The Luziyuan Pb–Zn skarn deposit, located in the Baoshan–Narong–Dongzhi block metallogenic belt in SW China, is hosted by marble and slate in the upper Cambrian Shahechang Formation. Three skarn zones have been identified from the surface (1495 m above sea level (asl)) to a depth of 1220 m asl: zone 1 consists of chlorite–actinolite–calcite–quartz, zone 2 of rhodonite–actinolite–fluorite–quartz–calcite, and zone 3 contains garnet–rhodonite–actinolite–fluorite–quartz–calcite. The deposit formed in four distinct mineralization stages: an early anhydrous skarn (garnet, rhodonite and bustamite) stage (Stage 1), a hydrous skarn (actinolite and chlorite) stage (Stage 2), an early quartz (coarse barren quartz veins) stage (Stage 3) and a late sulphide-forming (fine sulphide-bearing quartz veins) stage (Stage 4). The Stage 1 skarn-forming fluid temperature was at least 500 °C according to the geothermometer with rhodonite/bustamite trace elements measured by laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). A decrease in ore fluid temperatures with time is consistent with the decreases in the δ18Ofluid and δDfluid values from Stage 3 to 4. This trend suggests that the ore fluid was mainly derived from magmatic water and mixed with large amounts of meteoric water during mineralization. The δ34S values of Stage 4 chalcopyrite, sphalerite and galena are similar to those of an Ordovician gypsum layer, and together with the high-salinity fluids in Stage 4 indicate the dissolution of evaporites in the Luziyuan region. Overall, the results of this study suggest that the Luziyuan deposit is a distal Pb–Zn skarn deposit that formed in response to multi-stage alteration associated with a combination of magmatic water and meteoric water.