Metallogenesis of the Xinjiang Orogens, NW China – New discoveries and ore genesis
Abstract The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in NW China occupies around 1/6 of the total China land size, and contains components of both the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) and Paleo-Tethyan Orogenic Belt (PTOB). The Paleozoic CAOB is situated in the northern and central parts of Xinjiang, whilst the Paleozoic-Mesozoic PTOB is mainly located in the southern part of Xinjiang. These orogenic belts were formed by the multiphase Paleozoic-Mesozoic terrane accretions and collisions enacted by the Paleo-Asian Ocean and Paleo-Tethys closure, a process that has also generated many well-endowed tectono-metallogenic belts. From north to south, these belts include the Chinese Altay, the Junggar, the Chinese Tianshan and the Kunlun, Alytn and Qimantage mountains. Since the late 1990s, especially in the past 10 years, many Au, Cu, Fe and Pb-Zn deposits have been discovered. These ore deposits commonly show clear but complex relationships with the orogenic processes. Detailed studies of these mineral systems and their associated magmatic-metamorphic events and structural deformation would significantly improve our understanding of the metallogenic evolution of the CAOB and PTOB in Xinjiang. The 33 papers presented in this special issue, which represents the first collective work of Xinjiang mineral resources in international journals, are aimed to convey the latest research findings on key Au, Cu, Fe-(Cu), Pb-Zn and other metal deposits in Xinjiang. It is our wish that this special issue could enhance our knowledge on the nature and evolution of the metallogenesis in the Xinjiang orogens, and reinforce the foundation for future mineral research and exploration.