El Salvador

Porphyry copper deposit in Atacama, Chile

Names and other identifiers

GMRAP ID 299
Tract name Chile Eocene–Oligocene Chuquicamata (005pCu1010)
Site status deposit

Geographic location

Country Chile
State or province Atacama
Geographic location -69.5506, -26.25417
Geologic map unit -69.5506, -26.25417
Nearby data

Geologic information

Deposit type Porphyry copper
Age (Ma) 42Ma
Age determination method unknown
Age range 43–41 Ma
Age reference Singer and others (2008)
Minerals actinolite, albite, alunite, andalusite, anhydrite/gypsum, apatite, arsenopyrite, biotite, bornite, calcite, chalcocite/digenite, chalcopyrite, chlorite, corundum, covellite, diaspore, enargite, goethite/limonite, hematite/specularite, hornblende, ilmenite, jarosite, kaolinite, magnetite, molybdenite, montmorillonite/smectite, pyrite, pyrophyllite, pyrrhotite, rutile, sericite/muscovite, sphalerite, sphene, svanbergite, tetrahedrite/tennantite, tourmaline, woodhouseite, zunyite
Associated rocks aplite, breccia, dacite porphyry, granodiorite porphyry, latite dikes, rhyolite porphyry, carbonate rocks, granite, monzonite, andesite, andesite breccia, andesite pyroclastics, conglomerate, dacite, diorite, ignimbrite, rhyolite, rhyolite breccia, rhyolite pyroclastics, sandstone, tuffaceous sandstone
Tectonic setting continental margin
Stratigraphic age Eocene

Commodity and development information

Development status Producer
Major commodities Cu, Mo, Au, Ag
Trace commodities Pd, Pt
Tonnage (Mt) 3,836Mt
Cu grade (%) 0.447%
Mo grade (%) 0.022%
Au grade (g/t) 0.1g/t
Ag grade (g/t) 1.5g/t
Contained copper 17,100,000t
Gold-Moly ratio 4.5

Reference information

Comments Cu enrichment age 23 Ma; exotic mineralization 24 to 11 Ma. In concentrate: 8 ppb Pt; 16 ppb Pd. 5 percent of the deposit area is covered by alluvium.
Study area name Andes
References Briggs (2006); Codelco (2006); Cornejo and others (1997); Colley and others (1989); Fuller (1989); Gustafson and others (2001); Gustafson and Hunt (1975); Gustafson and Quiroga (1995); Münchmeyer (1996); Mote and others (2001); Sillitoe and McKee (1996); Sillitoe and Perelló (2005); Tarkian and Stribrny (1999); Watanabe and Hedenquist (2001); Zappettini and others (2001); 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Briggs, D.F., 2006, Mining operations report, ver. 2005: unpublished report, [unknown] p.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.
Colley, H., Treloar, P.J., and Diaz, F., 1989, Gold-silver mineralization in the El Salvador region, northern Chile, in Keays, R.R., Ramsay, W.R.H., and Groves, D.I., eds., The geology of gold deposits—The perspective in 1988: Economic Geology Monograph 6, p. 208–217.
Cornejo, Paula, Tosdal, R.M., Mpodozis, Constantino, Tomlinson, A.J., Rivera, Orlando, and Fanning, C.M., 1997, El Salvador, Chile porphyry copper deposit revisited—Geologic and geochronologic framework: International Geology Review, v. 39, p. 22–54. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00206819709465258.)
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.
Gustafson, L.B., and Hunt, J.P., 1975, The porphyry copper deposit at El Salvador, Chile: Economic Geology, v. 70, p. 857–912. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.70.5.857.)Gustafson, L.B., Orquera, Walter; McWilliams, Michael; Castro, Mario; Olivares, Osman; Rojas, Gonzalo; Maluenda, Juan; and Mendez, Marcello, 2001, Multiple centers of mineralization in the Indio Muerto district, El Salvador, Chile: Economic Geology, v. 96, p. 325–350. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.96.2.325.)Gustafson, L.B., and Quiroga G., Jorge, 1995, Patterns of mineralization and alteration below the porphyry copper orebody at El Salvador, Chile: Economic Geology, v. 90, p. 2–16. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.90.1.2.)Mote, T.L., Becker, T.A., Renne, Paul, and Brimhall, G.H., 2001, Chronology of exotic mineralization at El Salvador, Chile, by 40Ar/39Ar dating of copper wad and supergene alunite: Economic Geology, v. 96, p. 351–366. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.96.2.351.)
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 http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.91.1.164.)
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 http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1155/.Tarkian, 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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01161959.)Watanabe, Yasushi, and Hedenquist, J.W., 2001, Mineralogic and stable isotopic zonation at the surface over the El Salvador porphyry copper deposit, Chile: Economic Geology, v. 96, p. 1775–1798. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.96.8.1775.)
Zappettini, Eduardo; Miranda-Angles, Vitaliano; Rodriguez S., Carolina; Palacios, Oscar; Cocking,Robert; Godeas, Marta; Uribe-Zeballos, Hernán; Vivallo S., Waldo; Paz, M.M.; Seggiaro, Raúl; Heuschmidt, Bertand; Gardeweg P., Moyra; Boulangger Rondoy, Elmere; Korzeniewski, Lidia I.; Mpodozis M., Constantino; Carpio R., Mario; and Rubiolo, Daniel, 2001, Mapa metalogénico de laregión fronteriza entre Argentina, Bolivia, Chile y Perú (14ºS–28ºS): Santiago, Chile, Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, Publicacion Geológica Multinacional No. 2, 222 p., 1 map, scale 1:1,000,000.