Sawuyaerdun, Sawayaerdun

Xinjiang, China

Main commodities: Au
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The Sawuyaerdun (or Sawayaerdun) orogenic gold deposit is located in the South Tian Shan Fold Belt of far western Xinjiang, approximately 28 km NNW of Wulukeqiati Township, Wuqia County, close to the border with Kyrgyzstan to the north and around 100 km WNW of Kashi.

The ore deposit contains more than 100 t of Au at grades of 3 to 5 g/t Au and has an inferred resource exceeding 300 t Au.

The deposit is in the East Alai Mountains and is tectonically located at the western end of the Chinese Southwest Tianshan Hercynian orogenic belt, at the junction between the Ili-Issyk Lake microplate and North Tarim marginal mobile belt. The Sawayaerdun-Jigen fault separates the gold district into two parts: the western part which belongs to the Ili-Issyk Lake microplate, and the eastern part on the Late Palaeozoic continental-margin basin of the North Tarim marginal mobile belt.

The orebodies are hosted by Upper Silurian and Lower to Middle Devonian, and Upper Carboniferous low-grade metamorphic carbonaceous turbidites composed mainly of slate and carbonaceous phyllite, along two regional NE-NNE-trending, brittle-ductile shear zones that form a 70 km long and 50 to 600 m wide shear zone.

Twenty-four gold mineralised zones have been outlined in the Sawayaerdun ore deposit. Of these, the up to 4 km long and 200 m wide No. IV mineralised zone is economically the most important.

The immediate ore-hosting rocks at Sawayaerdun comprise a sequence of carbonaceous turbidites that shows well developed rhythmic stratification, graded horizontal and convolute bedding, and ripple bedding.

Disseminated gold mineralisation in mylonite includes pyrite, arsenopyrite and pyrrhotite, with lesser stibnite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite and galena. Hydrothermal alteration is characterized by silicification, sericitisation, carbonatisation and chloritisation, which produce the principal gangue minerals of quartz, white mica, siderite, calcite and chlorite.

Five stages of vein emplacement and hydrothermal mineralisation have been distinguished, namely: Stage 1 - early quartz stage, characterised by quartz veins; Stage 2 - an arsenopyrite-pyrite-quartz phase, forming auriferous quartz veinlets and stockworks; Stage 3 - a polymetallic sulphide-quartz phase, which resulted in auriferous polymetallic sulphide quartz veinlets and stockworks; Stage 4 - an antimony-quartz phase, which produced stibnite-jamesonite quartz veins; and Stage 5 - a late quartz-carbonate vein phase.

The main gold mineralisation results from Stages 2 and 3, with stage 4 representing a major antimony mineralisation episode

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2007.    
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:
Chen, H.-Y., Chen, Y.-J. and Baker, M.,  2012 - Isotopic geochemistry of the Sawayaerdun orogenic-type gold deposit, Tianshan, northwest China: Implications for ore genesis and mineral exploration: in    Chemical Geology,   v. 310-311, pp. 1-11.
Yang Fuquan, Mao Jingwen, Wang Yitian, Bierlein F P, Ye Huishou, Li Mengwen, Zhao Caisheng and Ye Jinhua,  2007 - Geology and Metallogenesis of the Sawayaerdun Gold Deposit in the Southwestern Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang, China: in    Resource Geology   v57 pp 57-75

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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