-14 145 415 0.35 0.0493 0.0023 0.1089 0.0049 0.0162 0.0002 165 111 105 4 103.6 1.3
KD21-T-4-15 220 433 0.51 0.0526 0.0028 0.1123 0.0059 0.0155 0.0002 322 122 108 5 99.4 1.1
KD21-T-4-16 184 441 0.42 0.0475 0.0023 0.1099 0.0052 0.0168 0.0002 72 111 106 5 107.4 1.1
KD21-T-4-17 1051 1278 0.82 0.0510 0.0013 0.1148 0.0029 0.0163 0.0001 243 57 110 3 104.1 0.8
KD21-T-4-18 177 610 0.29 0.0459 0.0021 0.1004 0.0043 0.0159 0.0002 101.9 1.0
KD21-T-4-19 142 407 0.35 0.0479 0.0020 0.1050 0.0043 0.0159 0.0002 95 96 101 4 101.8 1.1
KD21-T-4-20 154 332 0.46 0.0544 0.0035 0.1187 0.0074 0.0162 0.0002 387 146 114 7 103.5 1.4
KD21-T-4-21 196 452 0.43 0.0495 0.0022 0.1095 0.0048 0.0161 0.0002 172 134 106 4 102.7 1.1
KD21-T-4-22 154 366 0.42 0.0487 0.0026 0.1082 0.0057 0.0161 0.0002 200 104 5 103.3 1.3
KD21-T-4-23 297 589 0.50 0.0462 0.0019 0.1071 0.0043 0.0169 0.0002 107.8 1.1
621
622

Table 10. Zircon U–Pb data of granite from the Dongan silver (gold) deposit.

Isotopic ratios Ages (Ma)
207 207 206 207 207 206
Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U

Sample no. Th (ppm) U (ppm) Th/U Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ

Da1A-01 502 341 1.47 0.0472 0.0019 0.1785 0.0070 0.0274 0.0003 61 93 167 6 174.2 1.7
Da1A-02 387 313 1.24 0.0469 0.0019 0.1809 0.0071 0.0281 0.0003 43 157 169 6 178.6 1.7
Da1A-03 1914 3185 0.60 0.0548 0.0009 0.2042 0.0033 0.0269 0.0002 467 35 189 3 171.3 1.1
Da1A-04 87 113 0.77 0.0554 0.0031 0.2033 0.0111 0.0269 0.0003 428 124 188 9 171.2 2.1
Da1A-05 39 35 1.13 0.0831 0.0078 0.3086 0.0245 0.0288 0.0007 1272 190 273 19 183.2 4.6
Da1A-06 141 213 0.66 0.0587 0.0026 0.2333 0.0106 0.0287 0.0004 567 100 213 9 182.7 2.4
Da1A-07 34 56 0.61 0.0909 0.0061 0.3525 0.0234 0.0286 0.0006 1456 129 307 18 181.6 3.9
Da1A-08 238 219 1.09 0.0825 0.0032 0.2884 0.0101 0.0258 0.0004 1258 75 257 8 164.3 2.2
Da1A-09 424 385 1.10 0.0543 0.0018 0.2039 0.0070 0.0271 0.0002 389 74 188 6 172.6 1.3
Da1A-10 418 361 1.16 0.0492 0.0017 0.1866 0.0065 0.0275 0.0002 167 83 174 6 175.0 1.5
Da1A-11 442 458 0.97 0.2188 0.0081 1.1327 0.0609 0.0356 0.0006 2972 60 769 29 225.7 3.8
Da1A-12 160 174 0.92 0.0523 0.0025 0.1965 0.0097 0.0273 0.0003 298 109 182 8 173.8 2.0
J.-G. Sun et al.

