Geological Characteristics of the Tin Deposits of China and the Basic Methods of Prospecting and Exploration

Conference paper


The tin deposits of China were formed chiefly in the late Mesozoic and occur in marginal belts of the crustal plate or in piedmont troughs of South China where S-type granites are well developed. Primary deposits of cassiterite-sulphide type with Devonian and Triassic carbonate strata as their country rocks are the main source of tin reserves. Placer tin deposits occur chiefly as diluvial and colluvial red clay in karst terrains.

Priority of exploration was given to the tin-placer deposits. Sampling by systematic Bangka drilling, chemical analysis or panning was carried out into the tin or cassit-erite contents for different styles of placer deposits. For primary tin deposits, co-ordinated core drilling in a pattern of drifts and crosscuts was the main means of deposit assessment. The accompanying polymetals were comprehensively explored and their utilization was emphasized.

Many new deposits were found chiefly through 1/200,000–1/50,000 regional geological surveying in which heavy mineral and geochemical prospecting methods have proved effective.


Placer Deposit Granite Batholith Karst Terrain Geochemical Prospect Crustal Plate 
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Copyright information

© United Nations New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Xiji
    • 1
  1. 1.Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources of Yunnan ProvinceMinistry of Geology and Mineral ResourcesKunming, YunnanChina

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