A new model for the optimal structural context for giant porphyry copper deposit formation

Piquer, Jose; Sanchez-Alfaro, Pablo; Perez-Flores, Pamela


Porphyry-type deposits are the main global source of copper and molybdenum. An improved understanding of the most favorable structural settings for the emplacement of these deposits is necessary for successful exploration, particularly considering that most future discoveries will be made under cover based on conceptual target generation. A common view is that porphyry deposits are preferentially emplaced in pull-apart basins within strike-slip fault systems that favor local extension within a regional compressive to transpressive tectonic regime. However, the role of such a structural context in magma storage and evolution in the upper crust remains unclear. In this work, we propose a new model based on the integration of structural data and the geometry of magmatic-hydrothermal systems from the main Andean porphyry Cu-Mo metallogenic belts and from the active volcanic arc of southern Chile. We suggest that the magma differentiation and volatile accumulation required for the formation of a porphyry deposit is best achieved when the fault system controlling magma ascent is strongly misoriented for reactivation with respect to the prevailing stress field. When magmas and fluids are channeled by faults favorably oriented for extension (approximately normal to ?3), they form sets of parallel, subvertical dikes and veins, which are common both during the late stages of the evolution of porphyry systems and in the epithermal environment. This new model has direct implications for conceptual mineral exploration.

Más información

Título según WOS: A new model for the optimal structural context for giant porphyry copper deposit formation
Título de la Revista: GEOLOGY
Volumen: 49
Número: 5
Fecha de publicación: 2021
Página de inicio: 597
Página final: 601


Notas: ISI