Da1A-13 1047 619 1.69 0.0507 0.0015 0.1942 0.0057 0.0277 0.0002 228 64 180 5 176.3 1.3
Da1A-14 404 403 1.00 0.0528 0.0017 0.1999 0.0064 0.0275 0.0002 320 69 185 5 174.9 1.5
Da1A-15 272 298 0.91 0.0557 0.0019 0.2075 0.0067 0.0271 0.0002 439 79 191 6 172.5 1.6
Da1A-16 345 622 0.55 0.0498 0.0013 0.1903 0.0048 0.0278 0.0002 187 66 177 4 176.5 1.3
Da1A-17 320 343 0.93 0.0718 0.0025 0.2767 0.0095 0.0280 0.0003 989 70 248 8 178.3 1.7
Da1A-18 145 153 0.94 0.0771 0.0055 0.2989 0.0210 0.0284 0.0004 1124 144 266 16 180.4 2.6
Da1A-19 431 334 1.29 0.0507 0.0019 0.2014 0.0074 0.0289 0.0002 228 92 186 6 183.7 1.5
Da1A-20 47 69 0.68 0.0635 0.0041 0.2484 0.0153 0.0288 0.0005 728 137 225 12 183.3 3.0
Da1A-21 219 187 1.17 0.0526 0.0023 0.1983 0.0082 0.0277 0.0003 322 100 184 7 176.0 2.1
Da1A-22 802 476 1.68 0.0519 0.0026 0.2122 0.0100 0.0301 0.0004 280 112 195 8 191.2 2.4
Da1A-23 279 218 1.28 0.0515 0.0023 0.1965 0.0092 0.0278 0.0003 265 99 182 8 176.6 2.0
Table 11. Zircon U–Pb data of ore-hosting rock (propylitization andesite) from the Dongan silver (gold) deposit.

Isotopic ratios Ages (Ma)
207 207 206 207 207 206
Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U

Sample no. Th (ppm) U (ppm) Th/U Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ

Da2-01 32 44 0.72 0.1115 0.0099 0.2425 0.0210 0.0161 0.0004 1824 161 220 17 103.0 2.6
Da2-02 40 46 0.88 0.1021 0.0080 0.2189 0.0163 0.0173 0.0004 1663 150 201 14 110.4 2.7
Da2-03 78 69 1.12 0.0753 0.0057 0.1676 0.0116 0.0174 0.0004 1077 158 157 10 110.9 2.4
Da2-04 40 43 0.92 0.1098 0.0099 0.2500 0.0251 0.0169 0.0005 1798 160 227 20 108.3 3.1
Da2-05 44 52 0.84 0.0816 0.0065 0.1771 0.0123 0.0170 0.0004 1237 157 166 11 108.7 2.6
Da2-06 328 313 1.05 0.0490 0.0024 0.1123 0.0053 0.0167 0.0002 146 115 108 5 106.9 1.2
Da2-07 238 241 0.99 0.0499 0.0027 0.1183 0.0064 0.0173 0.0002 191 124 114 6 110.3 1.2
Da2-08 91 123 0.74 0.0653 0.0038 0.1450 0.0081 0.0165 0.0003 783 125 137 7 105.4 1.8
Da2-09 41 49 0.83 0.0899 0.0088 0.1811 0.0126 0.0162 0.0004 1433 183 169 11 103.5 2.8
Da2-10 69 67 1.04 0.0748 0.0051 0.1726 0.0115 0.0174 0.0004 1065 139 162 10 111.3 2.5
Da2-11 53 57 0.94 0.0808 0.0058 0.1781 0.0129 0.0167 0.0004 1217 109 166 11 106.5 2.3
Da2-12 38 58 0.66 0.0824 0.0055 0.1758 0.0114 0.0167 0.0004 1254 134 164 10 106.8 2.7
International Geology Review

Da2-13 317 309 1.02 0.0643 0.0022 0.3436 0.0120 0.0387 0.0004 754 78 300 9 244.5 2.8
Da2-14 168 152 1.10 0.0562 0.0036 0.1286 0.0077 0.0170 0.0003 461 138 123 7 108.5 1.7
Da2-15 43 50 0.87 0.1425 0.0119 0.3241 0.0231 0.0177 0.0005 2258 144 285 18 113.2 2.9
Da2-16 153 117 1.31 0.0559 0.0039 0.1257 0.0081 0.0166 0.0003 450 157 120 7 106.4 1.7
Da2-17 60 91 0.66 0.0723 0.0054 0.1675 0.0106 0.0171 0.0003 994 152 157 9 109.0 1.8
Da2-18 99 84 1.18 0.0693 0.0046 0.1733 0.0116 0.0179 0.0004 907 137 162 10 114.5 2.4
Da2-19 50 54 0.93 0.1141 0.0084 0.2683 0.0164 0.0179 0.0004 1866 134 241 13 114.7 2.7
Da2-20 76 64 1.18 0.0755 0.0061 0.1670 0.0139 0.0170 0.0004 1083 156 157 12 108.5 2.3
623
624

Table 12. Zircon U–Pb data of ore-hosting rock (propylitization andesite) from the Sandaowanzi tellurium (gold) deposit.

