Chalcophile element fertility and the formation of porphyry Cu ± Au deposits

Park, Jung-Woo, Campbell, Ian H., Malaviarachchi, Sanjeewa P. K., Cocker, Helen, Hao, Hongda, and Kay, Suzanne M. (2019) Chalcophile element fertility and the formation of porphyry Cu ± Au deposits. Mineralium Deposita, 54. pp. 657-670.

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Abstract

Chalcophile element fertility, the chalcophile metal abundance in the source magma, is likely to be a critical factor for the formation of porphyry Cu ± Au deposits. In this study, we provide evidence to support this hypothesis by comparing the platinum group element (PGE) geochemistry of barren and ore-bearing Cu ± Au granitic suites. We report the PGE contents of three barren volcanic and subvolcanic suites from Argentina and Japan and two Cu ± Au bearing suites from Indonesia and Chile. These results are compared with those from previous studies of a porphyry Cu-only subvolcanic suite from Chile and three porphyry Cu-Au-bearing suites from Australia and the USA. The barren suites are depleted in PGE abundances by the time of fluid exsolution (< 0.1 ppb Pd and Pd/Pt < ~ 3), which is attributed to early sulfide saturation in a mid to lower crustal magma chamber. In contrast, the Cu ± Au ore-bearing suites contain at least an order of magnitude higher PGE contents than the barren ones at fluid saturation (up to ~ 10 ppb Pd and Pd/Pt of 0.1–40). They are characterized by late sulfide saturation, which allows both chalcophile elements and sulfur to concentrate by fractional crystallization before volatile saturation. We suggest that plots of Pd/MgO against Pd/Pt for igneous suites can be used to estimate chalcophile element fertility and distinguish between barren, porphyry Cu, and porphyry Cu-Au granitoid systems. The positive correlation of these chalcophile element fertility indicators and ore grades suggests that metal contents in magmas play an important role in controlling ore grade, particularly Au, in porphyry Cu ± Au deposits.

Item ID: 64279
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1866
Copyright Information: © The Authors. This Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Korea Ministry of Science andTechnology
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2020 05:02
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040307 Ore Deposit Petrology @ 60%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040314 Volcanology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8499 Other Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources) > 849999 Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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