Structural features and metallogenesis of the Carlin-type Jinfeng (Lannigou) gold deposit, Guizhou Province, China

C Maohong, M Jingwen, Frank Bierlein, T Norman, P Uttley

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    Jinfeng, previously known as Lannigou, is the largest Carlin-type gold deposit in the Yunnan-Guizhou-Guangxi region in southwestern China. Gold mineralization in the Jinfeng deposit is almost entirely fault-hosted and structurally controlled, with very little disseminated ore occurring in the adjacent host rocks. The structural elements in the Jinfeng deposit can be subdivided into 3 groups comprising NS-, NW-, and NE-striking faults and folds, with NW-striking structures controlling the overall framework of the deposit. Four tectonic stages have been recorded in the Jinfeng area, i.e., rifting, orogenic compression, lateral transpression, and lithospheric extension. A series of contemporaneous normal faults, such as the N-striking and east-dipping F1 and F7 faults developed along the edges of a carbonate platform during basin rifting (D2-T2). These structures provided an initial framework for subsequent basin evolution, and also represent the principal hydrothermal conduits. A gradual change of the compression direction during the orogenic stage (T3) from Ea??W to NEa??SW, gave rise to the NW-striking structures, including large, tight to overturned folds such as the Huangchanggou synclinorium and associated thrusts such as the F3 fault. The development of these orogenic, predominantly NE-dipping structures, as well as accompanying NE-striking dextral shear and transform faults (such as the F2 fault) along the margin of the Laizishan Dome established the structural pattern of the deposit area. The NW-striking folds were refolded by NE-striking superimposed folds during post-collisional lateral transpression (J1) and NW-SE directed compression. Oblique stress distribution gave rise to NS-trending compression and EW-trending extension, with dilational zones developing at the intersection of the F2 and the F3 faults east of the Laizishan dome. It is these dextral- and sinistral-normal dilational zones in which gold was precipitated during the main ore-forming event at Jinfeng. Following the main ore stage lithospheric extension occurred during the Yanshan stage (J2-K) resulting in minor reverse faults that in places cut pre-existing structures. The above four main structural deformation stages mirror the evolution of the Youjiang Basin from inception to basin inversion and post-orogenic collapse and renewed extension. Significant gold metallogenesis at Jinfeng occurred during the transition from collisional compression to extensional tectonics in the early Jurassic, and is focussed into intersections of F2 and F3 and fault splays adjacent to F3. This structurally controlled gold metallogenic model is likely to be applicable to analogous settings elsewhere in the Yunnan-Guizhou-Guangxi triangle area, and has implications for the targeting of Carlin-type gold mineralization in this region.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217 - 234
    Number of pages18
    JournalOre Geology Reviews
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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