Isotopic ratios Ages (Ma)
207 207 206 207 207 206
Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U Pb/206 Pb Pb/235 U Pb/238 U

Sample no. Th (ppm) U (ppm) Th/U Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Ratio 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ Age 1σ

Sdwz-1-01 43 91 0.48 0.0593 0.0056 0.1615 0.0128 0.0212 0.0004 576 201 152 11 135 3
Sdwz-1-02 98 180 0.55 0.0582 0.0042 0.1671 0.0112 0.0217 0.0004 600 159 157 10 138 3
Sdwz-1-03 176 140 1.26 0.0736 0.0052 0.1809 0.0138 0.0178 0.0003 1031 143 169 12 114 2
Sdwz-1-04 175 195 0.90 0.0530 0.0032 0.1276 0.0072 0.0178 0.0002 328 135 122 6 114 1
Sdwz-1-05 255 235 1.09 0.0704 0.0042 0.1790 0.0099 0.0188 0.0003 939 122 167 9 120 2
Sdwz-1-06 210 159 1.32 0.0674 0.0036 0.1655 0.0092 0.0180 0.0004 850 111 156 8 115 2
Sdwz-1-07 654 539 1.21 0.0497 0.0020 0.1267 0.0052 0.0184 0.0002 189 125 121 5 118 1
Sdwz-1-09 326 324 1.01 0.0502 0.0024 0.1260 0.0058 0.0183 0.0002 211 111 121 5 117 1
Sdwz-1-10 194 151 1.28 0.0545 0.0038 0.1310 0.0084 0.0183 0.0003 394 157 125 8 117 2
J.-G. Sun et al.

Sdwz-1-11 59 82 0.72 0.0929 0.0084 0.2161 0.0173 0.0178 0.0004 1487 174 199 14 114 3
Sdwz-1-12 135 147 0.92 0.0622 0.0043 0.1528 0.0106 0.0180 0.0003 683 153 144 9 115 2
Sdwz-1-13 87 133 0.66 0.0620 0.0045 0.1463 0.0104 0.0176 0.0003 676 149 139 9 113 2
Sdwz-1-14 195 234 0.83 0.0493 0.0037 0.1220 0.0088 0.0182 0.0002 161 167 117 8 116 2
Sdwz-1-15 114 169 0.67 0.0469 0.0030 0.1194 0.0080 0.0183 0.0003 56 139 115 7 117 2
Sdwz-1-16 140 139 1.01 0.0582 0.0034 0.1403 0.0080 0.0180 0.0003 539 128 133 7 115 2
Sdwz-1-17 91 114 0.80 0.0644 0.0046 0.1590 0.0105 0.0182 0.0003 754 150 150 9 117 2
Sdwz-1-18 260 233 1.12 0.0583 0.0034 0.1503 0.0088 0.0186 0.0003 539 126 142 8 119 2
International Geology Review 625

0.05 300
210 300 (B)
200 Wufeng
0.045 190
(A)
09WF-1 260
180 260 0.04
170 Mean = 108.7 ± 1.3 Ma
160
220 Samples = 19; MSWD = 3.3

Pb/ U
Pb/ U

0.035 220

238
238

0.03
180 115

206
206

180
111
140
0.025
0.02

Ma
107
140 Mean = 188.1 ± 2.5 Ma Wuxingshan
N = 12, MSWD = 7.5 100
103
Probability = 0.000 09WX-4
100 0.01
0.015
0.10 0.14 0.18 0.22 0.26 0.30 0.34 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6
207 235
207 235
Pb/ U Pb/ U
0.065
(C) (D) 380
0.055 Ciweigou Sipingshan
CWG-2 320 09SPS-1
0.055 340
0.045 280
300
240
Pb/ U

Pb/ U
0.045
238

238

0.035 260
200
220
206

206

160 0.035
0.025 Mean = 118.6 ± 2.3 Ma
N = 19; MSWD = 0.64;
120 180 Probability = 0.087
(111–110 Ma) 0.025
0.015
80 140

0.005 100
0.015
0.05 0.15 0.25 0.35 0.45 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
207 235 207 235
Pb/ U Pb/ U
300
(E) Sipingshan
1800 (F) Tuanjiegou
0.045
0.3 09SPS2-5 TJG-5 260

1400 220
0.035
Pb/ U

Pb/ U

0.2 Mean = 96.7 ± 2.6 Ma
238

238

180 Mean = 102.5 ± 1.7 Ma
samples = 6; MSWD = 2.2 N = 12; MSWD = 8.8;
1000 Probability = 0.052
0.025 Probability = 0.000
103 112
206

206

140
101
108
0.1 600 99
100
Ma

Ma

97 0.015 104
95
60 100
93

200 91 96
0.0 0.005
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.20 0.24 0.28 0.32 0.36
207 235 207 235
Pb/ U Pb/ U

Figure 2. Zircon U–Pb concordia diagram of epithermal silver–gold and antimony–silver–gold deposits in the continental margin of NE
China (A–F).

