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This study explored the links between host rock composition, hydrothermal fluid composition (particularly pH), and the resulting ore minerals and deposits. The progressive water–rock reaction between 1 kg of initially acidic, condensed magmatic vapour and a series of different rock compositions was modelled with CHILLER (Reed, 1982, Reed, 1998), and follows the design of the water-rock reactions of Reed (1997). The thermodynamic data used in the numerical experiments are from the database SOLTHERM.H08 (Reed and Palandri, 2013). Data and calculations within SOLTHERM include: equilibrium constants calculated with SUPCRT92 (Johnson et al., 1992); mineral thermodynamic data for silicates, oxides, hydroxides, carbonates, gases (Holland and Powell, 1998) and sulphides (Shock, 2007). Mineral solid solutions are represented by end-member compositions that are mixed using an ideal multisite mixing scheme. Rock compositions used in the modelling represent a sub-alkaline andesitic control, and a number of alkaline compositions associated with world-class Au deposits. All starting rock compositions are derived from whole rock geochemical data, and have been recalculated to a 100% basis without TiO2 or P2O5 (excluded as minor phases with little to no effect on hydrothermal mineral assemblages). Original total Fe (as Fe2O3) has been recalculated to FeO and Fe2O3 using the method of Müller et al. (2001). The andesite is representative of calc-alkaline, silica saturated compositions, and is derived from and discussed in detail in Reed (1997). The Luise “Phonolite” (a trachyandesite using the Le Maitre et al., 1989 TAS plot; Fig. 1) and Trachyandesite are from the vicinity of the Ladolam epithermal Au deposit, Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea (Müller et al., 2001). The Porgera Mugearite and Feldspar Porphyry represent unaltered host rock compositions (Richards, 1990) from the Porgera Au deposit (Papua New Guinea). The Cripple Creek Phonolite is part of the host suite to the Cripple Creek epithermal Au deposit, Colorado (Kelley et al., 1998). The Savo trachyte (Smith et al., 2009) represents a typical host rock of the active hydrothermal system (Smith et al., 2010), on Savo island, Solomon Islands. With the exception of the Andesite, all compositions are alkaline using the total alkali versus silica definition of Irvine and Baragar (1971). The Savo sample is not associated with known epithermal Au mineralisation; this composition was selected on the grounds that it represents an evolved (SiO2-rich) silica-saturated, alkaline composition. The initial fluid composition is based on a condensate from Augustine volcano (Symonds et al., 1990) mixed 1:10 with pure water (Reed, 1997; Table 2). A single starting fluid for all models was chosen so as to demonstrate the effect of host rock alone.