Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-jqctd Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-27T04:40:01.565Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Texture and composition of magnetite in the Duotoushan deposit, NW China: implications for ore genesis of Fe–Cu deposits

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2020

Xia Hu
Key Laboratory of Mineralogy and Metallogeny, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou510640, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China Département de Géologie et de Génie Géologique, Université Laval, Québec, QCG1V 0A6, Canada
Huayong Chen*
Key Laboratory of Mineralogy and Metallogeny, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou510640, China Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Mineral Physics and Materials, Guangzhou510640, China
Xiaowen Huang
State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang550081, China
Weifeng Zhang
Wuhan Center of China Geological Survey, Wuhan430205, China
*Author for correspondence: Huayong Chen, Email:


The Duotoushan deposit is an important Fe–Cu deposit in the Aqishan–Yamansu metallogenic belt of eastern Tianshan, NW China. Magnetite occurs in two main habits which are common in many Fe–Cu deposits, i.e. platy (TD1 Mag) and granular magnetite (TD2 Mag) have been identified at Duotoushan. Platy magnetite shows two different zones (bright and dark) based on the observations by scanning electron microscopy. The bright part (TD1-L) is the main part of TD1 magnetite and lacks inclusions. The dark part (TD1-D) is very porous and has abundant tiny silicate inclusions. Granular magnetite is usually anhedral with obvious oscillatory zoning in back-scattered electron images. In general, the dark zones of magnetite are characterised by greater Si, Ca, Al and lesser Fe contents than the bright zones. In situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis shows that the lattice parameter of TD1 magnetite is approximately equal to that of standard magnetite and slightly higher than that of TD2 magnetite, indicating that some cations with ionic radii smaller than those of Fe2+ or Fe3+ entered the magnetite lattice by simple or coupled substitution mechanisms in TD2 magnetite.

The results in the present study show that the effects of temperature and $f_{{\rm O}_ 2}$ on platy magnetite are very limited and the changing fluid composition might be the major controlling factor for the formation of Duotoushan platy magnetite. Although the possibility that mushketovite transformed from hematite cannot be excluded entirely, evidence from in situ XRD data, pore-volume ratio calculation and the growth habit of intergrown minerals indicates that platy magnetite (TD1) coexisting with amphibole was more likely to have been precipitated originally from hydrothermal fluid. This was then affected by changes in the fluid composition which consequently led to dissolution of primary magnetite (TD1-L) and re-precipitation of TD1-D magnetite (with abundant porosity and mineral inclusions). Meanwhile, granular magnetite (TD2) with oscillatory zoning, and coexisting with epidote and quartz, was precipitated from fluid with periodic variation in temperature. These oscillatory zones are characterised by bands enriched in Si, Al and Ca alternating with bands depleted in these elements. The present investigation revealed a complex evolutionary process for magnetite formation in the Duotoushan deposit. The importance of combined investigation of texture and compositional characterisation of magnetite for study of the ore genesis and evolution of Fe–Cu deposits is highlighted.

Copyright © The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Associate Editor: Andrew G. Christy