Discussion Himalayan, and Palaeo-Asian Ocean metallogenic
Timing of formation and metallogeny of epithermal gold provinces, with individual mineral deposits forming during
deposits the Tertiary, Mesozoic, Palaeozoic, and Neoproterozoic,
in the order of decreasing metal endowment (Dube et al.
Low-sulphidation epithermal gold–copper deposits are
1998; Tarnocai et al. 1998; Qin et al. 2002; Jiang et al.
concentrated within the circum-Pacific, Mediterranean–
626 J.-G. Sun et al.

190
0.030 109 190 300
107 0.045 182 (B)
(A)
105 170

Ma

Ma
0.026 174 260
103
101 150 166
0.022 99

Pb/238U
Pb/238U

97 0.035 158
130 220
0.018 110

206
180
206

90 Mean = 103.0 ± 1.1 Ma
0.014 Samples = 21,MSWD = 4.4 0.025
70 140 Mean = 175.4 ± 1.9 Ma Dong’an
Tuanjiegou N = 21; MSWD = 5.9
0.010 Probability = 0.000 Da1A
50 KD21T- 4
100
0.006 0.015
0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.20 0.10 0.14 0.18 0.22 0.26 0.30 0.34
207
Pb/235U 207
Pb/235U
0.030 120 190 0.030 190
116 (C) 119
(D)
112 117
170
170

Ma
0.026 108 0.026
Ma

115
104 113
150 150
100
111
0.022 96 0.022
Pb/238U
109
Pb/238U

130 130
0.018 110 0.018
110
206
206

Mean = 115.98 ± 0.89 Ma
0.014 90 90
N = 14, MSWD = 1.07
0.014
Probability = 0.38
70 Mean = 106.6 ± 2.0 Ma Dong’an 70
N = 26; MSWD = 5.9
0.010 Probability = 0.000 0.010 Sandaowanzi
Da-2
50 50 Sdwz-1
0.006 0.006
0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.20 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.20
207
207
Pb/235U Pb/235U

Figure 3. Zircon U–Pb concordia diagram of epithermal silver–gold, antimony–silver–gold and tellurium–gold deposits in the
continental margin of NE China (A–D).

2004). The question of whether epithermal deposits Yanbian basin
formed during the Archaean remains a topic of controversy Three low-sulphidation gold deposits (the Ciweigou,
(Tarnocai et al. 1998). Epithermal deposits also formed Wufeng, and Wuxingshan deposits) are present in the
along the continental margin of NE China and within the Yanbian basin. Previous research on these deposits
Altay and Tianshan areas of the Central Asian orogenic determined quartz 40 Ar/39 Ar isochron ages for gold-
belt of China. Four distinct periods of epithermal gold bearing quartz–calcite veins from the Ciweigou gold
mineralization occurred in eastern China at 188–180 Ma, deposit, yielding an age of 176.8 ± 1 Ma (Meng et al.
144–135 Ma, 127–115 Ma, and 105–94 Ma (Mao et al. 2001), with fluid inclusions within a gold-bearing calcite–
2003b), with Qi et al. (2005) proposing that the majority quartz vein yielding an age of 140 ± 12 Ma. In compar-
of epithermal metallogenesis occurred in NE China ison, fluid inclusions within a gold-bearing pyrite–quartz
at around 130 Ma. However, it is still unclear exactly vein from the Wuxingshan deposit yielded an 40 Ar/39 Ar
when low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits at the isochron age of 123 ± 7 Ma (Zhao et al. 2010), a volcanic
continental margin of NE China formed, and how many rock from the Ciweigou gold deposit yielded a whole-rock
individual metallogenic stages occurred during the for- 40 Ar/39 Ar isochron age of 107.0 ± 0.6 Ma (Li 2006), and a
mation of these deposits. Here, we discuss the timing of dacite from the Wuxingshan gold deposit yielded a single-
mineralization in localized areas of the study region based zircon U–Pb weighted average age of 88.2 ± 1.4 Ma (Chen
on the U–Pb dating outlined above and results published et al. 2008b). An ore-bearing andesite from the Wufeng
elsewhere. gold deposit also yielded a single-zircon U–Pb weighted
International Geology Review 627

