Porphyry copper (Cu-Mo) deposit in Sonora, Mexico

Names and other identifiers

Tract name Western Sierra Madre Occidental and Laramide Central (003pCu3007x)
Site status deposit

Geographic location

Country Mexico
State or province Sonora
Geographic location -110.322122272, 30.954136808
Geologic map unit -110.322122272, 30.954136808
Nearby data

Geologic information

Deposit type Porphyry copper
Deposit subtype Cu-Mo
Age (Ma) 59.3Ma
Age determination method Re-Os molybdenite
Age range 59.3 ±0.3 Ma
Age reference Barra and others (2005)
Minerals actinolite, adularia, aikinite, alunite, amphibole, argentite, biotite/phlogopite, bornite, carbonate, chalcocite/digenite, chalcopyrite, chlorite, clay minerals, covellite, diopside, enargite/luzonite, epidote, galena, garnet, hematite, magnetite, molybdenite, pyrite, pyroxene, rutile, sericite, siderite, sphalerite, tetrahedrite/tennantite, tourmaline, wollastonite
Associated rocks andesite, basalt, diorite, granodiorite
Tectonic setting continental margin
Stratigraphic age Paleocene

Commodity and development information

Development status Producer
Tonnage (Mt) 7,140Mt
Cu grade (%) 0.42%
Mo grade (%) 0.008%
Au grade (g/t) 0.012g/t
Ag grade (g/t) 0.58g/t
Contained copper 30,000,000t
Gold-Moly ratio 2

Reference information

Comments Exposed. Location based on Singer and others (2008). Alteration: oxidation-argillization.
Study area name Mexico
References Singer and others (2008); U.S. Geological Survey (2007); Barra and others (2005); Anderson and Silver (1977); Barton and others (1995); Bushnell (1988); Casaceli (1992); Einaudi (1982); Meinert (1982); Long (1995); Terán-Martínez and others (1999)
Site reference Hammarstrom and others (2010)
Anderson, T.H., and Silver, L.T., 1977, U–Pb isotope ages of granitic plutons near Cananea, Sonora: Economic Geology, v. 72, p. 827–836. (Also available at, Fernando; Ruiz, Joaquin; Valencia, V.A.; Ochoa-Landín, Lucas; Chesley, J.T., and Zürcher, Lukas, 2005, Laramide porphyry Cu-Mo mineralization in northern Mexico—Age constraints from Re-Os geochronology in molybdenite: Economic Geology, v. 100, p. 1605–1616. (Also available at
Barton, M.D., Staude, J.-M.G., Zürcher, L., and Megaw, P.K.M., 1995, Porphyry copper and other intrusion-related mineralization in Mexico, in Pierce, F.W., and Bolm, J.G., eds., Porphyry copper deposits of the American Cordillera: Tucson, Arizona Geological Society Digest, v.20, p.487–524.
Bushnell, S.E., 1988, Mineralization at Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, and the paragenesis and zoning of breccia pipes in quartzofeldspathic rock: Economic Geology, v. 83, p .1760–1781. (Also available at
Casaceli, R.J., 1992, Mexico exploration and mining activity, in Casacelli, R.J., Fitch, D.C., and Johnson, F.M., eds, Randol at Minexpo ‘92, Las Vegas, Nev., 1992, Proceedings: Golden, Colo., Randol International Ltd., p. 11–27.
Einaudi, M.T., 1982, Description of skarns associated with porphyry copper plutons, southwestern North America, in Titley, S.R., ed., Advances in geology of the porphyry copper deposits, southwestern North America: Tucson, University of Arizona Press, p. 139–183.
Long, K.R., 1995, Production and reserves of Cordilleran (Alaska to Chile) porphyry copper deposits, in Pierce, F.W., and Bolm, J.G., eds., Porphyry copper deposits of the American Cordillera: Tucson, Arizona Geological Society Digest 20, p. 35–68.
Meinert, L.D., 1982, Skarn, manto, and breccia pipe formation in sedimentary rocks of the Cananea mining district, Sonora, Mexico: Economic Geology, v. 77, p. 919–949. (Also available at, 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
Terán-Martínez, G.E., Cerecero-Luna, Miguel, Mendoza-Romero, Macario, Castro-Escárrega, J.J., and García-Cortez, J.A., 1999, Carta geológico-minera, Cananea H12-5, Sonora [Mexico]: Pachuca, Hidalgo, Servicio Geológico Mexicano, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.
U.S. Geological Survey, 2007, Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey database, accessed December 15, 2007, at