Porphyry copper deposit in Orhon, Mongolia

Names and other identifiers

Alternate names Erdenetiin-Ovoo, Erenetuin-Obo
Tract name Erdenet (142pCu8508a)
Included sites Erdenet Central, Erdenet Southeast (Oyut), Tourmaline, Ikh Tal
Site status deposit

Geographic location

Country Mongolia
State or province Orhon
Geographic location 104.1316, 49.0212
Geologic map unit 104.1316, 49.0212
Nearby data

Geologic information

Deposit type Porphyry copper
Age (Ma) 240.7Ma
Age determination method Re-Os molybdenite
Age range 240.7 ±0.8 Ma; 240.4 ±0.8 Ma
Age reference Watanabe and Stein (2000)
Minerals bornite, chalcopyrite, galena, molybdenite, pyrite, sericite, sphalerite, tennantite
Associated rocks granodiorite porphyry, breccia, andesite porphyry, andesitic dacite, aplite, dacite porphyry, diorite porphyry, felsite, felsite porphyry, granite porphyry, granodiorite porphyry, pegmatite, tonalite porphyry, trachyte porphyry
Tectonic setting continental margin
Stratigraphic age Middle Triassic

Commodity and development information

Development status Producer
Major commodities Cu, Mo
Tonnage (Mt) 2,370Mt
Cu grade (%) 0.38%
Mo grade (%) 0.013%
Contained copper 9,000,000t
Gold-Moly ratio -9999

