The Yuchiling Mo deposit, East Qinling, China, belongs to a typical porphyry Mo system associated with high-K calc-alkaline intrusions. The pure CO2 (PC), CO2-bearing (C), aqueous H2O-NaCI (W), and daughter mineral-bearing (S) fluid inclusions were observed in the hydrothermal quartz. Based on field investigations, petrographic, microthermometric and LA-ICP-MS studies of fluid inclusions, we develop a five-stage fluid evolution model to understand the ore-forming processes of the Yuchiling deposit. The earliest barren quartz +/- potassic feldspar veins, developed in intensively potassic alteration, were crystallized from carbonic-dominant fluids at high temperature (>416 degrees C) and high pressure (>133 MPa). Following the barren quartz potassic feldspar veins are quartz-pyrite veins occasionally containing minor K-feldspar and molybdenite, which were formed by immiscible fluids at pressures of 47-159 MPa and temperatures of 360-400 degrees C. The fluids were characterized by high CO2 contents (approximately 8 mol%) and variable salinities, as well as the highest Mo contents that resulted in the development of quartz-molybdenite veins. The quartz-molybdenite veins, accounting for >90% Mo in the orebody, were also formed by immiscible fluids with lower salinity and lower CO2 content of 7 mol%, at temperatures of 340-380 degrees C and pressures of 39-137 MPa, as constrained by fluid inclusion assemblages. After the main Mo-mineralization, the uneconomic Cu-Pb-Zn mineralization occurred, as represented by quartz-polymetallic sulfides veins consisting of pyrite, molybdenite, chalcopyrite, digenite, galena, sphalerite and quartz. The quartz-polymetallic sulfide veins were formed by fluids containing 5 mol% CO2, with minimum pressures of 32-110 MPa and temperatures of 260-300 degrees C. Finally, the fluids became dilute (5 wt.% NaCI equiv) and CO2-poor, which caused the formation of late barren quartz+ carbonate fluorite veins at 140-180 degrees C and 18-82 MPa. It is clear that the fluids became more dilute, CO2-poor, and less fertile, with decreasing temperature and pressure from quartz-pyrite to late barren veins. Molybdenite and other sulfides can only be observed in the middle three stages, i.e., quartz-pyrite, quartz-molybdenite and quartz-polymetallic sulfide veins. These three kinds of veins are generally hosted in potassic altered rocks with remarkable K-feldspathization, but always partly overprinted by phyllic alteration. The traditional porphyry-style potassic-phyllic-propylitic alteration zoning is not conspicuous at Yuchiling, which may be related to, and characteristic of, the CO2-rich fluids derived from the magmas generated in intercontinental collision orogens. Among the fluid inclusions at Yuchiling, only the C-type contains maximum detectable Mo that gradationally decreases from 73 ppm in quartz-pyrite veins, through 19 ppm in quartz-molybdenite veins, and to 13 ppm in quartz-polymetallic sulfide veins, coinciding well with the decreasing CO2 contents from 8 mol%, through 7 mol%, to 5 mol%, respectively. Hence it is suggested that decreasing CO2 possibly results in decreasing Mo concentration in the fluids, as well as the precipitation of molybdenite from the fluids. This direct relationship might be a common characteristic for other porphyry Mo systems in the world. The Yuchiling Mo deposit represents a new type Mo mineralization, with features of collision-related setting, high-K calc-alkaline intrusion, CO2-rich fluid, and unique wall-rock alterations characterized by strong K-feldspathization and fluoritization.
2012. Vol. 48, 442-459 p.