Tsagaan Suvarga


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The Tsagaan-Suvarga porphyry copper-molybdenum deposit is located approximately 150 km to the northeast of the Oyu Tolgoi deposit in southern Mongolia

Like Oyu Tolgoi, it lies within the Gurvansayhan Terrane, part of the Upper Palaeozoic Kazakh-Mongol magmatic arc in the southern domain of Mongolia, and has been dated at approximately 365 Ma (Lamb and Cox, 1998) and 370.6±1.2 Ma (Watanabe and Stein, 2000).

For more detail of the regional setting (see the separate Oyu Tolgoi description).

The published resource at the deposit is 240 Mt @ 0.53% Cu, 0.018% Mo.

Arc magmatism within southern Mongolia was intermittent through the Late Palaeozoic to the Permian and was predominantly of calc-alkaline to potassic calc-alkaline composition, with a minor alkaline component. The main activity within the arc persisted to at least 365 Ma before shifting south during the Carboniferous.

The deposit lies within the Late Devonian to early Carboniferous Tsagaan-Suvarga intrusive complex, which includes gabbro, diorite and syenite, but is predominantly syenogranite with subordinate granodiorite, and is fringed by Carboniferous and Jurassic-Cretaceous volcanic and sedimentary rocks.

The final stages of the Tsagaan-Suvarga complex are represented by a series of intrusive stocks and dykes in its north and NW, composed of granite, granite porphyry and syenogranite porphyry (Jargalsaihan, 1996). K-Ar ages for these plutonic rocks vary from 265 to 339 Ma (Sotnikov et al., 1974; Japan International Cooperation Agency, 1992). A porphyritic fine-grained leucogranite yielded a 40Ar/39Ar K feldspar date of 324.6±7 Ma (Berzina et al., 1999). A 40Ar/39Ar weighted mean age for a post-mineralisation unaltered monzonite porphyry dyke is 313.0±5.8 Ma (Lamb and Cox, 1998).

Mineralisation within the complex and at Tsagaan-Suvarga is associated with these late stage intrusives. Both the intrusive complex and the overlying Carboniferous volcano-sedimentary sequence are cut by hornblende syenite and monzonite porphyries (Lamb and Cox, 1998; Watanabe and Stein, 2000).

The Tsagaan-Suvarga deposit comprises quartz-chalcopyrite stockwork mineralisation which is developed over an area of 1000 x 300 m, and has been traced by drilling to a depth of 600 m. K silicates (mainly K feldspar) are the dominant alteration, overprinted by sulphide bearing 'bands' of sericite reaching tens of centimetres in thickness. The major ore minerals are chalcopyrite, bornite, molybdenite and pyrite, which are concentrated in the sericitic bands. A supergene chalcocite blanket has also been developed over the deposit (Lamb and Cox, 1998; Watanabe and Stein, 2000).

Lamb and Cox (1998) reported a
40Ar/39Ar weighted mean age of 364.9±7.0 Ma for sericite from a relict of the main orebody in the supergene chalcocite blanket. Molybdenite from a K feldspar altered granite sample with sericite bands several centimeters thick containing molybdenite and disseminated pyrite yielded an Re-Os age of 370.4±0.8 Ma (Watanabe and Stein, 2000).

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:
Tungalag, N., Jargalan, S., Khashgerel, B.-E., Mijiddorj, C. and Kavalieris, I.,  2019 - Characteristics of the Late Devonian Tsagaan Suvarga Cu-Mo deposit, Southern Mongolia: in    Mineralium Deposita   v.54, pp. 369-380.
Watanabe Y, Stein H J  2000 - Re-Os ages for the Erdenet and Tsagaan Suvarga porphyry Cu-Mo deposits, Mongolia and tectonic implications: in    Econ. Geol.   v95 pp 1537-1542
Zeng, Q., Qin, K., Liu, J., Li, G., Zhai, M., Chu, S. and Gua, Y.,  2015 - Porphyry molybdenum deposits in the Tianshan-Xingmeng orogenic belt, northern China: in    International Journal of Earth Science (Geologische Rundschau)   v.104, pp. 991-1023.

   References in PGC Publishing Books: Want any of our books ? Pricelist
Seltmann R and Porter T M, 2005 - The Porphyry Cu-Au/Mo Deposits of Central Eurasia: 1. Tectonic, Geologic & Metallogenic Setting and Significant Deposits,   in  Porter T M, (Ed),  Super Porphyry Copper and Gold Deposits: A Global Perspective,  v2  pp 467-512
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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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