Geologic evolution of the Cerro Quema Au-Cu deposit, Azuero Peninsula (Panama)

Corral, I., Corbella, M., Canals, À., Griera, A., Gómez-Gras, D., Navarro-Ciurana, D., and Cardellach, E. (2013) Geologic evolution of the Cerro Quema Au-Cu deposit, Azuero Peninsula (Panama). Mineralogical Magazine, 77 (5). p. 918.

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Central America hosts a variety of metallic mineral resources including Au, Cu, Ag, Pb, Zn, Ni, Co, Sb, W, and Al, spanning a broad range of deposit types. In Panama, Au and Cu are the most economically important metals, and they are mainly related to epithermal and porphyry copper systems.

Cerro Quema is a high sulfidation epithermal deposit located in the Azuero Peninsula (SW Panama), it is constituted by serveral mineralized bodies named from W to E: La Pava, Cerro Quemita and Cerro Quema. Estimated Au resources are 7.23 Mt with an average gold grade of 1.10 g/T. Cerro Quema is located in the fore-arc basin of the Panamanian Cretaceous volcanic arc. It is related to an E-W trending regional fault system, and is hosted by the dacite dome complex of the Río Quema Formation (Campanian to Maaastrichtian in age).

Hydrothermal alteration consits of an inner zone of nearly pure quartz (vuggy silica alteration), with local quartz-alunite and pyrophyllite alteration (advanced argillic alteration), enclosed by a kaolinite, illite and illite/smectite-bearing zone (argillic alteration), grading to an external halo of propylithic alteration.

Gold occurs as disseminated submicroscopic grains and "invisible gold" within the pyrite lattice. Copper is associated to Cu-bearing phases such as chalcopyrite, enargite, tennantite, covellite and chalcocite.

Cerro Quema was formed by fluids derived from the emplacement of an underlying porphyry copper intrusion emplaced along E-W trending regional faults located in the Cretaceous fore-arc basin, during Paleogene times. The proposed geologic model suggests that high sulfidation epithermal deposits are not exclusive of volcanic edifices or volcanic domes related to subduciton zones. This deposits can also occur in fore-arc basins, associated with acidic intrusions located between the volcanic arc front and the subduction trench. This should be taken into account for exploration in geologically similar terranes.

Item ID: 40229
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1471-8022
Related URLs:
Funders: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Spain (MCI)
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2015 03:57
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040303 Geochronology @ 30%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040307 Ore Deposit Petrology @ 40%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040310 Sedimentology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840102 Copper Ore Exploration @ 50%
84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840105 Precious (Noble) Metal Ore Exploration @ 50%
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