Fierro Urcu

Porphyry copper (Cu-Au) deposit in Loja, Ecuador

Names and other identifiers

Tract name Colombia-Ecuador Miocene Chaucha (005pCu1005)
Site status deposit

Geographic location

Country Ecuador
State or province Loja
Geographic location -79.333333333, -3.583333333
Geologic map unit -79.333333333, -3.583333333
Nearby data

Geologic information

Deposit type Porphyry copper
Deposit subtype Cu-Au
Age (Ma) 9.6Ma
Age determination method unknown
Age range 9.6 Ma
Age reference Singer and others (2008)
Minerals alunite, arsenopyrite, bornite, chalcopyrite, covellite, diaspore, enargite, goethite/limonite, gold, hematite, jarosite, kaolinite/dickite, magnetite, molybdenite, pyrite, pyrophyllite, sericite, smectite
Associated rocks breccia, rhyolite porphyry, rhyodacite porphyry, andesite, basalt, diorite, granodiorite, rhyolite pyroclastics, tuff
Tectonic setting continental margin
Stratigraphic age Miocene

Commodity and development information

Development status Prospect
Major commodities Cu, Au
Tonnage (Mt) 54Mt
Cu grade (%) 0.2%
Au grade (g/t) 0.45g/t
Contained copper 110,000t
Gold-Moly ratio -9999

Reference information

Comments Prospective large high-sulfidation gold target of 2007; intersections: 147 m at 0.54 g/t Au, including 62 m at 0.3% Cu; 46 m at 0.83 g/t Au and 0.6% Cu.
Study area name Andes
References Anonymous (1992); Goossens and Hollister (1973); PRODEMINCA (2000a); PRODEMINCA (2000b); Spencer and others (2002); UK Regulatory (2007); Singer and others (2008)
Site reference Cunningham and others (2008)
Anonymous, 1992, Armeno—New project in Ecuador: Mining Journal, v. 319, p. 112.
Goossens, P.J., and Hollister, V.F., 1973, Structural control and hydrothermal alteration pattern of Chaucha porphyry copper, Ecuador: Mineralium Deposita, v. 8, p. 321–331. (Also available at
PRODEMINCA, 2000a, Evaluacion distritos mineros del Ecuador—Depositos porfidicos y epi-mesotermales relacionados con intrusiones de las Cordilleras Occidental y Real: Ministerio de Energia y Minas, Subsecretaria de Minas, Direccion Nacional de Geologia, Proyecto de Desarrolo Minero y Control Ambiental (PRODEMINCA), v. 5, 223 p.
PRODEMINCA, 2000b, Manual de exploracion de depositos metaliferos en el Ecuador: Ministerio de Energia y Minas, Subsecretaria de Minas, Direccion Nacional de Geologia, Proyecto de Desarrolo Minero y Control Ambiental (PRODEMINCA), 100 p.
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, R.M., Montenegro, J.L., Gaibor, A., Perez, E.P., Mantilla, G., Viera, F., and Spencer, C.E., 2002, The Portovelo-Zaruma mining camp, southwest Ecuador—Porphyry and epithermal environments: Society of Economic Geologists SEG Newsletter, no. 49, p. 1, 8–14. (Also available at Regulatory, 2007, Apex Silver to join Mariana's Fierro Urco project: Mariana Resources Ltd. press release, March 5, 2007, 1 p., accessed 2008, at