Granite-related Yangjiashan tungsten deposit, southern China
The Yangjiashan scheelite-bearing deposit (38,663 metric tons of WO3 with an average ore grade of 0.70% WO3) is hosted in quartz veins in a biotite monzogranite intrusion and surrounding slate in the Xiangzhong Metallogenic Province of southern China. The monzogranite has a zircon SHRIMP U–Pb age of 406.6 ± 2.8 Ma (2σ, n = 20, MSWD = 1.4). Cassiterite coexisting with scheelite yields a weighted mean 206Pb/238U age of 409.8 ± 5.9 Ma (2σ, n = 30, MSWD = 0.20), and molybdenite intergrown with scheelite yields a weighted mean Re–Os age of 404.2 ± 3.2 Ma (2σ, n = 3, MSWD = 0.10). These results suggest that the Yangjiashan tungsten deposit is temporally related to the Devonian intrusion. The δD and calculated δ18OH2O values of quartz intergrown with scheelite range from − 87 to − 68‰, and − 1.2 to 3.4‰, respectively. Sulfides have a narrow range of δ34S values of − 2.9 to − 0.7‰ with an average value of − 1.6‰ (n = 16). The integration of geological, stable isotope, and geochronological data, combined with the quartz–muscovite greisen style of ore, supports a magmatic–hydrothermal origin for the tungsten mineralization. Compared to the more common tungsten skarn, quartz–wolframite vein, and porphyry tungsten deposits, as well as orogenic gold deposits worldwide, the Yangjiashan tungsten deposit is an unusual example of a granite-related, gold-poor, scheelite-bearing quartz vein type of deposit. The calcium needed for the formation of scheelite is derived from the sericitization of calcic plagioclase in the monzogranite and Ca-bearing psammitic country rocks, and the relatively high pH, reduced and Ca-rich mineralizing fluid may be the main reasons for the formation of scheelite rather than wolframite at Yangjiashan.