Zircon Hf-isotope constraints on the formation of metallic mineral deposits in Thailand

Apivut Veeravinantanakul, Ryohei Takahashi, Andrea Agangi, Tsukasa Ohba, Yasushi Watanabe, Marlina A. Elburg, Henriette Ueckermann, Pitsanupong Kanjanapayont, Punya Charusiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of the Sibumasu–Indochina Terranes collision created several kinds of mineral deposits in Thailand, which include porphyry–skarn copper–gold, epithermal gold and antimony, orogenic gold–antimony–tungsten and tin-tungsten mineralization among others. The deposits show a distinct spatial zonal distribution and occur in specific tectonic terranes. Combining regional geological data and ore deposit distribution data with Hf-isotopic data of zircons in igneous rocks can be used to investigate the relationship between crustal construction processes and metallogeny. In this study, we investigated the Sukhothai Fold Belt, which is composed of quartz monzodiorite, granodiorite, syenogranite, and monzogranite of I- and S-type affinities. All granitoids were analyzed for zircon U–Pb geochronology and Lu–Hf isotopic analysis. The granitoids of the Sukhothai Fold Belt yielded U–Pb zircon ages ranging from ~243 to 202 Ma, which mark the timing of subduction to the syn-collisional stage between the Sibumasu–Indochina terranes at ~243–237 Ma and the timing of post-collision between the Sibumasu–Indochina terranes during 230–202 Ma. In addition, an age of ~43 Ma in the south of the Sukhothai Fold Belt may indicate intrusion during the sinistral movement of the Klaeng and Mae Ping fault zones resulted from the Indian–Eurasian plate collision. The Doi Tung quartz monzodiorite provided an age of ~350 Ma as a timing of formation of the Sukhothai Fold Belt. The negative and positive initial εHf values (−8.0 to +9.2) with two-stage depleted mantle model ages (TDMC of 2.2–0.6 Ga) of zircons from the Sukhothai Fold Belt granitoids indicate that the sources of their magma derived from partial melting of old continental crust and young oceanic crust, which probably mixed with a mantle-derived magma. A zircon Hf-isotope compilation including the data obtained in this study and previously reported values was used to prepare a map that allows a comparison between magmatic source and mineral deposit distribution in Thailand. The spatial distribution of Hf isotopic data reveals a distinct zonation, with initial εHf values decreasing from the east to the west, that is, from the western margin of the Indochina Terrane or the Loei Fold Belt to the Sukhothai Fold Belt, the Inthanon Zone and the Sibumasu Terrane. The magmatic source for the granitoids in the Loei Fold Belt is dominated by mantle-derived components, as shown by positive average initial εHf values (+1.0 to +12.7), and contributed to porphyry-related skarn copper–gold and iron and epithermal gold mineralization. In contrast, magmas in the Sibumasu Terrane and the Inthanon Zone originated from melting of old crustal materials, as indicated by mostly negative average initial εHf values (−15.1 to +0.8), and are responsible for S-type granite-related tin-tungsten mineralization. The average initial εHf values (−5.0 to +11.0) from the intrusions in the Sukhothai Fold Belt suggest mixed sources, including evolved and juvenile magmatic materials, which generated the orogenic gold deposits and other vein-type antimony, tungsten, fluorite, and base metal deposits. These results imply a close spatial correlation between the source of magmatism in each tectonic terrane of Thailand and different metal ore deposits. These isotope maps can be used as a powerful tool in the exploration for various commodities at the regional scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-469
Number of pages34
JournalResource Geology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Hf isotopes
  • Sukhothai Fold Belt
  • Thailand
  • U–Pb zircon
  • mineral deposits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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