Skip to main content
placeholder image

Chemical differences between minerals from mineralizing and barren intrusions from some North American porphyry copper deposits

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Major-element analyses (by electron microprobe) and copper contents (by ion-probe) are reported for primary biotite, amphibole, magnetite, pyroxene, ilmenite, sphene and secondary biotite from intrusive rocks from mineralizing and barren stocks. The districts studied include Christmas, Globe-Miami, Sierrita and Tombstone, in Arizona; Bingham and Alta, Utah; Ely, Nevada; and Brenda, British Columbia. Amphiboles from barren rocks are relatively iron-rich and display only minor compositional variation. In contrast, amphiboles from mineralizing rocks span the range from magnesio-hornblende to actinolite, commonly even within one grain. Barren intrusions (type B) that are temporally distinct from mineralizing intrusions, and barren intrusions outside areas of known mineralization have higher Cu contents in their constituent minerals than do mineralizing intrusions. Barren intrusions (type A) that are deep-level temporal equivalents of Cu-bearing porphyritic rocks are depleted in copper. This suggests that copper is abstracted from not only the apical portions of porphyries but from parts of the deeper parent intrusions. The Cu contents of biotites (av. 23 ppm) and magnetites (97 ppm) from barren type B intrusions contrast with those from mineralizing intrusions, with biotites containing 7 ppm Cu and magnetites 3 ppm Cu. Primary amphiboles from all intrusive rock types have low copper contents, typically 2 to 5 ppm. In the continental North American deposits, the amount of copper available by liberation from or non-incorporation into amphibole, biotite and magnetite during magmatic crystallization or the early hydrothermal stage is low, perhaps too low to be the sole source of copper mineralization, unless copper is abstracted from large volumes (∼ 100 km3) of rock. These results contrast with a study of the island-arc porphyry copper at Koloula, Guadalcanal, where it was argued that sufficient copper for mineralization could have been abstracted from relatively small volumes of host rocks that originally contained as much Cu as the contemporaneous barren rock types. © 1985 Springer-Verlag.

UOW Authors


  •   Chivas, Allan (external author)

Publication Date


  • 1985

Citation


  • Hendry, D. A. F., Chivas, A. R., Long, J. V. P., & Reed, S. J. B. (1985). Chemical differences between minerals from mineralizing and barren intrusions from some North American porphyry copper deposits. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 89(4), 317-329. doi:10.1007/BF00381554

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0022007876

Start Page


  • 317

End Page


  • 329

Volume


  • 89

Issue


  • 4

Abstract


  • Major-element analyses (by electron microprobe) and copper contents (by ion-probe) are reported for primary biotite, amphibole, magnetite, pyroxene, ilmenite, sphene and secondary biotite from intrusive rocks from mineralizing and barren stocks. The districts studied include Christmas, Globe-Miami, Sierrita and Tombstone, in Arizona; Bingham and Alta, Utah; Ely, Nevada; and Brenda, British Columbia. Amphiboles from barren rocks are relatively iron-rich and display only minor compositional variation. In contrast, amphiboles from mineralizing rocks span the range from magnesio-hornblende to actinolite, commonly even within one grain. Barren intrusions (type B) that are temporally distinct from mineralizing intrusions, and barren intrusions outside areas of known mineralization have higher Cu contents in their constituent minerals than do mineralizing intrusions. Barren intrusions (type A) that are deep-level temporal equivalents of Cu-bearing porphyritic rocks are depleted in copper. This suggests that copper is abstracted from not only the apical portions of porphyries but from parts of the deeper parent intrusions. The Cu contents of biotites (av. 23 ppm) and magnetites (97 ppm) from barren type B intrusions contrast with those from mineralizing intrusions, with biotites containing 7 ppm Cu and magnetites 3 ppm Cu. Primary amphiboles from all intrusive rock types have low copper contents, typically 2 to 5 ppm. In the continental North American deposits, the amount of copper available by liberation from or non-incorporation into amphibole, biotite and magnetite during magmatic crystallization or the early hydrothermal stage is low, perhaps too low to be the sole source of copper mineralization, unless copper is abstracted from large volumes (∼ 100 km3) of rock. These results contrast with a study of the island-arc porphyry copper at Koloula, Guadalcanal, where it was argued that sufficient copper for mineralization could have been abstracted from relatively small volumes of host rocks that originally contained as much Cu as the contemporaneous barren rock types. © 1985 Springer-Verlag.

UOW Authors


  •   Chivas, Allan (external author)

Publication Date


  • 1985

Citation


  • Hendry, D. A. F., Chivas, A. R., Long, J. V. P., & Reed, S. J. B. (1985). Chemical differences between minerals from mineralizing and barren intrusions from some North American porphyry copper deposits. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 89(4), 317-329. doi:10.1007/BF00381554

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0022007876

Start Page


  • 317

End Page


  • 329

Volume


  • 89

Issue


  • 4