El Teniente

Porphyry copper (Cu-Mo) deposit in Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins, Chile

Names and other identifiers

Alternate names Braden
Tract name Chile Miocene–Pliocene El Teniente (005pCu1014b)
Site status deposit

Geographic location

Country Chile
State or province Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins
Geographic location -70.4625, -34.0886
Geologic map unit -70.4625, -34.0886
Nearby data

Geologic information

Deposit type Porphyry copper
Deposit subtype Cu-Mo
Age (Ma) 5.4Ma
Age determination method Re-Os
Age range 6.3 ±0.03 to 4.42 ±0.02 Ma
Age reference Singer and others (2008)
Minerals actinolite, alunite, anhydrite/gypsum, apatite, azurite/malachite, barite, biotite, bornite, brochantite, carbonate, chalcocite/digenite, chalcopyrite, chlorite, chrysocolla, covellite, copper, cuprite/tenorite, enargite, epidote, galena, goethite/limonite, hematite/specularite, jarosite, kaolinite/illite/dickite, magnetite, molybdenite, montmorillonite/smectite, pyrite, pyrophyllite, rhodochrosite, rutile, scheelite, sericite, sphalerite, stibnite, tetrahedrite/tennantite, tourmaline
Associated rocks andesitic basalt porphyry, basalt porphyry, breccia, dacite porphyry, diabase, gabbro, lamprophyre, latite porphyry, tonalite porphyry, granodiorite, rhyolite, trachyandesite, andesite, andesite agglomerate, andesite breccia, andesite pyroclastics, sedimentary rocks
Tectonic setting continental margin
Stratigraphic age Miocene–Pliocene

Commodity and development information

Development status Producer
Major commodities Cu, Mo, Au, Ag
Trace commodities Pd, Pt
Tonnage (Mt) 20,731Mt
Cu grade (%) 0.62%
Mo grade (%) 0.019%
Au grade (g/t) 0.005g/t
Ag grade (g/t) 0.52g/t
Contained copper 130,000,000t
Gold-Moly ratio 0.3

Reference information

Comments In concentrate: 8 ppb Pt and 32 ppb Pd. 20 percent of the deposit area is covered by talus and glacial debris.
Study area name Andes
References Armbrust and others (1977); Briggs (2006); Camus (1975); Cannel and others (2005); Clark (1993); Codelco (2006); Freydier and others (1997); Fuller (1989); Howell and Malloy (1960); Maksaev and others (2004); Sillitoe and Perelló (2005); Skewes and others (2005); Skewes and Stern (1995); Tarkian and Stribrny (1999); Singer and others (2008)
Site reference Cunningham and others (2008)
Armbrust, G.A., Oyarzun M., J., and Arias, J., 1977, Rubidium as a guide to ore in Chilean porphyry copper deposits: Economic Geology, v. 72, p. 1086–1100. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.72.6.1086.)
Briggs, D.F., 2006, Mining operations report, ver. 2005: unpublished report, [unknown] p.
Camus, Francisco, 1975, Geology of the El Teniente orebody with emphasis on wall-rock alteration: Economic Geology, v. 70, p. 1341–1372. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.70.8.1341.)Cannel, James, Cooke, D.R., Walshe, J.L., and Stein, Holly, 2005, Geology, mineralization, alteration, and structural evolution of the El Teniente porphyry Cu-Mo deposit: Economic Geology, v. 100, p. 979–1003. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.100.5.979.)
Clark, A.H., 1993, Are outsize porphyry copper deposits either anatomically or environmentally distinctive?, in Whiting, B.H., Hodgson, C.J., and Mason, R., eds., Giant ore deposits: Society of Economic Geologists Special Publication 2, p. 213–283.
Codelco, 2006, Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco), Annual Reports 1983–2006.
Freydier, Claire; Ruiz, Joaquin; Chesley, John; McCandless, Tom; and Munizaga, Francisco, 1997, Re-Os isotope systematics of sulfides from felsic igneous rocks—Application to base metal porphyry mineralization in Chile: Geology, v. 25, p. 775–778. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/0091-7613(1997)025<0775:ROISOS>2.3.CO;2.)
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.
Howell, F.H., and Malloy, J.S., 1960, Geology of the Braden orebody, Chile, South America: Economic Geology, v. 55, p. 863–905. (Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.55.5.863.)
Maksaev, V., Munizaga, F., McWilliams, M., Fanning, M., Mathur, R., Ruiz, J., and Zentelli, M., 2004, New chronology for El Teniente, Chilean Andes, from U-Pb, 40Ar/39Ar, Re-Os and fission-track dating—Implications for the evolution of a supergiant porphyry Cu-Mo deposit, in Sillitoe, R.H., Perelló, J., and Vidal, C.E., eds., Andean metallogeny—New discoveries, concepts, and updates: Society of Economic Geologists Special Publication 11, p. 15–54.
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/.Skewes, M.A., Arévalo, A., Floody, R., Zuñiga, P.H., and Stern, C.R., 2005, The El Teniente megabreccia deposit—The world’s largest copper deposit, in Porter, T.M., ed., Super porphyry copper and gold deposits—A global perspective: Adelaide, PGC Publishing, v. 1, p. 83–113. (Abstract also available at http://www.portergeo.com.au/publishing/superporphyry/superpstart.html.)Skewes, M.A., and Stern, C.R.,1995, Genesis of the giant Late Miocene to Pliocene copper deposits of central Chile in the context of Andean Magmatic and tectonic evolution: International Geology Review, v. 37, p. 893–909. (Also available at http://geode.colorado.edu/~skewes/pdf/skewes_stern1995.pdf.)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.)