Special Issue "Application of Structural Analysis in Studies on Genesis and Exploration of Ore Deposits"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Exploration Methods and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 4788

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Huan Li
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Key Laboratory of Metallogenic Prediction of Nonferrous Metals and Geological Environment Monitoring, Ministry of Education, School of Geosciences and Info-Physics, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Interests: W-Sn deposits; Sb-Au deposits; tectonics and metallogeny; mineral resource prospecting and exploration
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Han Zheng
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Key Laboratory of Metallogenic Prediction of Nonferrous Metals and Geological Environment Monitoring, Ministry of Education, School of Geosciences and Info-Physics, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Interests: structural analysis; deformation localization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Structural analysis is critical to decipher the ore genesis and determine the exploration target of variable ore deposits. Structural controls are demonstrated for numerous deposit types, such as lode gold, copper–gold, epithermal gold, iron, magnetite, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, sediment-hosted copper, silver–zinc–lead, tungsten, uranium, VHMS, and SHMS. The list illustrates how widely applicable the structural analysis is, even in manganese and nickel laterite deposits, where structural controls are not commonly considered. At present, the application of structural analysis in the field of economic geology mainly focuses on two aspects. First, the formation process of ore deposits from the perspective of structural geology and tectonics, including hydrothermal fluid flow and mineral precipitation driven by tectonism, structural controls on both magmatic intrusions and associated mineralization, and thermodynamic analysis of deformation and mineralization related to non-equilibrium conditions. Second, delineation of ore bodies that aims to build accurate representations of structures, ore bodies, and geochemical or geophysical data, such as geometrical modeling, mechanical modeling, digital technologies for mapping and visualization, and drilling. This Special Issue focuses on recent advances in structural analysis related to genesis and exploration of ore deposits, including but not limited to topics of the listed classic ones. All cases that could give new insights into the theory and application of structural geology and economic geology may represent significant contributions to this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Huan Li
Dr. Han Zheng
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • structural control
  • deformation and mineralization
  • magmatism, hydrothermal fluid flow
  • modeling

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Velocity Structure and Cu-Au Mineralization of the Duobaoshan Ore District, NE China: Constrained by First-Arrival Seismic Tomography
Minerals 2022, 12(8), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12080959 - 28 Jul 2022
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Abstract
The genesis of deeply buried deposits in the Duobaoshan ore district, the largest porphyry-related Cu-Mo-Au ore field in northeastern China, is not well understood and their exploration is lacking because the fine velocity structure of this region is not comprehensively understood. Herein, first-arrival [...] Read more.
The genesis of deeply buried deposits in the Duobaoshan ore district, the largest porphyry-related Cu-Mo-Au ore field in northeastern China, is not well understood and their exploration is lacking because the fine velocity structure of this region is not comprehensively understood. Herein, first-arrival seismic travel times were picked along a deep seismic reflection profile and inverted using the tomographic method to obtain a detailed velocity profile of the upper 2900 m of the crust beneath this region. The profile showed that the velocity varied from 1900 to 6100 m/s and that the crust was subdivided into five parts by two low-velocity (2500–4000 m/s) blocks. Based on previous studies, the boundaries between the high-speed and low-speed bodies were interpreted as hidden fractures, and the 5000–6100 m/s parts were interpreted as concealed granite bodies in these sections. Porphyry copper deposits in the Duobaoshan ore district were related to the occulted granite bodies, and epithermal Au deposits were associated with the occulted fracture zones. Comprehensive evaluation of hydrothermal activity, regional magnetic anomalies, and deposit distribution indicated that the hidden fractures served as channels for ore-related magmas. Combining previous research on the Duobaoshan ore district with our results of the high-velocity interface, we infer that the prospecting range of the Tongshan deposit is below the depth of 1000 m. Full article
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Article
Structural Controls on Mineralization within the Huanggou Gold Deposit in the Southern Mesozoic Xuefengshan Orogen, South China
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12060751 - 14 Jun 2022
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Abstract
The Mesozoic Xuefengshan Orogen (XFSO) in South China hosts abundant gold ore deposits. The XFSO records a history of polyphase tectonic deformation and the structural controls on gold mineralization are poorly understood. The recently discovered quartz-vein type Huanggou gold deposit in the southern [...] Read more.