average age of 103.6 ± 1 Ma (Ji 2004). These ages indi- the Dong’an deposit yielded whole-rock Rb–Sr isochron
cate that the Ciweigou, Wufeng, and Wuxingshan deposits ages of 112.51 ± 3.5 Ma and 108.37 ± 1.3 Ma (Guo et al.
cannot have formed before 110 Ma. Using the ages of 2004), with a single-zircon U–Pb analysis of a rhyolite of
ore-bearing or mineralized intrusives and volcanic rocks the Fuminhe Group yielding an age of 108.8 ± 2.8 Ma
from the Ciweigou and Wufeng gold deposits determined (Zhang et al. 2010). Sericite separated from a sample
during this study, as well as magmatic crystallization ages from the same orebody yielded an 40 Ar/39 Ar isochron
of 111–110 Ma and 108.7 ± 1.3 Ma, respectively, we age of 107.2 ± 0.6 Ma (Zhang et al. 2010). In this
suggest that these deposits formed after 108 Ma, which study, we obtained single-zircon U–Pb weighted average
is consistent with the formation age of high-sulphidation ages of 175.4 ± 1.9 Ma (n = 21) and 108.5 ± 1.3 Ma
epithermal gold mineralization in the area, for example, for mineralized granite and andesite samples, respectively.
the Duhuangling and Jiusangou deposits. In addition, the This indicates that the Dong’an gold deposit formed at
Wuxingshan low-sulphidation gold deposit formed around ∼107 Ma, during the late Early Cretaceous Quantou Stage
88.2 ± 1.4 Ma, an age similar to or younger than that of (108–96 Ma), most probably after the hypabyssal emplace-
the Nongping gold-rich porphyry copper deposit (95.96 ± ment of the Sunjiajie Stage volcanics (113–108 Ma).
0.73 Ma; unpublished data by the authors). The Sandaowanzi gold deposit is located within
the Heihe volcanic basin and has mineralization within
tellurium–sulphide or low-sulphide–quartz veins. The ore-
Wandashan basin bodies that form the deposit are hosted by Late Jurassic
The Wandashan basin hosts the Sipingshan and trachyandesites and trachyandesitic breccias, with miner-
Daiwanglazi low-sulphidation epithermal silver–gold alization associated with porphyritic diabase and rhyolite
deposits, neither of which has been accurately dated. Two rocks (Table 1). Previous research determined the ages
single-zircon ages are available for rhyolites associated of a number of mineralization-related rocks, including
with the formation of the Sipingshan gold deposit, yielding a trachyandesite (single-zircon U–Pb weighted average
an age of 118.6 ± 2.3 Ma, with a magmato-thermal age of 125.3 Ma; Liu et al. 2010), a rhyolite (single-
event at 96.7 ± 2.6 Ma. These dates suggest that the zircon U–Pb weighted average age of 124.2 Ma; Liu
Sipingshan gold deposit formed at or later than 97 Ma, et al., 2010), and a porphyritic diabase (single-zircon U–Pb
an age consistent with that of the Nongping gold-rich weighted average age of 116.7 Ma; Liu et al. 2010). During
porphyry copper deposit in the Yanbian basin (unpublished this study, we determined the age of a mineralization-
data by the authors). related porphyritic diabase, which yielded a single-zircon
U–Pb weighted average age of 115.98 ± 0.89 Ma
(n = 14). Given that both the intrusion of the por-
Mesozoic Sunwu-Jiayin volcanic basin phyritic diabase and the mineralization-related fluid flow
A number of low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits, were controlled by the same fractures, we suggest that the
such as the Tuanjiegou, Dong’an, and Sandaowanzi Sandaowanzi gold deposit formed during the Fuxin Stage
deposits, have been discovered in this area; these deposits (117–113 Ma).
have been the focus of a number of studies that attempted These data indicate that the low-sulphidation
to constrain their timing of formation. The Tuanjiegou epithermal gold deposits in the study area formed
gold deposit is hosted either by late Palaeozoic green- during the Mesozoic, more specifically during the late
schist facies rocks of the Heilongjiang Group or along Early Cretaceous and the early Late Cretaceous, with
the contact between the Taipingling uplifted zone and the metallogenesis occurring in multiple stages. Three
downthrown late Mesozoic Wulaga volcano-sedimentary metallogenic stages have been identified during this study
basin. The whole-rock K–Ar analysis of a mineralized at 115.98 ± 0.89 Ma (Fuxin Stage), 107.2 ± 0.6 Ma or
granite porphyry gave the ages of 100 Ma, 102 Ma, and <103 Ma (Quantou Stage), and at 88.2 ± 1.4 Ma (Yaojia
112.6 Ma, with an associated andesite yielding a whole- Stage) or after 97 Ma (Qingshankou Stage; Table 13).
rock K–Ar age of 137 Ma (Wu 1995). In this study, we
obtained two crystallization ages for ore-bearing granite
porphyry associated with the deposit at 102.5 ± 1.7 Ma Magmato-thermal controls on mineralization and metal
and 103.0 ± 1.1 Ma. This indicates that the deposit can- grade
not have formed earlier than 103 Ma and suggests that the Low-sulphidation gold deposits generally form at depths
Tuanjiegou gold deposit formed during the Quantou Stage less than 1.5 km and temperatures less than 300◦ C,
(103–96 Ma). In comparison, the Dong’an gold deposit is from fluids associated with highly oxidized magmas, with
hosted within the Xunke volcanic sub-basin in the middle sulphide precipitation by degassing of fluids during boil-
of the Sunwu-Jiayin volcanic basin and is located within ing, or mixing of saline, reduced, sulphide-rich fluids and
a sequence of Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks and gran- reducing sulphide-poor fluids, and wall rock sulphidation.
ite. Rhyolite and ore samples from the No. 5 orebody of Ore-forming fluids are sourced from bimodal volcanic
628 J.-G. Sun et al.

