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Siberia, Russia
Main commodities: Mo Cu

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The Zhireken porphyry molybdenum-copper deposit is located within the Baley-Taseyev epithermal gold district in eastern Siberia, Russia, less than 200 km west of the Chinese border (# Location: 52° 50' 40"N, 117° 21' 41"E).

Zhireken was discovered in 1958 and was outlined by drilling between 1959 and 1967. It has been mined since 1986. The estimated metal reserves calculated in 1968 were 88 Kt of contained Mo with a grade of 0.1% Mo and 66 Kt Cu at a grade of 0.068% Cu, which would equate with a total tonnage of ~90 Mt of ore (Berzina et al., 2016).

It is located within the eastern segment of Central Asian Orogenic Belt, bordering the northern margin of the Mongol-Okhotsk suture zone. Studies of the geology and geotectonics of Eastern Transbaikalia, in conjunction with geochronological data, indicate the emplacement of the plutonic complex was at the final stage of the collisional regime, with the formation of the porphyry complex possibly overlapping transition to an extensional stage (Berzina et al., 2016).

The plutonic and porphyry complexes at Zhireken are represented by a series of high-K calc-alkaline rocks similar in composition. The deposit falls within the Bushulei Pluton of the precursor 188 to 168 Ma Amanan Series (40Ar/39Ar dating of amphibole; Ponomarchuk et al., 2004 ), dominated by coarse-grained biotite granite and fine-grained leucogranite, with lesser granodiorites and granosyenites, along with trace gabbro (Berzina et al., 2016). SHRIMP U-Pb zircon dating of these rocks yielded ages of 164 to 161 Ma (Berzina et al., 2016).

The subvolcanic ore-bearing Zhireken Porphyry Series complex is represented predominantly by sub-alkaline leucogranitic porphyry with subordinate diorite, monzonitic and quartz monzonitic porphyries which have been dated at 160 to 155 Ma (
40Ar/39Ar dating of K feldspar; Ponomarchuk et al., 2004). SHRIMP U-Pb zircon dating of these rocks yielded ages of 161±1.6 and 157.5±2.0 (Berzina et al., 2015). Re-Os dating of molybdenite in three different samples from the Zhireken deposit are 162±1, 163±1 and 163±1 Ma (Berzina et al., 2003). The mineralised complex takes the form of a NE-SW elongated 1200 x 400 m stock of leucogranitic porphyry, cut by a late swarm of interconnected porphyry dykes on its central eastern margin.

Both the plutonic and porphyry complexes include adakite-like rocks with geochemical characteristics of K-adakites associated with high-K calc-alkaline granitoids with typical arc-type characteristics (Berzina et al., 2016).

Mo-Cu mineralisation with a grade of 0.03 to 0.15% Mo and 0.04 to 0.20% Cu is confined to zones of hydrothermally altered rocks belonging to both the enclosing pluton and the porphyry stock. More than 60% of the outlined Mo and Cu reserves are associated with the K feldspar alteration.

The Mo-Cu mineralisation occurs as quartz veinlets with molybdenite-pyrite; chalcopyrite-Mo-bearing scheelite and disseminated molybdenite. Frequently, molybdenite disseminations exhibit no relations to veinlets. The last ore stage is represented by quartz-pyrite-sphalerite-galena veinlets in sericitized hosts.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this decription was dated: 2016.     Record last updated: 5/4/2018
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.


  References & Additional Information
   Selected References:
Berzina, A.N., Berzina, A.P. and Gimon, V.O.,  2016 - Paleozoic-Mesozoic Porphyry Cu(Mo) and Mo(Cu) Deposits within the Southern Margin of the Siberian Craton: Geochemistry, Geochronology, and Petrogenesis (a Review): in    Minerals   v.6,  doi:10.3390/min6040125
Berzina, A.N., Sotnikov, V.I., Economou-Eliopoulos, M. and Eliopoulos, D.G.,  2005 - Distribution of rhenium in molybdenite from porphyry Cu-Mo and Mo-Cu deposits of Russia (Siberia) and Mongolia : in    Ore Geology Reviews   v.26 pp. 91-113.
Berzina, A.P., Berzina, A.N., Gimon, V.O., Bayanova, T.B., Kiseleva, V.Yu., Krymskii, R.Sh., Lepekhina, E.N. and Palesskii, S.V.,  2015 - The Zhireken porphyry Mo ore-magmatic system (eastern Transbaikalia): U-Pb age, sources, and geodynamic setting: in    Russian Geology and Geophysics   v.56, pp. 446-465.
Sotnikov V I, Berzina A N, Economou-Eliopoulos M and Eliopoulos D G  2001 - Palladium, platinum and gold distribution in porphyry Cu±Mo deposits of Russia and Mongolia : in    Ore Geology Reviews   v18 pp 95-111

Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo, its employees and servants:   i). do not warrant, or make any representation regarding the use, or results of the use of the information contained herein as to its correctness, accuracy, currency, or otherwise; and   ii). expressly disclaim all liability or responsibility to any person using the information or conclusions contained herein.

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