About this Research Topic
Critical metals are strategic mineral resources that are indispensable to our global high-tech industry, and so understanding their metallogenesis and characterizing criteria for their exploration are hot topics in the field of international mineral resources. Northwest China is one of the most important mineral survey, exploration and mining areas in China. It formed by the multi-phase accretion of variably mineralized Paleozoic-Mesozoic terranes caused by the closure of the Paleo-Asian and Paleo-Tethys oceans. Recently, a series of important breakthroughs have been made in the petrogenesis of and exploration for critical metal deposits in Northwest China, including rare metals, -earth elements and precious metal deposits. These discoveries, which include the Dahongliutan and Bailongshan Li -Be -Nb -Ta, Boziguoer REE -Nb -Zr, Baiyanghe U -Be, Xiarihamu Cu -Ni -Co and Baiganhu W -Sn deposits, have provided a wealth of knowledge that has been fundamental to the enhancement of our understanding of critical metal mineralization.
Previous studies have proposed that many important ore deposits in Northwest China were enlarged and upgraded by multiple mineralization phases. However, the detailed ore-forming process, space-time framework and tectono-magmatic background related to such regional multi-phase metallogenesis is not yet clear. In recent years, several novel approaches have been applied to characterize the genesis of mineral deposits. These include the trace-element and stable isotope composition of ore minerals, the composition of fluid inclusions, and the ages of ore minerals (e.g., cassiterite, wolframite, chalcopyrite, and molybdenite), all of which can now be determined in situ using, for example, laser ablation micro-sampling. These methods are invaluable to characterizing the physicochemical processes that lead to critical metal mineralization, which is integral to our understanding of the occurrence of critical metal deposits in the geologic record and their mechanisms of formation.
This Research Topic aims to compile the latest progresses in scientific research and exploration of critical metal deposits in Northwest China. The Topic editors encourage contributions covering the following themes:
• Li, Rb, Cs, Be, Nb, Ta, REE, U, W and Sn, and related granites, pegmatites, carbonatites, etc;
• Ni(-Cu), Co, Cr, PGE and Au, and related mafic–ultramafic rocks;
• Au, Cu and Mo (Re), and related magmatism or orogeny;
• Enrichment and specific conditions of recoverable Ga–Ge–In–Cd–Tl–Re–Se–Te as by-products in hydrothermal deposits;
• Regional mineralization and tectonic evolution.
This Research Topic has been realized in collaboration with Dr. Matthew Brzozowski, Postdoctoral Fellow at Nanjing University.
Keywords: critical metals, physicochemical processes, northwest china
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