Distribution of Tin Deposits in China and Their Metallogenic Conditions

  • Chen Xin
  • Wang Zhitai
Conference paper


The distribution of tin deposits in China is conditioned by the regional geological settings. The significant tin deposits are limited to only a few metallogenic regions or belts, which correspond to certain geological-tectonic units. In this paper, four tin metallogenic regions are outlined. They are: the south China fold system, the Daxin-ganling and the Jilin-Heilungjiang fold system, the Sanjiang fold system, and the Yangtze paraplatform. The metallogenic conditions of tin deposits in China are also briefly discussed.

China is one of the first countries to have used tin metal. Copper, tin and lead were used in the manufacture of the binary and ternary alloy-ancient bronze. The Shang dynasty established an outstanding bronze culture in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River as early as 1,000 B.C. or earlier.

The presently mined tin deposits all occur in south China. In the early days after the founding of the People’s Republic, geological work on tin deposits was confined to a few areas in south China. With the advances of regional geological surveys and mineral prospecting and extensive application of geophysical and geochemical exploration techniques, not only have new deposits been continuously discovered and reserves been increased in some old mining districts and in their surrounding areas, but some new metallogenic provinces and a group of tin deposits of industrial value have also been identified.

The tin deposits of China consist of primary and placer types, with the former predominating. China’s tin placers are mainly distributed in areas where primary tin deposits are concentrated in the South China tin province, mostly near the Tropic of Cancer. This paper deals mainly with the distribution or primary tin deposits and their metallogenic conditions.

The primary tin deposits occur mainly in geosynclinal fold belts. Examples are the tin province of the South China fold system, the tin province of the Daxinganling fold system and the Jilin-Heilungjiang fold system, and the tin province of the Sanjiang fold system [in the middle and upper reaches of the Jinsha, Lancang (Mekong) and Nujiang (Salween) Rivers]. Tin deposits are also distributed in theTianshan, Qilian, Kunlun and Qinling fold system. As for platform regions, tin deposits mainly occur in the Yangtze paraplatform. Several tin anomalies have also been found in the Sino-Korean paraplatform. Based on the results of geological investigations conducted in recent years, this paper introduces the distribution of tin deposits of China and discusses briefly their regional metallogenic conditions (Fig. 1).


Biotite Granite Fold System Granite Masse Yenshanian Granite Metallogenic Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cheng Yuqi et al., 1983. Further discussion on the problems of minerogenetic series of mineral deposits. Geological Review, Vol. 29, No. 2 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  2. Li Chunyu et al., 1980. China’s plate tectonic framework, Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 1 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  3. Li Chunyu et al., 1983. Some problems on subdivision of palaeoplates in Asia. Acta Geological Sinica, Vol. 57, No. 1 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  4. Liu Zenggian et al., 1983. A preliminary study on the north boundary and the evolution of Gondwana and Tethys in light of the new data on Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) plateau. Contribution to the Geology of the Qinghai-Xisang (Tibet) Plateau, No. 12. Geological Publishing House (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  5. Wang Zhifen, 1983. Some problems on the mineralization of tin deposits in Gejiu,’ Yunnan. Acta Geological Sinica, Vol. 57, No. 2 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  6. Xu Keqin et al., 1982. On the origin and metallogeny of the granites in South China. Proceeding of Symposium on Geology of Granites and Their Metallogenetic Relations.Google Scholar
  7. Xu Keqin et al., 1983. On the genetic series of granites as exemplified by the Mesozoic granites of South China. Acta Geologica Sinica, Vol. 57, No. 2 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  8. Yang Chaoqua, 1982. Genetic types of the granitoids in South China. Proceeding of Symposium on Geology of Granites and Their Metallogenetic Relations.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© United Nations New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chen Xin
  • Wang Zhitai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Regional Geology and Mineral ResourcesMinistry of Geology and Mineral ResourcesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations