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Hydrothermal apatite as a robust U-Th-Pb chronometer for the Carlin-type gold deposits in the Youjiang basin, SW China TEXT SIZE: A A A

The formation of Carlin-type gold deposits is poorly constrained, mainly due to the lack of accurate ages for gold mineralization. The Youjiang basin, SW China, represents the world's second-largest Carlin-type gold province after NV, USA. In this paper, we use hydrothermal apatite U-Th-Pb dating to systemically determine the mineralization ages of five Carlin-type gold deposits, namely, Shuiyindong, Jinfeng, Zimudang, Linwang, and Jinya, in the Youjiang basin. The hydrothermal apatite is characterized by intimate intergrowth with gold-bearing sulfides, presence of primary fluid inclusions, irregular morphology and cathodoluminescence zoning, and MREE-enriched composition patterns, indicating that it is clearly associated and coeval with gold mineralization. The concentrations of lattice-bound U and Th in the apatite are highly variable, making it suitable for in situ secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) U-Th-Pb dating. The dating results of hydrothermal apatite from the five deposits show that they formed at ca. 150-140 Ma, contemporary with the widespread felsic magmatism and associated W-Sn mineralization to the east of the Youjiang basin, probably in response to slab breakup of the Paleo-Pacific oceanic plate beneath the South China continental plate. Our case story suggests that hydrothermal apatite could be a robust chronometer for age dating of sedimentary rock-hosted gold mineralization worldwide.

Publication name

 Mineralium Deposita, DOI 10.1007/s00126-023-01196-6, Early Access AUG 2023


 Gao, Wei; Hu, Ruizhong; Huang, Yong; Zhu, Jingjing; Li, Qiuli; Mei, Lu; Bi, Xianwu; Liu, Jianzhong

Corresponding author(s) 

 Hu, Ruizhong; Huang, Yong
 huruizhong@vip.gyig.ac.cn; huangyong@mail.gyig.ac.cn
 Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geochem, State Key Lab Ore Deposit Geochem, Guiyang 550081, Peoples R China
 Hu, Ruizhong
 Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Coll Earth & Planetary Sci, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China
 Huang, Yong
 China Geol Survey, Geosci Innovat Ctr Southwest China, Chengdu Ctr, Chengdu 610218, Peoples R China

Author(s) from IGCAS   Hu, Ruizhong; Huang, Yong; Gao, Wei; Zhu, Jingjing; Mei, Lu; Bi, Xianwu

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