Alaminia, Z., Tadayon, M., Finger, F., Lentz, D.R. and Waitzinger, M. (2020) Analysis of the infiltrative metasomatic relationships controlling skarn mineralization at the Abbas-Abad Fe–Cu Deposit, Isfahan, north Zefreh Fault, Central Iran. Ore Geology Reviews, 117, Scholar
Apukhtina, O.B., Kamenetsky, V.S., Ehrig, K., Kamenetsky, M.B., Maas, R., Thompson, J., McPhie, J., Ciobanu, C.L. and Cook, N.J. (2017) Early, deep magnetite-fluorapatite mineralization at Olympic Dam Cu-U-Au deposit, South Australia. Economic Geology, 112, 15311542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Balan, E., De Villiers, J.P.R., Eeckhout, S.G., Glatzel, P., Toplis, M.J. and Fritsch, E. (2006) The oxidation state of vanadium in titanomagnetite from layered basic intrusions. American Mineralogist, 91, 953956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Canil, D., Grondahl, C., Lacourse, T. and Pisiak, L.K. (2016) Trace elements in magnetite from porphyry Cu–Mo–Au deposits in British Columbia, Canada. Ore Geology Reviews, 72, 11161128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carew, M.J. (2004) Controls on Cu-Au mineralization and Fe oxide metasomatism in the Eastern Fold Belt, N.W. Queensland, Australia. PhD thesis, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia.Google Scholar
Chen, Y.J., Ni, P., Fan, H.R., Pirajno, F., Lai, Y., Su, W.C. and Zhang, H. (2007) Diagnostic fluid inclusions of different types hydrothermal gold deposits. Acta Petrologia Sinica, 23(9), 20852108 [in Chinese with English abstract].Google Scholar
Chen, Y.J., Zhai, M.G. and Jiang, S.Y. (2009) Significant achievements and open issues in study of orogenesis and metallogenesis surrounding the North China continent. Acta Petrologia Sinica, 25(11), 26952726 [in Chinese with English abstract].Google Scholar
Chen, Y.J., Pirajno, F., Wu, G., Qi, J.P. and Xiong, X.L. (2012) Epithermal deposits in north Xinjiang, NW China. International Journal of Earth Science, 101, 889917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chen, W.T., Zhou, M.F., Gao, J.F. and Hu, R. (2015) Geochemistry of magnetite from Proterozoic Fe–Cu deposits in the Kangdian metallogenic province, SW China. Mineralium Deposita, 50, 795809.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ciobanu, C.L. and Cook, N.J. (2004) Skarn textures and a case study: the Ocna de Fier-Dognecea orefield, Banat, Romania. Ore Geology Reviews, 24, 315370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dare, S.A.S., Barnes, S.J. and Beaudoin, G. (2012) Variation in trace element content of magnetite crystallized from a fractionating sulfide liquid, Sudbury, Canada: Implications for provenance discrimination. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 88, 2750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dare, S.A.S., Barnes, S.J., Beaudoin, G., Méric, J., Boutroy, E. and Potvin-Doucet, C. (2014) Trace elements in magnetite as petrogenetic indicators. Mineralium Deposita, 49, 785796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dare, S.A.S., Barnes, S.J. and Beaudoin, G. (2015) Did the massive magnetite ‘‘lava flows” of El Laco (Chile) form by magmatic or hydrothermal processes? New constraints from magnetite composition by LA-ICP-MS. Mineralium Deposita, 50, 607617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Deditius, A.P., Reich, M., Simon, A.C., Suvorova, A., Knipping, J., Roberts, M.P., Rubanov, S., Dodd, A. and Saunders, M. (2018) Nanogeochemistry of hydrothermal magnetite. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 173, 46, Scholar
Deng, X.H., Wang, J.B., Wang, Y.W., Li, Y.C., Fang, T.H. and Mao, Q.G. (2014) Geological characteristics of the Hongshi Cu–Au deposit, eastern Tianshan, Xinjiang and discussion of the deposit genesis. Mineral Exploration, 5(2), 159168 [in Chinese with English abstract].Google Scholar
Dupuis, C. and Beaudoin, G. (2011) Discriminant diagrams for iron oxide trace element fingerprinting of mineral deposit types. Mineralium Deposita, 46, 319335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Felipe, I.D., Fanlo, I., Mateo, E. and Subias, I. (2014) The Bizielle vein (valle de Gistain): A case of iron oxide transformations at the Pyrenees of Spain. Chemie der Erde, 74, 7785.Google Scholar
