Exploration Tools for Linked Porphyry and Epithermal Deposits: Example from the Mankayan Intrusion-Centered Cu-Au District, Luzon, Philippines

Chang, Zhaoshan, Hedenquist, Jeffrey W., White, Noel C., Cooke, David R., Roach, Michael, Deyell, Cari L., Garcia, Joey, Gemmell, J. Bruce, McKnight, Stafford, and Cuison, Ana Liza (2011) Exploration Tools for Linked Porphyry and Epithermal Deposits: Example from the Mankayan Intrusion-Centered Cu-Au District, Luzon, Philippines. Economic Geology, 106 (8). pp. 1365-1398.

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The Mankayan mineral district of northern Luzon, Philippines, hosts several significant ore deposits and prospects of various types within an area of similar to 25 km(2), including the Far Southeast porphyry Cu-Au deposit, the Lepanto high sulfidation epithermal Cu-Au deposit, the Victoria intermediate sulfidation epithermal Au-Ag vein deposit, the Teresa epithermal Au-Ag vein deposit, the Guinaoang porphyry Cu-Au deposit, and the Buaki Old Palidan porphyry Cu-Au prospects, all having formed in a period of about 2 m.y., from similar to 3 Ma. The geologic units include (1) a basement composed of Late Cretaceous to middle Miocene metavolcanic rocks volcaniclastic rocks; (2) the Miocene 12 to 13 Ma tonalitic Bagon intrusive complex; (3) the Pliocene, similar to 2.2 to 1.8 Ma, Imbanguila dacite porphyry and pyroclastic rocks; and (4) postmineralization cover rocks, including die similar to 1.2 to 1.0 Ma Bato dacite porphyry and pyroclastic rocks and the similar to 0.02 Ma Lapangan tuff. Extensive advanced argillic alteration crops out for similar to 7 kin along the inconformity between the basement rocks and the Imbanguila dacite formation consists of quartz-alunite +/- pyrophyllite or diaspore, with local zones of silicic alteration and a halo of dickite +/- kaolinite. The alteration and its subhorizontal geometry indicate that it is a lithocap or coalesced lithocaps. The northwest-striking portion is similar to 4 km long and hosts the Lepanto enargite Au ore deposit, also controlled by the Lepanto fault. The Lepanto epithermal deposit is related to the underlying Far Southeast porphyry; the quartz-alunite alteration halo of Lepanto is contemporaneous with the similar to 1.4 Ma potassic alteration of the porphyry. There are also silicic-advanced argillic alteration patches similar to 600 m above the Far Southeast orebody at the present surface; these are interpreted to be perched alteration. There is no systematic mineralogical or textural zoning in the Lepanto lithocap that indicates direction to the intrusive source. Most surface samples of the lithocap contain less than 50 ppb Au, despite many being less than a few hundred meters from underground Cu-Au ore. This study found that several characteristics of the Lepanto lithocap change systematically with distance from the causative intrusion. The alunite absorption peak at similar to 1,480 nm in the short wavelength infrared (SWIR) spectrum shifts to higher wavelengths where the sample is closer to the intrusive center, due to higher Na and lower K content in the alunite; published experimental studies indicate that high Na/(Na + K) is related to higher formation temperature. High Ca alunite, including huangite, also occurs at locations proximal to the intrusive center. Alunite mineral composition analyzed by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) indicates that the Pb content decreases toward the intrusive center, whereas Sr, La, Sr/Ph, and La/Pb increase markedly. Whole-rock compositions, using only nonmineralized (taken as Cu <0.1wt % and Au <0.1 ppm) and alunite-bearing samples, show that Pb and Ag/Au, plus Hg and Ag, decrease toward the intrusive center, and Sr/Pb and La/Pb ratios increase. Normalizing whole-rock Pb to the (Na + K) molal content produces a proxy for the alunite mineral composition, and this ratio provides the same indications as the LA-ICP-MS analyses of alunite. The concealed Victoria epithermal veins consist of intermediate sulfidation mineralization 00 the southwest flank of the porphyry. The veins are not exposed, but their presence at depth is indicated by subtle alteration (illite or interstratified illite and/or smectite or smectite + pyrite) and geochemical (As, Se) anomalies at the surface. The anomalies are strongly dependent on erosion level; no anomalies were found where the surface is >similar to 350 m above the upper extent of the veins. An airborne geophysics survey indicates that the Far Southeast orebody is associated with a wide zone of demagnetization due to extensive magnetite-destructive phyllic alteration. Such low magnetic anomalies on the margin of a large lithocap elsewhere may, deserve attention. The directional indicators and mineralization signatures found in this study have the potential to indicate direction to the intrusive center during exploration of similar porphyry-epithermal districts.

Item ID: 21704
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1554-0774
Date Deposited: 16 May 2012 00:26
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040201 Exploration Geochemistry @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040307 Ore Deposit Petrology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840105 Precious (Noble) Metal Ore Exploration @ 50%
84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840102 Copper Ore Exploration @ 50%
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