The Mesozoic Xuefengshan Orogen (XFSO) in South China hosts abundant gold ore deposits. The XFSO records a history of polyphase tectonic deformation and the structural controls on gold mineralization are poorly understood. The recently discovered quartz-vein type Huanggou gold deposit in the southern XFSO is characterized by multiple stages of deformation and represents an excellent natural laboratory for deciphering structural controls on gold mineralization in a complex orogenic belt. A systematic structural analysis indicates that the geometry of the Huanggou gold deposit and adjacent areas mainly resulted from four stages of deformation: (1) D1 top-to-the-NW sense of shearing; (2) D2 SE-directed back-folding and back-thrusting; (3) D3 NW–SE upright folding; and (4) D4 NW–SE normal faulting and fracturing. Two sets of quartz veins are exposed in the deposit: (1) SE-dipping Au-bearing quartz veins; and (2) NW-dipping non-mineralized quartz veins. The SE-dipping Au-bearing quartz veins were likely formed by the main deformation phase of the XFSO. During D1 top-to-the-NW simple shearing, these synkinematic Au-bearing quartz veins progressively evolved into sigmoidal shapes and rotated to a preferred SE-dipping orientation. Subsequently, D2 SE-directed back-folding and back-thrusting resulted in the formation of synkinematic NW-dipping non-mineralized quartz veins. D3 upright folding locally steepened the dips of both Au-bearing and non-mineralized quartz veins. Our results may provide new insights into the structural controls of gold mineralization in the XFSO. Full article
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Article
Structural Setting of the Sixtymile Gold District, Yukon, Canada: Insights into Regional Deformation and Mineralization from Field Mapping and 3D Magnetic Inversion
Minerals 2022, 12(3), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12030291 - 25 Feb 2022
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Abstract
The Sixtymile gold district, Yukon, Canada has been mined for placer gold since the late 19th century. However, increasing demand for gold has prompted exploration of new lode deposits. Previous studies in the nearby Klondike gold district have shown correlation between placer deposits [...] Read more.
The Sixtymile gold district, Yukon, Canada has been mined for placer gold since the late 19th century. However, increasing demand for gold has prompted exploration of new lode deposits. Previous studies in the nearby Klondike gold district have shown correlation between placer deposits and bedrock occurrences. Poor bedrock exposure and a complex deformation history, however, make it difficult to determine structural controls on gold mineralization. Through structural analysis involving mesoscopic-scale field observations of fractures, faults, foliation, and folds, and 3D geophysical inversion, the goal of this study was to determine the structural setting of the Sixtymile district to enhance discovery success. Structural measurements in the Glacier Creek, Miller Creek, Bedrock Creek, and Sixtymile River areas show the relationships among the orientations of foliation, fractures, and veins. In most localities, veins are found both parallel and at high angles to foliation, and there is generally a weaker correlation between fractures and veins compared to between foliation and veins. This correlation between foliation and veins is corroborated by inferred gold-bearing horizons from gold assay data. Outcrops of oblique reverse and strike-slip faults, possibly related to a larger-scale thrust-zone, and to the left-lateral Sixtymile-Pika Fault, respectively, were documented for the first time in this study. The results of the 3D probabilistic inversion of total magnetic intensity data for magnetic susceptibility show that magnetic susceptibility highs are preferentially associated with volcanics, but also point to possible intrusive bodies or hydrothermal alteration zones associated with mineralization. A geologic cross-section through the lithologies demonstrates highly variable deformation styles, including extensive folding, possibly indicative of a multiphase deformational history necessitating further, more detailed investigations of the area. Full article
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Article
Passive Structural Control on Skarn Mineralization Localization: A Case Study from the Variscan Rosas Shear Zone (SW Sardinia, Italy)
Minerals 2022, 12(2), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12020272 - 21 Feb 2022
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Abstract
The case study presented here deals with the Pb-Zn-Cu skarn ores hosted in the Rosas Shear Zone (RSZ), a highly strained domain located in the external zone of the Sardinian Variscan chain. The RSZ is characterized by several tectonic slices of Cambrian limestones [...] Read more.
The case study presented here deals with the Pb-Zn-Cu skarn ores hosted in the Rosas Shear Zone (RSZ), a highly strained domain located in the external zone of the Sardinian Variscan chain. The RSZ is characterized by several tectonic slices of Cambrian limestones within a strongly folded and foliated Cambrian-Ordovician siliciclastic succession, intruded by late Variscan granites and mafic dykes. Based on geological mapping, structural and microscope analyses, our results show that the skarn ores in the RSZ are an example of passive structurally controlled mineralization. The RSZ was structured close to the brittle–ductile transition and, once exhumed to shallower crustal levels, acted as plumbing system favoring a large-scale granite-related fluid circulation. The paragenesis and the mineralization style of the skarn vary slightly according to the peculiarity of the local structural setting: a tectonic slice adjacent to the mafic dyke; an intensely sheared zone or a discrete thrust surface. Full article
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Article
Application and Significance of Geological, Geochemical, and Geophysical Methods in the Nanpo Gold Field in Laos
Minerals 2022, 12(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12010096 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 513
Abstract
As the main part of the Indosinian metallogenic province in the eastern part of the Tethys metallogenic domain, Southeast Asia has experienced multiple stages of tectonic magnetic activities accompanied by the formation of rich mineral resources. However, due to the undeveloped economy, low [...] Read more.
