Metal sources of world-class polymetallic W–Sn Skarns in the Nanling Range, South China: Granites versus sedimentary rocks?
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Widespread, large-scale polymetallic W–Sn mineralization occurs throughout the Nanling Range (South China) dated 160–150Ma, and related to widely developed coeval granitic magmatism. Although intense research has been carried out on these deposits, the relative contribution of ore-forming elements either from granites or from surrounding strata is still debated. In addition, the factors controlling the primary metallogenic element in any given skarn deposit (e.g., W-dominated or Sn-dominated) are still unclear. Here, we select three of the most significant skarn-deposits (i.e., Huangshaping W–Mo–Sn, Shizhuyuan W–Sn–Mo–Bi and Xianghualing Sn), and compare their whole-rock geochemistry with the composition of associated granites and strata. The contents of Si, Al and most trace elements in skarns are controlled by the parent granite, whereas their Fe, Ca, Mg, Mn, Ti, Sr and REE patterns are strongly influenced by the wall rock. Samples from the Huangshaping skarn vary substantially in elemental composition, probably indicating their varied protoliths. Strata at the Shizhuyuan deposit exerted a strong control during metasomatism, whereas this occurred to a lesser degree at Huangshaping and Xianghualing. This correlates with increasing magma differentiation and increasing reduction state of granitic magmas, which along with the degree of stratigraphic fluid circulation, exert the primary control on dominant metallogenic species. We propose that wall rock sediments played an important role in the formation of W–Sn polymetallic mineralization in South China.
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