Cerro Casale

Porphyry copper (Cu-Au) deposit in Atacama, Chile

Names and other identifiers

Alternate names Aldebaran
Tract name Argentina-Chile Miocene–Pliocene Cerro Casale (005pCu1013a)
Site status deposit

Geographic location

Country Chile
State or province Atacama
Geographic location -69.233333333, -27.783333333
Geologic map unit -69.233333333, -27.783333333
Nearby data

Geologic information

Deposit type Porphyry copper
Deposit subtype Cu-Au
Age (Ma) 13.5Ma
Age determination method K-Ar alunite
Age range 13.5 ±0.5 Ma
Age reference Sillitoe and others (1991)
Minerals alunite, anhydrite/gypsum, barite, biotite, chalcanthite, chalcopyrite, clay minerals, chlorite, diaspore, galena, gold, hematite/specularite, kaolinite, magnetite, molybdenite, pyrite, sericite, sphalerite, tourmaline
Associated rocks breccia, dacite porphyry, diorite porphyry, andesite, andesite tuff, conglomerate, sandstone
Tectonic setting continental margin
Stratigraphic age Miocene

Commodity and development information

Development status Prospect
Major commodities Cu, Mo, Au
Tonnage (Mt) 1,285Mt
Cu grade (%) 0.35%
Mo grade (%) 0.02%
Au grade (g/t) 0.7g/t
Contained copper 4,500,000t
Gold-Moly ratio 35

Reference information

Comments Exposed. Maricunga belt. There is a transition from Cu-Au porphyry (20c) to Au-bearing quartz- polymetallic veins (22c) and further to high-sulfidation Au epithermal veins (25e) within 3.5 km (NW) and 1 km high.
Study area name Andes
References Camus (2005); Cunningham and others (2008); Muntean and Einaudi (2001); Sillitoe (2000c); Sillitoe and others (1991); Sillitoe and Perelló (2005); Vila and Sillitoe (1991); Singer and others (2008)
Site reference Cunningham and others (2008)
Camus, F., 2005, The Andean porphyry systems, in Porter, T.M., ed., Super porphyry copper and gold deposits—A global perspective: Adelaide, PGC Publishing, v. 1, p. 45–63. (Abstract also available at http://www.portergeo.com.au/publishing/superporphyry/superpstart.html.)Cunningham, 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 http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1253/.)Muntean, J.L, and Einaudi, M.T., 2001, Porphyry-epithermal transition—Marikunga belt, northern Chile: Economic Geology, v. 96, p. 743–772. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.96.4.743.)
Sillitoe, R.H., 2000c, Gold-rich porphyry deposits—Descriptive and genetic models and their role in exploration and discovery, in Hagemann, S.G., and Brown, P.E., eds., Gold in 2000: Reviews in Economic Geology, v. 13, p. 315–345.
Sillitoe, R.H., McKee, E.H., and Vila, Tomás, 1991, Reconnaissance K-Ar geochronology of the Maricunga gold-silver belt, northern Chile: Economic Geology, v. 86, p. 1261–1270.
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/.Vila, Tomás, and Sillitoe, R.H., 1991, Gold-rich porphyry systems in the Maricunga gold-silver belt, northern Chile: Economic Geology, v. 86, p. 1238–1260. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.86.6.1238.)