As the main part of the Indosinian metallogenic province in the eastern part of the Tethys metallogenic domain, Southeast Asia has experienced multiple stages of tectonic magnetic activities accompanied by the formation of rich mineral resources. However, due to the undeveloped economy, low degree of geological work, dense vegetation cover, and lack of obvious prospecting marks, traditional geological prospecting work in the area is not optimal. Consequently, the combination of high-precision geophysics and geochemistry has become an important method of looking for ore bodies deep underground in this area. The Nanpo gold deposit is a hydrothermal gold deposit that occurs in the Indosinian felsic volcanic rock body, and its mineralization is closely related to felsic magmatism. This study carried out comprehensive geophysical and geochemical exploration methods of soil geochemical survey, induced polarization (IP) survey, and audio-frequency magnetotelluric (AMT) survey. Based on the characteristics of geophysical and geochemical anomalies, geological inference, and interpretation, the integrated geophysical and geochemical prospecting criteria of the ore area have been determined: The large-scale and overlapping Au-Ag-Cu anomaly area in the host felsic magmatic rocks (mainly diorite, monzodiorite and granodiorite) is a favorable metallogenic area. Two anomalies, P1–H1 and P3–H6, with the best metallogenetic conditions and the deepest extensions of the known ore bodies, were further selected as engineering verification targets. After the study of the drill core, gold (mineralized) bodies consistent with the anomalies were found, indicating that the combined method is suitable for the exploration of mineral resources in this area, and the prospecting effect is good. At the same time, the metallogenic prediction shows that the deep part of the mining area still has great metallogenic prospects and prospecting potential. The characteristics of geophysical and geochemical anomalies and prospecting experience in the study area can provide references for the prospecting of hydrothermal gold deposits in the Luang Prabang–Loei structural belt. Full article
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Article
Mineralization and Structural Controls of the AB-Bid Carbonate-Hosted Pb-Zn (±Cu) Deposit, Tabas-Posht e Badam Metallogenic Belt, Iran
Minerals 2022, 12(1), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12010095 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 548
Abstract
The Ab-Bid deposit, located in the Tabas-Posht e Badam metallogenic belt (TPMB) in Central Iran, is the largest Pb-Zn (±Cu) deposit in the Behadad-Kuhbanan mining district. Sulfide mineralization in the Ab-Bid deposit formed in Middle Triassic carbonate rocks and contains galena and sphalerite [...] Read more.
The Ab-Bid deposit, located in the Tabas-Posht e Badam metallogenic belt (TPMB) in Central Iran, is the largest Pb-Zn (±Cu) deposit in the Behadad-Kuhbanan mining district. Sulfide mineralization in the Ab-Bid deposit formed in Middle Triassic carbonate rocks and contains galena and sphalerite with minor pyrite, chalcopyrite, chalcocite, and barite. Silicification and dolomitization are the main wall-rock alteration styles. Structural and textural observations indicate that the mineralization occurs as fault fills with coarse-textured, brecciated, and replacement sulfides deposited in a bookshelf structure. The Ab-Bid ore minerals precipitated from high temperature (≈180–200 °C) basinal brines within the dolomitized and silicified carbonates. The sulfur isotope values of ore sulfides suggest a predominant thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR) process, and the sulfur source was probably Triassic-Jurassic seawater sulfate. Given the current evidence, mineralization at Ab-Bid resulted from focusing of heated, over-pressurized brines of modified basinal origin into an active fault system. The association of the sulfide mineralization with intensely altered wall rock represents a typical example of such features in the Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) metallogenic domain of the TPMB. According to the structural data, the critical ore control is a bookshelf structure having mineralized dextral strike-slip faults in the northern part of the Ab-Bid reverse fault, which seems to be part of a sinistral brittle shear zone. Structural relationships also indicate that the strata-bound, fault-controlled Ab-Bid deposit was formed after the Middle Jurassic, and its formation may be related to compressive and deformation stages of the Mid-Cimmerian in the Middle Jurassic to Laramide orogenic cycle in the Late Cretaceous-Tertiary. Full article
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