Changbaishan Mountains Gold Province - Jiapigou, Maoling, Caocuo


Main commodities: Au
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A series of orogenic style lode gold deposits on 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 they account for more than 900 tonnes (30 Moz) of gold.   The Changbaishan Mountains Gold Province in Liaoning and Jilin Provinces represents the eastern section of this larger gold belt and includes the Jiapigou, Maoling and Caocuo deposits.

The northern margin of the North China Craton is characterised by east-west trending basement uplift blocks of metamorphosed Archean and Palaeoproterozoic 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.

In the Changbaishan Mountains Gold Province, regional structures are dominated by NNE-striking faults or shear zones, although east-west trending folds and faults are locally recognised. Yanshanian granites dominate, although Variscan granites are also present in some mining districts.

Jiapigou is the most important deposit (with >60 t of contained Au at an average grade of 8 g/t Au) in the gold province, and was responsible for almost half of China's gold production during the 1960s. Gold mineralization is hosted in a 2.6 Ga plagioclase-amphibole gneiss, which underwent high-grade metamorphism at 2.27 Ga. A group of subvertical, NW striking thrust faults and shear zones control the gold ore zones. Late(?)- to post Variscan (268 to 201 Ma) biotite granites, Yanshanian (168 to149 Ma) syenite and many mafic to felsic dyke systems are present near the Jiapigou deposit. The orebodies are 450 to 770 m long, 2 to17 m wide, and continue to depths of at least 670 m. Early stage quartz veins contain scheelite, magnetite and less abundant sulphide minerals with minor gold. The younger, main stage quartz veins contain pyrite, gold and Bi-bearing minerals. The late stage quartz veinlets and stockworks contain sulphide minerals with local enrichment of gold and rezbanyite (a Cu-Pb-Bi sulphide). The gangue minerals are quartz, siderite, ankerite, calcite, muscovite and chlorite.

For more detail on the Jiapigou district and its deposits, see the separate Jiapigou record.

The Caocuo (>20 t of contained Au at an average grade of 10 g/t Au) deposits are hosted in schist, phyllite and slate of the Proterozoic Liaohe Formation. Orebodies are localised by NE-trending shear zones, and intersections with secondary faults and folds. Ores contain a high proportion of arsenopyrite, pyrite, lesser pyrrhotite, galena chalcopyrite and sphalerite.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2005.    
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

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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