Yaojia Stage (92–88 Ma)
rocks, predominantly alkaline rhyolites (John et al. 2000;
Upper Cretaceous (K2)

Wuxingshan low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposit
John 2001; Cooke and Deyell 2003; Heinrich 2003;
Sillitoe 2008), or are formed during interaction between
underplated basaltic and acid magmas.

<88


The geochronological data outlined within this article
indicate that a magmatic event occurred within the Yanbian
mining area and led to the formation of low-sulphidation
epithermal silver–gold deposits. This event formed high-
K calc-alkaline andesite intrusives and various veins,
including a calc-alkaline porphyritic dacite associated with
mineralization within the Ciweigou and Wufeng mineral
Qingshankou Stage
Division table for metallogenic stage from low-sulphidation epithermal gold–copper deposit in the continental margin of NE China.

deposits. In addition, only the Wufeng gold deposit is
(96–92 Ma)

hosted by a calc-alkaline sodium dacite and has min-
eralization that is closely associated with a magmatic
event that led to the intrusion of a calc-alkaline sodium
porphyritic dacite vein (Pang 2009). The mineralization-
related magmatic event in the Sipingshan and Daiwanglazi
95

mining areas that formed low-sulphidation epithermal
silver–gold deposits within the Wandashan area led to
the formation of calc-alkaline sodic rhyolites and dacites
low-sulphidation gold

(Sun et al. 2000). The mineralization-related magmatic
Dong’an, Tuanjiegou
Quantou Stage
(108–96 Ma)

Ciweigou, Wufeng

low-sulphidation

low-sulphidation

event associated with the formation of the Tuanjiegou
epithermal gold

epithermal gold

antimony–silver–gold and Dong’an silver–gold deposits is
dominated by high-K calc-alkaline andesitic and 113 Ma
Lower Cretaceous (K1)

Sipingshan
deposits

deposit

deposit
108–102

dacitic and rhyolitic magmatism. The age of formation of
the Tuanjiegou antimony–silver–gold deposit is close to
that of a hypabyssal calc-alkaline alkali granite complex
(103 Ma; Sun et al. 2012). The magmatic event associ-
ated with the formation of the Dong’an silver–gold deposit
Sunjiawan Stage

formed high-K calc-alkaline andesites (108.5 ± 1.3 Ma)
(113–108 Ma)