Reference information

Comments Grade and tonnage data from Singer and others (2008). Mineralization at depth between the known, but undeveloped Erdenet Central and Erdenet SE orebodies, along with drill results on the NW margins of the existing mine, demonstrate there is nearly continuous mineralization extending >10 km along a NW-SE trend. Erdenet, a site known since prehistoric time, was recognized as a major copper deposit in 1941, intensively explored during the 1960s, and began production in 1978. Elongate (NW–SE) mineralized zone in Selenge Intrusive Complex. Igneous rocks are calc-alkaline, I-type, magnetite series, medium to high K, and enriched in LIL, depleted in Nb, Ta, and Ti. Deposits have been variously classified as: Erdenet, Cu, Mo; Erdenet Central, Cu; Erdenet SE (Oyut), Cu, Mo ; Tourmaline, Cu.
Study area name Central Asian Orogenic Belt
References Singer and others (2008); Dejidmaa and others (2002); Berzina and others (1999); Berzina and others (2001); Berzina and others (2005); Watanabe and Stein (2000); JICA-JOGMEC (2004); Gavrilova and Maksimyuk (1990); Gerel and others (2005); Munkhtsengel and others (2006); Kamitani and others (2007); Sotnikov and others (1985); Sotnikov and others (2001); Sillitoe, Gerel, and others (1996); Kirkham and Dunne (2000); Jargalsaihan and others (1996); Khacin and others (1977); Koval and others (1989); Lamb and Cox (1998)
Site reference Mihalasky, Ludington, Hammarstrom, and others (2015)
Berzina, A.N., Sotnikov, V.I., Ponomarchuk, V.A., Berzina, A.P., and Kiseleva, V.Yu., 1999, Temporal periods of formation of Cu-Mo porphyry deposits, Siberia and Mongolia, in Stanley, C.J., and others, Mineral deposits—Processes to processing: Rotterdam, A.A. Balkema Publishers, p. 321–324.
Berzina, A.N., Sotnikov, V.I., Economou-Eliopoulos, M., and Eliopoulos, D.G., 2001, Precious metal contents of porphyry Cu-Mo deposits of Russia and Mongolia, in Piestrzynski, A., and 35 others, eds., Mineral deposits at the beginning of the 21st century: Lisse, The Netherlands, A.A. Balkema Publishers, Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) Biennial meeting, 6th, Krakow, Poland, August 26–29, 2001 [Proceedings], p. 699–702.
Berzina, A.N., Sotnikov, V.I, Economou-Eliopoulos, Maria, and Economou-Eliopoulos, D.G., 2005, Distribution of rhenium in molybdenites from porphyry Cu-Mo deposits of Russia (Siberia) and Mongolia: Ore Geology Reviews, v. 26, p. 91–113. (Also available from
Dejidmaa, G., Bujinlkham, B., Ganbaatar, T., Oyuntuya, N., Enkhtuya, B., Eviihuu, A., and Monkh-Erdene, N., 2002, Distribution map of mineral deposits and occurrences in Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Mineral Resources Authority, Geologic Information Center, 540 p., 12 sheets, scale 1:1,000,000.
Gavrilova, S.P., and Maksimyuk, I.E., 1990, Stages of formation of the Erdenet molybdenum-copper deposit: Geologiya Rudnych Mestorozhdenii [Geology of Ore Deposits], no. 6, p. 3–17. [In Russian.]
Gerel, O., Dandar, S., Amar-Amagalan, S., Javkhlanbold, D., Myagamarsuren, Se., Myagmarsuren, Sa., Munkhtsengel, B., and Soyolmaa, B., 2005, Geochemistry of granitoids and altered rocks of the Erdenet porphyry copper-molybdenum deposit, central Mongolia, chap. 10-1 of Mao, Jingwen, and Bierlein, F.P., eds., Mineral deposit research—Meeting the global challenge: Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) Biennial Meeting, 8th, Beijing, August 18–21, 2005 [Proceedings], p. 1137–1140. (Also available at
Jargalsaihan, D., Kaziner, M., Baras, Z., and Sanjaadorj, D., eds., 1996, Guide to the geology and mineral resources of Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar, Geological Exploration, Consulting and Services Co., 329 p.
JICA-JOGMEC, 2004, Report on the mineral exploration in the western Erdenet area, Mongolia consolidated report: Tokyo, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JICA-JOGMEC), 162 p., 2 plates.
Kamitani, Masaharu; Okumura, Kimio; Teraoka, Yoji; Miyano, Sumiko; and Watanabe, Yasusi, 2007, Mineral deposit data of mineral resources map of east Asia, with explanatory notes: Japan Geological Survey, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 19 p., 1 map on 2 sheets, scale 1:3,000,000, accessed April, 2011, at, and at
Khacin, R.A., Marinov, N.A., Khurts, Ch., and Yakimov, L.I., 1977, The Eredentuin-Obo copper-molybdenum deposit in northern Mongolia: Geology of Ore Deposits [Geologiya Rudnykh Mestorozhdeni], v. 19, no. 6, p. 3–15. [In Russian.]
Kirkham, R.V., and Dunne, K.P.E., comps., 2000, World distribution of porphyry, porphyry-associated skarn, and bulk-tonnage epithermal deposits and occurrences: Canada Geological Survey Open File 3792a, 26 p. and 1 diskette. (Also available at, P.V., Gotovsuren, A., Ariunbileg, S., and Libatorov, Yu.I., 1989, On prospecting for porphyry copper mineralization in intracontinental mobile zones (Mongol-Okhotsk belt, Mongolian People‘s Republic): Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 32, p. 369–380. (Also available at, M.A. and Cox, Dennis, 1998, New 40Ar/39Ar age data and implications for porphyry copper deposits of Mongolia: Economic Geolology, v. 93, p. 524–529. (Also available at, B., Gerel, Ochin, Tsuchiya, N., and Ohara, M., 2006, Petrochemistry of igneous rocks in area of the Erdenetiin Ovoo porphyry Cu?Mo mineralized district, northern Mongolia [abs.], in Water Dynamics—4th International Workshop on Water Dynamics, Sendai, Japan, November 7–8, 2006, Proceedings: American Institute of Physics, p. 63–65. (Also available at
Sillitoe, R.H., Gerel, O., Dejidma, G., Gotovsuren, A., Sanjaadorj, D., Baasandorj, S., and Dashiin, B.E., 1996, Mongolia’s gold potential: Mining Magazine, July 1996, p. 12–15.
Singer, D.A., Berger, V.I., and Moring, B.C., 2008, Porphyry copper deposits of the world—Database and grade and tonnage models, 2008: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1155, [45] p. and digital data, accessed December 31, 2013, at
Sotnikov, V.I., Berzina, A.N., Zhamsran, M., Garamzhav, D., and Bold, D., 1985, Copper deposits of Mongolia: Novosibirsk, Nauka, Transactions of the Joint Soviet-Mongolian Scientific-Research Expedition, v. 43, 223 p.
Sotnikov, V.I., Berzina, A.N., Economou-Eliopoulos, Maria, and Eliopoulos, D.G., 2001, Palladium, platinum, and gold distribution in porphyry Cu±Mo deposits of Russia and Mongolia: Ore Geology Reviews, v. 18, p. 95–111. (Also available at, Yasushi, and Stein, H.J., 2000, Re-Os ages for the Erdenet and Tsagaan Suvarga porphyry Cu-Mo deposits, Mongolia, and tectonic implications: Economic Geology, v. 95, p. 1537–1542. (Also available at