Gongchangling, Yanqianshan, Qidashan, Yingtaoyuan, Waitoushan, Nanfen

Liaoning, China

Main commodities: Fe
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The Gongchangling, Yanqianshan, Qidashan, Yingtaoyuan, Waitoushan and Nanfen iron deposits define an ENE trending belt over an interval of near 100 km in the vicinity of the cities of Anshan and Benxi in Liaoning Province, north-eastern China.

These deposits fall within the larger, composite 1000 km long by 100 km wide Archaean Liaoji metallogenic belt which is elongated in a NE-SW direction and extends from eastern Liaoning Province to northeastern Jilin Province. The country rocks within the metallogenic belt include marine volcaniclastic and sedimentary rocks and greenstone belts in the Eastern Block of the North China Craton.

The North China Craton is composed of the two older, north-south elongated, Eastern and Western Archaean Blocks, separated by a Central Orogenic Belt. It has been interpreted that the Eastern and Western Blocks collided at 2.5 Ga during an arc/continent collision, forming a foreland basin over the Eastern Block (the Quinglong foreland basin), a granulite facies belt on the western block, and a wide orogen between the two blocks. This was followed by post-orogenic extension and rifting, simultaneous with the development of a major ocean lapping onto the northern margin of the craton (Kusky and Jianghai, 2003).

A magmatic arc terrane, which is indicated to have developed in this ocean and was elongated east-west parallel to the northern margin of the craton, collided with that northern craton margin by 2.3 Ga, to form a 1400 km long orogen known as the Inner Mongolia-Northern Hebei Orogen. A 1600 km long granulite-facies terrane formed on the southern margin of this orogen, representing a 200 km wide uplifted plateau as a result of crustal thickening. This granulite facies terrane comprises a southern belt of reworked Archaean basement and a northern metamorphosed accretionary belt. To the south of this granulite terrane, the Archaean sequences have mainly been subjected to amphibolite facies matamorphism. The orogen was converted to an Andean-style convergent margin from 2.20 to 1.85 Ga, reflected by belts of plutonic rocks, accreted metasedimentary rocks, and a possible back-arc basin. A pulse of convergent deformation is recorded at 1.9 to 1.85 Ga across the northern margin of the craton (Kusky and Jianghai, 2003).

The Liaoji metallogenic belt contains numerous banded iron formations (BIFs) in the Archaean Anshan, Qingyuan, and Longgang Groups in the Anshan-Benxi area of Liaoning Province. The rocks of these groups have been metamorphosed to amphibolite facies from protoliths of mafic, intermediate and siliceous volcanic and clastic sedimentary rocks that were deposited in small volcanic and sedimentary basins along an ancient continental margin (Rodionov, et al., 2004).

The Gongchangling deposit (#Location: 41° 10' 45"N, 123° 30' 10"E) comprises up to eight BIF units within the metamorphic sequence of the Archaean Anshan Group within an anticlinorium that was intruded and reworked during two periods of granite plutonism at about 2300 to 2100 and 1900 to 1700 Ma respectively. The Anshan Group comprises biotite microgneiss, amphibolite, mica schist, biotite gneiss and garnet-chlorite schist. The metamorphic age of the Anshan Group is 2650 to 2500 Ma, while the protoliths are believed to be older than 2800 Ma (Rodionov, et al., 2004).

There are one to eight BIFs present, and variably developed at Gongchangling. The BIFs individually range from several metres to several tens of metres in thickness, with strike lengths of from several hundred metres to 1 km. Textures within the BIFs are banded, paragneissic and massive. The ore minerals are coarse magnetite, quartz and minor amphibole. Moderate tonnages of high grade ores are known, with >50% Fe are mainly composed of magnetite, maghemitite, graphite, quartz, garnet, cummingtonite, pyrite and pyrrhopyrite with dominantly massive textures and local porous zones. The bulk of the BIF hoiwever has not been enriched (Rodionov, et al., 2004).

The Qidashan deposit (#Location: 41° 08' 20"N, 123° 20' 30"E) consists of layered bodies BIF units concordant with the host chlorite schist, mica schist, phyllite and quartzite of the Anshan Group. The BIFs are distributed over a stratigraphic thickness of up to 100 to 300 m and strike length of 15 km longand are composed of banded martite, magnetite and quartz. Most of the deposit has been oxidised and leached, although only about 1% of the orebody was high grade ore with > 50% Fe.

