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The Mantos Blancos copper deposit: an upper Jurassic breccia-style hydrothermal system in the Coastal Range of Northern Chile

AuthorsRamírez, L. E.; Palacios, C.; Townley, B.; Parada, Miguel Ángel; Sial, A. N.; Fernandez-Turiel, J. L. ; Gimeno, D.; García-Vallés, M.; Lehmann, B.
KeywordsCu mineralization
Upper jurassic
Coastal range
Northern Chile
Issue Date2006
CitationMineralium Deposita 41(3): 246-258 (2006)
AbstractThe Upper Jurassic Mantos Blancos copper deposit (500 Mt at 1.0% Cu), located in the Coastal Range of northern Chile, displays two superimposed hydrothermal events. An older phyllic alteration probably related to felsic magmatic–hydrothermal brecciation at ∼155 Ma, and younger (141–142 Ma) potassic, propylitic, and sodic alterations, coeval with dioritic and granodioritic stocks and sills, and dioritic dikes. Main ore formation is genetically related to the second hydrothermal event, and consists of hydrothermal breccias, disseminations and stockwork-style mineralization, associated with sodic alteration. Hypogene sulfide assemblages show distinctive vertical and lateral zoning, centered on magmatic and hydrothermal breccia bodies, which constitute the feeders to mineralization. A barren pyrite root zone is overlain by pyrite-chalcopyrite, and followed upwards and laterally by chalcopyrite-digenite or chalcopyrite-bornite. The assemblage digenite–supergene chalcocite characterizes the central portions of high-grade mineralization in the breccia bodies. Fluid inclusions show evidence of boiling during the potassic and sodic alteration events, which occurred at temperatures around 450–460°C and 350–410°C, and salinities between 3–53 and 13–45 wt% NaCl eq., respectively. The hydrothermal events occurred during episodic decompression due to fluid overpressuring, hydrofracturing, and sharp changes from lithostatic to hydrostatic conditions. Sulfur isotope results of hypogene sulfide minerals fall in a narrow range around 0 per mil, suggesting a dominance of magmatic sulfur. Carbon and oxygen isotopic data of calcites from propylitic alteration suggest a mantle-derived carbon and oxygen isotope fractionation due to low-temperature alteration.
Description13 páginas, 11 figuras, 3 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00126-006-0055-9
Appears in Collections:(ICTJA) Artículos
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