113–108

and rhyolites (108.8 ± 2.8 Ma; Yang 2008). The magmatic

event associated with the formation of the Sandaowanzi
tellurium–gold deposit formed trachyandesites, dacites,
and gabbro or diabase veins (115.98 ± 0.89 Ma; Table 1).
These characteristics indicate that five different styles of
magmatism are associated with the formation of low-
Fuxin Stage (117–113 Ma)

sulphidation epithermal gold deposits in the study area.
tellurium–gold deposit

The first type of magmatism is associated with the for-
mation of high-K calc-alkaline andesites and calc-alkaline
low-sulphidation

sodium dacites associated with the genesis of the Ciweigou
Sandaowanzi

and Wufeng ore deposits in the Yanbian area. The sec-
epithermal

ond type of magmatism is associated with calc-alkaline

sodic dacites and led to the formation of the Wuxingshan
115

ore deposit in the Yanbian area. The third type is associ-
ated with the intrusion and emplacement of calc-alkaline
sodium rhyolites and dacites and is genetically linked to the
Sunwu–Jiayin basin area

formation of the Sipingshan and Daiwanglazi deposits in
the Wandashan area. The fourth type is dominated by high-
Wadashan basin area

Age from this article
Metallogenic stage

Yanbian basin area

K calc-alkaline andesites and dacites, with the eruption of
Geological age

high-K calc-alkaline rhyolites. This magmatism was con-
temporaneous with the intrusion of high-K calc-alkaline
Table 13.

and calc-alkaline sodic granites during the formation of
(Ma)

the Tuanjiegou deposit and the eruption of rhyolites during
the formation of the Dong’an deposit. The fifth type led
to the formation of shoshonites or trachyandesites and was
International Geology Review 629

accompanied by the emplacement of calc-alkaline or sodic that although regional metallogeny occurred during
basic magmas during the formation of the Sandaowanzi the late Mesozoic, the formation of the Sandaowanzi
deposit. The first three styles of magmatism are thought to low-sulphidation tellurium–gold deposit occurred in a
have been derived from crust–mantle interaction and vary- geodynamic setting that involved mantle-derived magma-
ing degrees of crustal contamination, whereas the latter tism along a deep fracture zone within an immature conti-
two were associated with mantle-derived magmas sub- nental margin back-arc, most probably associated with the
jected to crustal contamination (Sun 2010). This indicates subduction of the Pacific plate underneath Eurasia. This
that the metallogenesis of low-sulphidation epithermal gold interpretation is consistent with the composition of fluid
deposits in the study area was not entirely similar to inclusions within this deposit (results to be published by
the low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits found in the authors). The geology of the Tuanjiegou, Dong’an,
the circum-Pacific region, but instead these deposits have Sipingshan, Ciweigou, and Wufeng gold deposits is also
their own specific genetic characteristics. Future research indicative of magmatism within a continental margin back-
is needed to determine how the metallogenesis of low- arc setting associated with the subduction of the Pacific
sulphidation epithermal gold deposits in NE China relates plate underneath Eurasia. However, the formation of these
to epithermal gold mineralization elsewhere, especially in deposits is related to a different style of magmatism,
terms of cogenetic magmatism. involving a different type of crust–mantle interaction than
normally observed within back-arc settings. This again is
consistent with the presence of H2 O- and CO2 -bearing
Metallogenic environment and geodynamic setting fluid inclusions within these deposits (results to be pub-
Low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits in the circum- lished by the authors), indicating that these deposits formed
Pacific region generally form in continental margin set- in a mature continental arc environment.
tings of hanging wall in the subduction zone, magmatic
island arc, and back-arc material. Most low-sulphidation
Conclusions
epithermal gold deposits form in cratonic regions or in the
upper parts of island arcs, and are rarely formed within the The analysis of the geology, mineralogy, and geochro-
upper oceanic crust. In terms of tectonics, these deposits nology of low-sulphidation epithermal gold–copper
form in geodynamic settings involving a transition from deposits within the continental margin of NE China
extrusion to extension, a delamination–extension stage of yielded the following conclusions.
crustal evolution, or during the later stages of regional-
scale magmatic events (Sillitoe 1997, 2000; Ying 1999; (1) Low-sulphidation epithermal gold–copper deposits
Jiang et al. 2004). This study area, located in the eastern within the continental margin of NE China can
part of the Mongolian Xing’an orogenic belt, is a region be divided into three types, each with distinctive
that has undergone several distinct periods of tectonism, mineralization and alteration characteristics:
including the evolution of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean, the low-sulphidation epithermal silver–gold deposits,
Mongolian Xing’an Orogeny, subduction of the Pacific low-sulphidation epithermal antimony–silver–
plate beneath the Eurasian plate during the Mesozoic, and gold deposits, and low-sulphidation epithermal
the Cenozoic deep abstriction. tellurium–gold deposits.
The timing of epithermal gold–copper deposit forma- (2) Based on new and previously published data,
tion and mineralization-related magmato-thermal events we have identified three distinct metallogenic
indicates that ore deposits within the study area formed stages during the formation of the low-
during the Early Cretaceous. This multistage metallogenic sulphidation epithermal gold–copper deposits at
event corresponds to a period of hypabyssal magma 115.98 ± 0.89 Ma (Fuxin Stage), 107.2 ± 0.6 Ma
emplacement during late-stage crustal extension and large- or <103 Ma (Quantou Stage), and 97 Ma or
scale magmatism (Table 1). In detail, the formation of 88.2 ± 1.4 Ma (Yaojia or Qingshankou stages),
the Sandaowanzi low-sulphidation epithermal tellurium– with metallogenesis occurring during the lat-
gold deposit is closely related to Fuxin Stage sedimenta- est parts of or directly after each magmatic
tion and hypabyssal emplacement of basic magmas during event. Low-sulphidation epithermal tellurium–
crustal extension after eruption of Early Cretaceous Yixian gold deposits formed during the later parts
mantle-derived intermediate–basic magmas. The forma- of the Fuxin Stage, whereas low-sulphidation
tion of the Tuanjiegou antimony–silver–gold deposit and epithermal antimony–silver–gold deposits and
the Dong’an, Sipingshan, Ciweigou, and Wufeng low- low-sulphidation epithermal silver–gold deposits
sulphidation epithermal silver–gold deposits is associated formed during the later parts of the Quantou Stage.
with Quantou Stage high-K island arc-type intermediate– (3) Low-sulphidation epithermal tellurium–gold
acid magmatism, especially hypabyssal emplacement of deposits of NE China formed in a tectonic
sodic porphyritic intrusives. This observation indicates environment involving mantle-derived magmatism
630 J.-G. Sun et al.