The Yingtaoyuan deposit (#Location: 41° 08' 40"N, 123° 05' 30"E) consists of concordant, BIF bodies within a sequence of sericite-chlorite schist, microgneiss, quartz phyllite and amphibolite which belong to the Upper Anshan Group and represent sedimentary protoliths metamorphosed to chlorite-amphibolite facies. The orebody occurs within one major unit of BIF development that is 100 to 340 m thick and occurs over a strike length of 10 km. The BIF is principally composed of banded magnetite and quartz with minor amphibole. Some zones of high grade banded martite-magnetite-quartz ore with >60% Fe occurs as irregular bodies, usually developed near fault zones. K-Ar isotopic dating of muscovite has yielded and age of 2428 Ma.

The Waitoushan deposit (#Location: 41° 30' 05"N, 123° 41' 15"E) comprises three separate BIF units, concordantly intercalated within a sequence of mild to intensely metamorphosed volcanic and sedimentary rock of the Archean Anshan Group. The following minerals assemblages are recorded within the BIF orebodies: i). actinolite-magnetite-quartzite - the dominant assemblage, which occurs in layers and masses with a fine crystalloblastic texture; ii). magnetite-actinolite (high grade ore); iii). actinolite-magnetite; iv). magnetite-dolostone; and v). magnetite-talc schist. Actinolite-magnetite-quartzite is the main assemblage and occurs in layers and masses with a fine crystalloblastic texture. Chlorite, cummingtonite, pyrite and biotite alteration is well developed, especially on the two limbs that contain high grade ore, on fold noses and adjacent to fault zones. Enrichment to form high grade zones is interpreted to be related to mesothermal hydrothermal processes.

The Nanfen, deposit (#Location: 41° 13' 40'' N, 124° 00' 00"E) is composed of BIF units hosted by the Dayugou Formation of the Archaean Anshan Group. The BIF units are concordant with the enclosing sequence of amphibolite, quartz chlorite schist and mica-quartz schist. The BIF is composed mainly of magnetite and hematite, with lesser pyrite, specularite, siderite and pseudomorphic hematite in a gangue of quartz, tremolite, minor muscovite, calcite, actinolite, talc and ferrodolomite. Accessary minerals are apatite and zircon. The BIFs are banded, laminated, schistose and massive, with mainly non-equagranular crystalloblastic and fibrous crsytalloblastic textures. The following minerals assemblages are recorded within the BIF orebodies: i). magnetite-quartzite; ii). tremolite-magnetite-quartzite; iii). magnetite-hematite-quartzite; iv). hematite-quartzite; and v). siderite-magnetite-quartzite. The wallrock alteration is limited and consists of chlorite, pyrite and muscovite.

Published resource figures are as follows (Rundqvist, et al., Vernadsky SGM, Moscow; Rodionov, et al., 2004, USGS Open File Rept. 2002; and USGS Open File 03-220):

      Gongchangling: 760 Mt @ 32.82% Fe
      Yanqianshan: 339 Mt @ 30.46% Fe
      Qidashan: 470 Mt @ 30.0% Fe
      Yingtaoyuan: Large, but not recorded
      Waitoushan: 292 Mt @ 31.28% to 33.05% Fe, 0 to 0.15% S, <0.1% P
      Nanfen: 1290 Mt @ 31.82% Fe, 49.73% SiO2, 0.38% S, 0.06% P

Those of this group of deposits that are exploited, dominantly Gongchangling, have supplied ore to the steelworks of the Anshan Iron & Steel Company.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2006.    
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:
Dai Y.P., Zhu, Y., Zhang, L. and Zhu, M.,  2018 - Meso- and Neoarchean Banded Iron Formations and Genesis of High-Grade Magnetite Ores in the Anshan-Benxi Area, North China Craton - A Reply: in    Econ. Geol.   v.113, pp. 994-996.
Dai Y.P., Zhu, Y., Zhang, L. and Zhu, M.,  2017 - Meso- and Neoarchean Banded Iron Formations and Genesis of High-Grade Magnetite Ores in the Anshan-Benxi Area, North China Craton: in    Econ. Geol.   v.112, pp. 1629-1651.
Peng, Z., Tong, X. and Wang, C.,  2018 - Meso- and Neoarchean Banded Iron Formations and Genesis of High-Grade Magnetite Ores in the Anshan-Benxi Area, North China Craton - A Discussion: in    Econ. Geol.   v.113, pp. 989-993.

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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