Fukasawa, T., Iwatsuki, M. and Furukawa, M. (1993) State analysis and relationship between lattice constants and compositions including minor elements of synthetic magnetite and maghemite. Analytica Chimica Acta, 281(2), 413419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Günther, T., Klemd, R., Zhang, X., Horn, I. and Weyer, S. (2017) In-situ trace element and Fe-isotope studies on magnetite of the volcanic-hosted Zhibo and Chagangnuoer iron ore deposits in the Western Tianshan, NW China. Chemical Geology, 453, 111127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heidarian, H., Lentz, D., Alirezaei, S., Peighambari, S. and Hall, D. (2016) Using the chemical analysis of magnetite to constrain various stages in the formation and genesis of the Kiruna-type chadormalu magnetite–apatite deposit, Bafq district, Central Iran. Mineralogy and Petrology, 110, 927942.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hou, T., Zhang, Z.C., Santosh, M., Encarnacion, J., Zhu, J. and Luo, W.Q. (2014) Geochronology and geochemistry of submarine volcanic rocks in the Yamansu iron deposit, Eastern Tianshan Mountains, NW China: constraints on the metallogenesis. Ore Geology Reviews, 56, 487502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hu, H., Li, J.W., Lentz, D., Ren, Z., Zhao, X.F., Deng, X.D. and Hall, D. (2014) Dissolution–re-precipitation process of magnetite from the Chengchao iron deposit: insights into ore genesis and implication for in-situ chemical analysis of magnetite. Ore Geology Reviews, 57, 393405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hu, H., Lentz, D., Li, J.W., McCarron, T., Zhao, X.F. and Hall, D. (2015) Reequilibration processes in magnetite from iron skarn deposits. Economic Geology, 110(1), 18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hu, X., Chen, H.Y., Zhao, L.D., Han, J.S. and Xia, X.P. (2017) Magnetite geochemistry of the Longqiao and Tieshan Fe-(Cu) deposits in the Middle-Lower Yangtze River Belt: Implications for deposit type and ore genesis. Ore Geology Reviews, 89, 823835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hu, X., Chen, H.Y., Beaudoin, G. and Zhang, Y. (2020) Textural and compositional evolution of iron oxides at Mina Justa (Peru): Implications for mushketovite and formation of IOCG deposits. American Mineralogist, 105, 397408.Google Scholar
Huang, X.W., Qi, L., Gao, J.F. and Zhou, M.F. (2013) First reliable Re-Os ages of pyrite and stable isotope compositions of Fe (-Cu) deposits in the Hami Region, Eastern Tianshan Orogenic Belt, NW China. Resource Geology, 63, 166187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huang, X.W., Qi, L. and Meng, Y.M. (2014) Trace element geochemistry of magnetite from the Fe (-Cu) deposits in the Hami Region, Eastern Tianshan Orogenic Belt, NW China. Acta Geologica Sinica, 88(1), 176195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huang, X.W., Zhou, M.F., Qiu, Y.Z., Qi, L. (2015a) In-situ LA-ICP-MS trace elemental analyses of magnetite: The Bayan Obo Fe-REE-Nb deposit, North China. Ore Geology Reviews, 65, 884899.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huang, X.W., Gao, J.F., Qi, L., Zhou, M.F. (2015b) In-situ LA-ICP-MS trace elemental analyses of magnetite and Re-Os dating of pyrite: The Tianhu hydrothermally remobilized sedimentary Fe deposit, NW China. Ore Geology Reviews, 65, 900916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huang, X.W., Gao, J.F., Qi, L., Meng, Y.M., Wang, Y.C. and Dai, Z.H. (2016) In-situ LA-ICP-MS trace elements analysis of magnetite: The Fenghuangshan Cu-Fe-Au deposit, Tongling, Eastern China. Ore Geology Reviews, 72, 746759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huang, X.W., Zhou, M.F., Beaudoin, G., Gao, J.F., Qi, L. and Lyu, C. (2018) Origin of the volcanic-hosted Yamansu Fe deposit, eastern Tianshan, NW China: constraints from pyrite Re-Os isotopes, stable isotopes, and in situ magnetite trace elements. Mineralium Deposita, 53, 10391060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huang, X.W. and Beaudoin, G. (2019) Textures and chemical compositions of magnetite from iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) and kiruna-type iron oxide-apatite (IOA) deposits and their implications for ore genesis and magnetite classification schemes. Economic Geology, 114(5), 953979. Scholar
Jia, G.Z. and Zhao, D.H. (2017) Geological characteristics and genetic model of the Duotoushan iron deposit, Xinjiang, China. Xinjiang Non-Ferrous Metals, 3, 4851 [in Chinese].Google Scholar
Knipping, J.L., Bilenker, L.D., Simon, A.C., Reich, M., Barra, F., Deditius, A.P., Lundstrom, C., Bindeman, I. and Munizaga, R. (2015a) Giant Kiruna-type deposits form by efficient flotation of magmatic magnetite suspensions. Geology, 43, 591594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Knipping, J.L., Bilenker, L.D., Simon, A.C., Reich, M., Barra, F., Deditius, A.P., Wälle, M., Heinrich, C.A., Holtz, F. and Munizaga, R. (2015b) Trace elements in magnetite from massive iron oxide-apatite deposits indicate a combined formation by igneous and magmatic-hydrothermal processes. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 171, 1538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, S.R. (2008) Crystallography and Mineralogy. Higher Education Press, Beijing, pp. 1415.Google Scholar