within a deep fracture in an immature continental Feng, S.Z., 1994, Metallogenetic and geological features of
margin back-arc setting associated with subduction Wufeng-Wuxingshan gold deposit in Jilin province: Journal
of the Pacific plate beneath Eurasia. In comparison, of Precious Metallic Geology, v. 3, p. 241–247.
Groves, D.I., and Bierlein, F.P., 2007, Bicentennial review:
low-sulphidation epithermal antimony–silver–gold Geodynamic settings of mineral deposit systems: Journal of
and silver–gold deposits formed in a mature conti- the Geological Society, London, v. 164, p. 19–30.
nental margin magmatic arc again associated with Guo, J.H., Jin, F.M., and Wang, C.S., 2004, Ore controlling role of
the underflow of the Pacific lithosphere underneath subvolcanic rock in the Dong’an gold deposit, Heilongjiang:
Eurasia, with the magmatic–hydrothermal systems Mineral Resources and Geology, v. 18, p. 37–40 (in Chinese
with English abstract).
that formed these deposits associated with magmas Hedenquist, J.W., Izawa, E., Arribas, A., and White, N.C.,
that formed during crust–mantle interaction. 1996, Epithermal gold deposits: Styles, characteristics,
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Heinrich, C.A., 2003, Magmatic vapour condensation and the
Acknowledgements relation between porphyries and epithermal Au–(Cu–As)
This research work was jointly supported by the National mineralization: Thermodynamic constraints, in Eliopoulos,
Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 40772052 and D., et al., eds., Proceedings of the Seventh biennial
41172072), Project for Scientific and Technology Development SGA Meeting – Mineral Exploration and Sustainable
(grant no. 20100450), Chinese Geological Survey Programme Development: Rotterdam, Millpress Science Publishers,
(grant no. [2010]26-06), and Geological Survey of Heilongjiang p. 279–282.
Province (grant no. 3R1101604422). We sincerely thank the staff Hu, H.B., Mao, J.W., Niu, S.Y., Li, Y.F., and Li, M.W., 2006,
of the State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Geology and geochemistry of telluride bearing Au deposits
Resources, China University of Geosciences, for analyses of in the Pingyi area, Western Shandong, China: Mineralogy and
U–Pb dating of zircon. Petrology, v. 87, p. 209–240.
Ji, W.Q., 2004, Chronology and geochemistry of late Mesozoic
volcanic rocks in eastern Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces
[Master degree dissertation]: Changchun, Jilin University,
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