Argentina Miocene–Pliocene Bajo de la Alumbrera

Mainly late Miocene to early Pliocene calc-alkalic plutons and consanguineous coeval to slightly older lavas, breccias, pyroclastic rocks, and volcanic domes.
Tract ID 005pCu1014c
Country Argentina
Commodity Cu
Study area name Andes
Tectonic setting continental margin
Deposit type porphyry copper
Grade-tonnage model General porphyry copper model (Singer and others, 2005)
Geologic age
Geologic feature age late Miocene through early Pliocene
Generalized age Tertiary-Neogene
Oldest rocks age 11.2Ma
Youngest rocks age 3.6Ma
Age range 7.6Ma
Identified Cu resources 12,000,000metric tons
Known prospects 3
Mean Cu (t/sq km) 707t/sq km
Map scales used 1M

Results of the assessment

Assessment date 2005
Estimators Carlos Mario Celada, Vladimir I. Berger, Rodrigo Carrasco, Alejandro Diaz, Mariano Gajardo M., Carlos Portigliati, Alvaro Puig Godoy, Donald A. Singer, Waldo Vivallo S., and Eduardo O. Zappettini
Assessment depth 1km
Quantitative assessment Yes

Estimated number of deposits

Number of deposits Confidence level
3 90%
5 50%
8 10%
8 5%
8 1%
Mean estimated deposits 5.1 ±1.98 (0.39%)
Probability of mean 0.32
Probability of no copper 0.03

Estimated deposit density

(sq km)
Deposit density
per 100,000 sq km
3 8.1 24,048 34

Mean estimated tonnage

Copper 17,000,000
Molybdenum 440,000
Gold 390
Silver 5,400
Ore 3,400,000,000

Undiscovered copper resource

Confidence level 95% 90% 50% 10% 5%
Tonnage 800,000 2,200,000 11,000,000 38,000,000 57,000,000

Economic analysis

Fraser country Argentina (Catamarca)
Fraser type 0.46%
Fraser high 0.54%
Typical cost 0.33%
High cost 0.67%
Infrastructure setting Mixed
Comments on depth 40% cover; volcanics & plutons; SE part more deeply eroded
Expected depth distribution
0 - 250m 0.25
250m - 500m 0.25
500m - 1km 0.5
Economically recoverable resources
Copper 8,900,000t
Molybdenum 170,000t
Gold 140t
Silver 2,700t
Probability no econ recoverable 0.38
Econ NPV 2,100x $1M
Exp dollars 67.2x $1M/100,000 sq km
Exp value class High

Bibliographic references

General Cunningham and others (2008)
Economic Robinson and Menzie (2012)

Deposits and prospects associated with this tract

Name Type State Country Development Details
Bajo de Agua Tapado prospect Catamarca Argentina Occurrence Details
Bajo de la Alumbrera deposit Catamarca Argentina Producer Details
Bajo de San Lucas prospect Catamarca Argentina Occurrence Details
Bajo El Durazno deposit Catamarca Argentina Prospect Details
Filo Colorado prospect Catamarca Argentina Prospect Details
Agua Rica deposit Catamarca Argentina Prospect Details