The Xietongmen Copper-Gold Deposit: A Major New Porphyry-Style Discovery in Tibet, People’s Republic of China

CIM Vancouver 2006
C Mark Rebagliati, Reza Tafti, James Oliver, Pierre Jonker,
Abstract The Xietongmen deposit is located 350 km west of Lhasa, Tibet. It is a new, high-grade porphyry copper-gold discovery and the first deposit to be systematically explored by a western company in southern Tibet. In 2005, Continental Minerals Corporation drilled 21,332 m of core in 63 holes, and demonstrated excellent lateral and vertical continuity of high-grade copper-gold mineralization over an area 750 m by up to 350 m in size which remains open in all lateral directions. Drill intersections repeatedly yield grades >1% Cu equivalent (based on gold and copper prices) and include 308.5 m at 0.87% Cu and 1.25 g/T Au (1.60 CuEQ%), and 315.6 metres at 0.61% Cu and 1.11 g/T Au (1.26 CuEQ%). Extensive drilling in 2006 will expand and delineate the deposit, and metallurgical, engineering, environmental and socio-economic evaluations will begin.

Xietongmen is hosted by volcanic and intrusive rocks of the Gangdese belt, a magmatic arc active between >120 and 30 Ma along the southern margin of Eurasia. Pervasive alteration is dominated by a well-mineralized K-feldspar and biotite assemblage, and by a more peripheral sericitic assemblage also with strong chalcopyrite. Major vein stages include chalcopyrite-bearing quartz, biotite, magnetite and pyrite-pyrrhotite types.
Keywords: Copper, Tibet, Gold, Porphyry
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