The Hongyuntan iron deposit is hosted in pyroclastic rocks of the Lower Carboniferous Yamansu Formation. The ore bodies occur as layers, stratoid bodies or lenses. The principal ore mineral is magnetite, together with minor maghemite, specularite, pyrite and trace chalcopyrite. The gangue minerals include garnet, diopside, actinolite, chlorite, tremolite, epidote, biotite, albite and quartz. The ore structures are mainly of massive and disseminated forms, with occasional banded or veined forms. The ore textures are of subhedral-anhedral granular and metasomatic types. The wall rock alteration shows symmetrical zoning, and the alteration colors change from dark to light from ore bodies outwards. On the basis of observed mineral assemblages and ore fabrics, two periods of ore deposition were recognized, i.e., skarn period and hydrothermal ore-forming period, which could be further subdivided into four metallogenic stages, namely skarn stage, retrograde alteration stage (main ore-forming stage), early hydrothermal stage and quartz-sulfide stage. Electron microprobe analyses show that the end member of garnet is mainly andradite-grossularite. The composition of pyroxene is mainly diopside-asteroite. The amphiboles is composed mainly of actinolite and tremolite with minor magnesiohornblende. The composition of these skarn minerals suggests that skarn in the Hongyuntan iron deposit is calcic skarn, belonging to metasomatic skarn. The characteristics of main and trace elements suggest that the formation of magnetite was closely related to the skarn. In combination with geological characteristics, the authors suggest that the skarn might have resulted from interaction between Ca-rich pyroclastic and Fe-rich magmatic hydrothermal fluid which was transported along the fault system. The formation of magnetite was hence related to the regressive metamorphism of the skarn.