Yanliao Gold Province - Dongping, Xiaoyinpan, Jinchangyu, Honghuagou, Jinchangouliang, Paishanlou, Yuerya, Niuxinshan, Baizhangzil, Wulong, Haigo


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The Yanliao Gold Province represents the central section of a larger belt of orogenic style lode gold deposits distributed along the ~1500 km long northern margin of the North China Craton, extending from the middle of Inner Mongolia, through northern Hebei and Liaoning, to Jilin Province. Together these deposits account for more than 900 tonnes (30 Moz) of gold.   The Yanliao Gold Province, which is mainly within the Yanshan Mountains of Inner Mongolia and Shanxi Provinces, includes the Dongping, Xiaoyinpan, Jinchangyu, Honghuagou, Jinchangouliang, Paishanlou, Yuerya, Niuxinshan, Baizhangzil, Wulong and Haigo deposits.

The >100 t Au Jinchangyu deposit is about 180 km ENE of Beijing and has been mined for more than 1000 years, while the >100 t Au Dongping deposit, is located about 140 km northwest of Beijing.

The bulk of the major orogenic gold deposits on the northern margin of the North China Craton are concentrated in the Yanshan Mountain area, where regional structures include both NNE striking faults and shear zones, and east-west trending folds and faults.

The northern margin of the North China Craton is characterised by east-west trending basement uplift blocks of metamorphosed Archaean and Paleoproterozoic gneiss, schist, granulite, amphibolite and banded iron formation that have been episodically uplifted during Variscan, Indosinian, and Yanshanian tectono-magmatic events. Slightly metamorphosed Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic shallow marine quartzite, slate and limestone, and Paleozoic to Cretaceous shallow marine to continental sedimentary rocks, surround the uplifts. Most of the deposits are hosted by uplifted blocks of Precambrian metamorphic rocks, although Palaeozoic and Mesozoic felsic plutons are commonly found in close proximity and host around 30% of the mineralisation.

Gold deposits and granites are associated with both Variscan and Yanshanian tectonism, although broad scale regional deformation is mainly Variscan and is best characterised by east-west striking folds and fault zones formed during Permian early stages of ocean closure between the North China and Angara cratons. Locally, in the eastern part of the gold province, the Variscan structures are overprinted by Yanshanian NNE trending strike slip faults. The Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Yanshanian tectonism could have been caused either by the oblique subduction of the Izanagi oceanic plate underneath the North China craton and/or final closure of the Mongolia-Okhotsk ocean between the Angara and North China cratons.

Both Variscan (eg., Xiaoyinpan) and Yanshanian (eg., Dongping) gold deposits and granites are recognised in the western part of the Yanshan area, although only Yanshanian gold ores (e.g., Jinchangyu, Honghuagou, Jinchanggouliang, and Paishanlou) are found to the east. The larger deposits are typically associated with the younger Yanshanian hydrothermaI systems.

Jinchangyu, and associated deposits, are localised within a 6 km long by 1 km wide, NNE-trending fault cutting Archaean metamorphic rocks. Clusters of quartz veins and quartz albite veins are a few tens of metres wide, up to 300 m long, and continue to a depth of 550 m. The veins mainly contain pyrite, lesser gold, electrum, chalcopyrite, galena, pyrrhotite, magnetite, molybdenite and trace amounts of telluride minerals.

Many of the deposits show a spatial association with granites of both orogenies. These include the Dongping, Yuerya, Niuxinshan, Baizhangzil, Wulong and Haigo deposits, which all contain >20 t Au and are all at least partly hosted by granites. This multi-episodic mineralisation correspond to episodic tectonic reactivation and associated magmatism along the northern margin of the North China craton.

As with the deposits hosted in metamorphic rocks (eg., Jinchangyu), the granite-hosted deposits also are structurally controlled, and commonly localised by brittle secondary structures related to a major regional fault or shear zone. At the >100 t Au Dongping deposit, the largest of these granite hosted deposits, Yanshanian gold mineralisation occurs in the 327 Ma Shuiquangou syenite to monzonite batholith complex. This batholith intruded along a group of east-west trending structures that are parallel to, and about 10 km south of, the trans-crustal Shangyi-Chungli-Chicheng deep fault zone, which separates the Archaean and Proterozoic rocks on the south and north, respectively. Gold mineralization occurs in pinkish, K feldspar-quartz veins, quartz veins, and altered wall rock, and is localised by NE and NNE trending, west-dipping shear zones. The individual gold-bearing veins may be as much as a few kms long, continue to a depth of 600 m and average 3 m in width. The K feldspar-quartz veins and quartz veins contain pyrite, calaverite, galena, chalcopyrite, gold and abundant hematite, although the associated base metal levels are generally low. Less voluminous mineralisation continues into the Archaean country rocks.

Deposit sizes include:   Dongping - >100t Au with an average grade of 6 g/t Au;   Xiaoyingpian - 70 t Au with an average grade of 9.7 g/t Au;   Jinchangyu - 90 t Au with an average grade of 2 g/t Au;   Honghuagou - >23 t Au with an average grade of 15.8 g/t Au;   Jinchangouliang - 50 t Au with an average grade of 12 g/t Au;   Paishanlou - 40 t Au with an average grade of 4 g/t Au;   Yuerya - 25t Au with an average grade of 10.7 g/t Au;   Niuxinshan - >20 t Au with an average grade of 20 g/t Au;   Baizhangzil - >20 t Au with an average grade of 15 g/t Au;   Wulong - >40 t Au with an average grade of 7.3 g/t Au;   Haigo - >30 t Au with an average grade of 6 g/t Au.

For more detail on the Dongping deposit, see the separate Dongping record.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2002.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.

  References & Additional Information
   Selected References:
Hart C J, Goldfarb R J, Yumin Qiu, Snee L, Miller L G and Miller M L  2002 - Gold deposits of the northern margin of the North China Craton: multiple late Paleozoic-Mesozoic mineralizing events: in    Mineralium Deposita   v37 pp 326-351
Jin-Hui Yang, Fu-Yuan Wu, Wilde S A  2003 - A review of the geodynamic setting of large-scale Late Mesozoic gold mineralization in the North China Craton: an association with lithospheric thinning: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v23 125-152
Yu, B., Zeng, Q., Frimmel, H.E.,Wang, Y., Guo, W., Sun, G., Zhou, T. and Li, J.,  2018 - Genesis of the Wulong gold deposit, northeastern North China Craton: Constraints from fluid inclusions, H-O-S-Pb isotopes, and pyrite trace element concentrations: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v.102, pp. 313-337.
Zhou, T., Goldfarb, R.J. and Phillips, G.N.,  2002 - Tectonics and distribution of gold deposits in China - an overview: in    Mineralium Deposita   v.37, pp. 249-282.

Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo takes no responsibility what-so-ever for inaccurate or out of date data, information or interpretations.

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