Anomalously silver-rich vein-hosted mineralisation in disseminated-style gold deposits, Jiaodong gold district, China

Stephanie E Mills, Andrew G Tomkins, Roberto F Weinberg, Hong-Rui Fan

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Structural measurements and geochemical analyses, including bulk and in situ pyrite geochemistry, sulfur isotopes, and whole-rock geochemistry, are presented for the No. 3 orebody of the Jiaojia gold deposit (JJ3), located in the Jiaodong district of northeast China. The JJ3 orebody is distinct from the main orebody of the Jiaojia deposit (JJ1) because it is characterised by steeply dipping sub-metric quartz-pyrite veins with up to 300 ppm of gold, whereas the JJ1 orebody represents an archetypal example of the disseminated and veinlet style mineralisation characteristic of regional faults in the Jiaodong district. Measurements on JJ3 veins and the host Jiaojia-Xincheng regional fault are consistent with development of mineralised, steeply dipping extension fractures during normal faulting, which produced the fault-hosted disseminated-style JJ1 orebody. Trace element geochemistry of pyrite in these veins shows that JJ3 pyrite is geochemically distinct from those of the main Jiaojia and Xincheng orebodies, being relatively enriched in Ag and Pb, as well as Ba, Bi, Te and Au, and relatively depleted in Cu and As. Enrichment in Ag and Pb is possibly related to infiltration of a saline hydrothermal fluid, as both are effectively transported as chloride complexes; however, depletion of Cu, which is also mobile as chloride complexes, requires a low temperature saline fluid where Cu is no longer soluble. The textural setting of the ore minerals suggests that these cooler fluids likely infiltrated during the waning stages of the hydrothermal system. The relative abundance of barite in the JJ3 orebody, which formed from late-stage oxidised magmatic-hydrothermal fluids, also supports the interpretation that the JJ3 orebody represents a late mineralisation event. The pervasive alteration surrounding the JJ3 orebody is K-feldspathic with a minor sericitic overprint, indicating an earlier higher temperature pervasive fluid flow event that was followed by low-temperature mineralising fluids. This interpretation implies that fracture dilation post-dated the earliest alteration, and that mineralisation and pervasive alteration in the JJ3 orebody are geochemically disconnected. Thus structural analysis is expected to be the most effective targeting method in future exploration for similar ore bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-141
Number of pages15
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Geochemistry
  • Gold
  • Jiaodong
  • K-feldspar alteration
  • Silver
  • Structural analysis

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