Late Palaeozoic mineralization and tectonic evolution of the West Junggar metallogenic belt, Central Asia: constraints from Re–Os and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology

The West Junggar Metallogenic Belt (WJMB) is located between the Tianshan fault system and the Ertix fault system in the western part of the Central Asian Metallogenic Domain (CAMD). The belt features widespread late Palaeozoic granitic plutons, strike-slip faults, and porphyry copper and orogenic gold deposits. We collected nine molybdenite samples from the Baogutu III–IV Cu–Mo deposit and the Suyunhe Mo–W deposit, and 12 granitoid samples from the Jiaman, Kangde, Kulumusu, Bieluagaxi, Hatu, Akbastau, Miaoergou, Baogutu, Karamay, and Hongshan plutons in the WJMB. Molybdenite Re–Os dating gives metallogenesis ages of 312.7 and 299.7 Ma for the Baogutu III–IV and Suyunhe deposits, respectively. 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology yields biotite ages ranging from 326 to 302 Ma and K-feldspar ages from 297 to 264 Ma, indicating a regional medium-temperature cooling history in the WJMB during the late Carboniferous to middle Permian. By integrating these data with previous zircon U–Pb, amphibole 40Ar/39Ar, and zircon and apatite fission-track ages, we reconstruct the whole thermal history of the WJMB, which includes late Palaeozoic intrusive magmatism, porphyry Cu and W–Mo mineralization, and late Mesozoic tectonic uplift and exhumation of the WJMB. The regional 40Ar/39Ar cooling ages are consistent with the timing of regional sinistral strike-slip faulting, thereby indicating the tectonic significance of the cooling ages. We suggest that the biotite 40Ar/39Ar ages represent the static cooling of the granitic plutons after emplacement, since the ages are consistent with the U–Pb ages of the plutons. Thereafter, the oldest K-feldspar 40Ar/39Ar age may record the initiation of sinistral strike-slip movement on the Darabut, Mayile, and Baerluke faults. The regional faulting resulted in significant uplift of the WJMB during the early and middle Permian.