Porphyry copper (Cu-Mo) deposit in Antofagasta, Chile

Names and other identifiers

Tract name Chile Eocene–Oligocene Chuquicamata (005pCu1010)
Included sites Chuqui Norte, Exotica, Radomiro Tomic (Pampa Norte)
Site status deposit

Geographic location

Country Chile
State or province Antofagasta
Geographic location -68.9, -22.275
Geologic map unit -68.9, -22.275
Nearby data

Geologic information

Deposit type Porphyry copper
Deposit subtype Cu-Mo
Age (Ma) 33Ma
Age determination method unknown
Age range 35–31 Ma
Age reference Singer and others (2008)
Minerals alunite, anhydrite/gypsum, antlerite, atacamite, biotite, bornite, brochantite, chalcocite/digenite, chalcopyrite, chlorite, chrysocolla, conichalcite, covellite, djurleite, enargite/luzonite/famatinite, epidote, galena, goethite/limonite, hematite/specularite, jarosite, kaolinite, libethenite, molybdenite, montmorillonite, pyrite, pyrophyllite, sampleite, sericite, sphalerite, tetrahedrite, wolframite
Associated rocks granodiorite porphyry, monzogranite porphyry,amphibolite, andesite, andesite breccia, andesite tuff, conglomerate, limestone,diorite, granodiorite, monzogranite, sandstone, shale
Tectonic setting continental margin
Stratigraphic age Eocene–Oligocene

Commodity and development information

Development status Producer
Major commodities Cu, Mo, Au, Ag
Minor commodities Pd
Tonnage (Mt) 21,277Mt
Cu grade (%) 0.592%
Mo grade (%) 0.04%
Au grade (g/t) 0.013g/t
Ag grade (g/t) 5g/t
Contained copper 126,000,000t
Gold-Moly ratio 0.3

Reference information

Comments Cu enrichment age 19–15 Ma; exotic mineralization later than 9.7 Ma (ash tuff layer in ore-bearing gravel). In concentrate: 36 ppb Pd; Pt n.d. Exposed.
Study area name Andes
References Briggs (2006); Codelco (2006); Cuadra and Camus (1998); Cuadra and Rojas (2001); Cunningham and others (2008); Faunes and others (2005); Fuller (1989); Lindsay and others (1996); Mortimer and others (1977); Münchmeyer (1996); Sillitoe and McKee (1996); Sillitoe and Perelló (2005); Tarkian and Stribrny (1999); Zentilli and others (1994); Zentilli and others (1997); Singer and others (2008)
Site reference Cunningham and others (2008)
Briggs, D.F., 2006, Mining operations report, ver. 2005: unpublished report, [unknown] p.
Codelco, 2006, Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco), Annual Reports 1983–2006.
Cuadra, P., and Camus, F., 1998, The Radomiro Tomic porphyry copper deposit, northern Chile, in Porter, T.M., ed., Porphyry and hydrothermal copper and gold deposits—A global perspective: Adelaide, PGC Publishing, Australian Mineral Foundation International Conference, Perth, Western Australia, November 30–December 1, 1998 [Proceedings], p.99–109. (Abstract also available at, P.C., and Rojas, G.S., 2001, Oxide mineralization at the Radomiro Tomic porphyry copper deposit, northern Chile: Economic Geology, v. 96, p. 387–400. (Also available at, C.G., Zappettini, E.O., Vivallo S., Waldo, Celada, C.M., Quispe, Jorge, Singer, D.A., Briskey, J.A, Sutphin, D.M., Gajardo M., Mariano, Diaz, Alejandro, Portigliati, Carlos, Berger, V.I., Carrasco, Rodrigo, and Schulz, K.J., 2008, Quantitative mineral resource assessment of copper, molybdenum, gold, and silver in undiscovered porphyry copper deposits in the Andes Mountains of South America: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1253, CD-ROM, 282 p. (Also available at, A., Hintze, F., Siña, A., Véliz, H., Vivanco, M., and geological staff (of 2003), 2005, Chuquicamata, core of a planetary scale Cu-Mo anomaly, in Porter, T.M., ed., Super porphyry copper and gold deposits—A global perspective: Adelaide, PGC Publishing, v. 1, p. 151–174. (Abstract also available at
Fuller, C.R., 1989, Distribution and characteristics of Chilean copper deposits, in Ericksen, G.E., Cañas Pinochet, M.T., and Reinemund, J.A., eds., Geology of the Andes and its relation to hydrocarbon and mineral resources: Houston, Circum Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources Earth Science Series, v. 11, p. 245–256.
Lindsay, D.D., Zentilli, M., and Ossandon, G.C., 1996, Evolution of permeability in an active ductile to brittle shear system controlling the mineralization at the Chuquicamata porphyry copper deposit, Chile, in Clark, A.H., ed., Giant ore deposits–II: Kingston, Ontario, Queen’s University, p. 62–89.
Mortimer C.B., Münchmeyer, C.F., and Urqueta, I.D., 1977, Emplacement of the Exotica orebody, Chile: Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy Transactions, Section B—Applied Earth Science, v. 86, August, p. B121–B127.
Münchmeyer, C., 1996, Exotic deposits—Products of lateral migration of supergene solutions from porphyry copper deposits, in Camus, F., Sillitoe, R.H., and Petersen, R., eds., Andean copper deposits—New discoveries, mineralization, style and metallogeny: Society of Economic Geologists Special Publication 5, p. 43–58.
Sillitoe, R.H., and McKee, E.H., 1996, Age of supergene oxidation and enrichment in the Chilean porphyry copper province: Economic Geology, v. 91, p. 164–179. (Also available at
Sillitoe, R.H., and Perelló, Jose, 2005, Andean copper province—Tectonomagmatic settings, deposit types, metallogeny, exploration, and discovery, in Hedenquist, J.W., Thompson, J.F.H., Goldfarb, R.J., and Richards, J.P., eds., Economic Geology One Hundredth Anniversary Volume, 1905–2005: Littleton, Colo., Society of Economic Geologists, p. 845–890.
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, M., and Stribrny, B., 1999, Platinum-group elements in porphyry copper deposits—A reconnaissance study: Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 65, p. 161–183. (Also available at
Zentilli, M., Leiva G.Q., Rojas de la J.R., and Graves, M.C., 1994, The Chuquicamata porphyry coppersystem revisited: Congreso Geológico Chileno, 7th, Concepción, 1994, Actas, v. 2, p. 1647–1651.
Zentilli, M., Aracena, I., and Graves, M.C., 1997, Reconnaissance trace element study of Chuquicamata, Mansa Mina, and Radomiro Tomic porphyry copper deposits, Chile: Congreso Geológico Chileno, 8th, Antofagasta, 1997, Actas, v. 3, p. 1913–1917.