Lindsley, D.H. (1976) The crystal chemistry and structure of oxide minerals as exemplified by the Fe–Ti oxides. Pp. L1L60 in: Oxide Minerals (Rumble, D. III, editor). Reviews in Mineralogy. Mineralogical Society of America, Chantilly, Virginia, USA.Google Scholar
Liu, X.M., Fu, S.Y. and Xiao, H.M. (2006) Fabrication of octahedral magnetite microcrystals. Materials Letters, 60, 29792983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Makvandi, S., Beaudoin, G., McClenaghan, B.M. and Layton-Matthews, D. (2015) The surface texture and morphology of magnetite from the Izok Lake volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit and local glacial sediments, Nunavut, Canada: application to mineral exploration. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 150, 84103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Makvandi, S., Ghasemzadeh-Barvarz, M., Beaudoin, G., Grunsky, E.C., McClenaghan, M.B. and Duchesne, C. (2016) Principal component analysis of magnetite composition from volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits: Case studies from the Izok Lake (Nunavut, Canada) and Halfmile Lake (New Brunswick, Canada) deposits. Ore Geology Reviews, 72, 6085.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McIntire, W.L. (1963) Trace element partition coefficients—a review of theory and applications to geology. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 27, 12091264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mucke, A. and Cabral, A.R. (2005) Redox and nonredox reactions of magnetite and hematite in rocks. Chemie der Erde, 65, 271278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nadoll, P., Mauk, J.L., Hayes, T.S., Koenig, A.E. and Box, S.E. (2012) Geochemistry of magnetite from hydrothermal ore deposits and host rocks of the Mesoproterozoic Belt Supergroup, United States. Economic Geology, 107, 12751292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nadoll, P., Angerer, T., Mauk, J.L., French, D. and Walshe, J. (2014) The chemistry of hydrothermal magnetite: A review. Ore Geology Reviews, 61, 132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Newberry, N.G., Peacor, D.R., Essene, E.J. and Geissman, J.W. (1982) Silicon in magnetite: High resolution microanalysis of magnetite-ilmenite intergrowths. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 80, 334340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nielsen, R.L., Forsythe, L.M., Gallahan, W.E. and Fisk, M.R. (1994) Major- and trace-element magnetite–melt equilibria. Chemical Geology, 117, 167191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ohmoto, H. (2003) Nonredox transformations of magnetite–hematite in hydrothermal systems. Economic Geology, 98, 157161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Putnis, A. (2009) Mineral replacement reactions. Pp. 87124 in: Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Water-Rock Interaction (Oelkers, E. and Schott, J., editors). Reviews in Mineralogy & Geochemistry, 70, Mineralogical Society of America, Chantilly, Virginia, USA.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Putnis, A. and John, T. (2010) Replacement processes in the Earth's crust. Elements, 6, 159164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Righter, K., Leeman, W.P. and Hervig, R.L. (2006) Partitioning of Ni, Co and V between spinel-structured oxides and silicate melts: importance of spinel composition. Chemical Geology, 227, 125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rusk, B., Oliver, N., Brown, A., Lilly, R. and Jungmann, D. (2009) Barren magnetite breccias in the Cloncurry region, Australia: comparisons to IOCG deposits. Society for Geology Applied to Ore Deposits 10 th Biennial Meeting, Townsville, Australia, pp. 656658.Google Scholar
Sang, S.J., Peng, M.X. and Guo, Y.H. (2003) Optimized Target Areas and Evaluation Report of Resource in the Caixiashan to Jintan Area. Xingjiang Institute of Geological Investigation, pp. 4244 [in Chinese]. Scholar
Sengör, A.M.C., Natal'In, B.A. and Burtman, V.S. (1993) Evolution of the Altaid tectonic collage and Paleozoic crustal growth in Eurasia. Nature, 364, 299307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sengör, A.M.C. and Natal'in, B.A. (1996) Paleotectonics of Asia: fragments of synthesis. Pp. 486640 in: The Tectonic Evolution of Asia (Yin, A. and Harrison, T.M., editors). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
Shannon, R.D. (1976) Revised effective ionic radii and systematic study of inter atomic distances in halides and chalcogenides. Acta Crystallographica, A32, 751767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shimazaki, H. (1998) On the occurrence of Silician magnetites. Resource Geology, 48, 2329 Scholar
Singoyi, B., Danyushevsky, L., Davidson, G.J., Large, R. and Zaw, K. (2006) Determination of trace elements in magnetites from hydrothermal deposits using the LA-ICP-MS technique. Abstracts of Oral and Poster Presentations from the SEG 2006 Conference Society of Economic Geologist, Keystone, USA, pp. 367368.Google Scholar
Wang, L.S., Li, H.Q., Chen, Y.C. and Liu, D.Q. (2005) Geological feature and mineralization epoch of Bailingshan iron deposit, Hami, Xingjiang, China. Mineral Deposits, 24(3), 280284 [in Chinese with English abstract].Google Scholar
Wang, J.B., Wang, Y.W. and He, Z.J. (2006) Ore deposits as a guide to the tectonic evolution in the East Tianshan Mountains, NW China. Geology in China, 33(3), 461469 [in Chinese with English abstract].Google Scholar
Wang, P., Pan, Z.L. and Weng, L.B. (1982) Systematic Mineralogy. Geology Publishing House, Beijing, pp. 8490.Google Scholar
Wechsler, B.A., Lindsley, D.H. and Prewitt, C.T. (1984) Crystal structure and cation distribution in titanomagnetites (Fe3−xTixO4). American Mineralogist, 69, 754770.Google Scholar
Wen, G., Li, J.W., Hofstra, A.H., Koenig, A.E., Lowers, H.A. and Adams, D. (2017) Hydrothermal reequilibration of igneous magnetite in altered granitic plutons and its implications for magnetite classification schemes: Insights from the Handan-Xingtai iron district, North China Craton. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 213, 255270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Westendorp, R.W., Watkinson, D.H. and Jonasson, I.R. (1991) Silicon-bearing zoned magnetite crystals and the evolution of hydrothermal fluids at the Ansil Cu-Zn mine, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. Economic Geology, 86, 11101114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Whitney, D.W. and Evans, B.L. (2010) Abbreviations for names of rock-forming minerals. American Mineralogist, 95, 185187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Windley, B.F., Allen, M.B., Zhang, C., Zhao, Z.Y. and Wang, G.R. (1990) Paleozoic accretion and Cenozoic redeformation of the Chinese Tien Shan range, central Asia. Geology, 18, 128131.2.3.CO;2>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Xiao, W.J., Huang, B.C., Han, C.M., Sun, S. and Li, J.L. (2010) A review of the western part of the Altaids: a key to understanding the architecture of accretionary orogens. Gondwana Research, 18, 253273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Xu, H., Shen, Z. and Konishi, H. (2014) Si-magnetite nano-precipitates in silician magnetite from banded iron formation: Z-contrast imaging and ab initio study. American Mineralogist, 99, 21962202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yin, S., Ma, C.Q. and Robinson, P.T. (2017) Textures and high field strength elements in hydrothermal magnetite from a skarn system: Implications for coupled dissolution-reprecipitation reactions. American Mineralogist, 102, 10451056.Google Scholar
Zhang, Z.J., Sun, J.B., Hu, Y.M., Ji, H.W. and Chen, W. (2012) Study on stable isotopic characteristics of the Hongyuntan iron deposit of Eastern Tianshan and their implications for the process of mineralization. Acta Geoscientica Sinica, 33(6), 918924 [in Chinese with English abstract].Google Scholar
Zhang, W.F., Chen, H.Y., Peng, L.H., Zhao, L.D., Lu, W.J., Zhang, Z.J., Yang, J.T. and Sun, J. (2018) Ore genesis of the Duotoushan Fe–Cu deposit, Eastern Tianshan, NW China: Constraints from ore geology, mineral geochemistry fluid inclusion and stable isotopes. Ore Geology Reviews, 100, 401421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhao, W.W. and Zhou, M.F. (2015) In-situ LA-ICP-MS trace elemental analyses of magnetite: The Mesozoic Tengtie skarn Fe deposit in the Nanling Range, South China. Ore Geology Reviews, 65, 872883.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: File

Hu et al. supplementary material

Table S2

Download Hu et al. supplementary material(File)
File 17 KB
Supplementary material: File

Hu et al. supplementary material

Table S1

Download Hu et al. supplementary material(File)
File 12 KB