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Gold endowments of porphyry deposits controlled by precipitation efficiency

Published in Nature Communications. 2020, vol. 11, no. 248
Abstract Porphyry deposits are natural suppliers of most copper and significant gold to our society. Whereas the Cu-richest (Au-poor) porphyries are related to Andean-type subduction and typical calc-alkaline magmatism, the Au-richest porphyries are associated with high-K calc- alkaline to alkaline magmatism in late to post-subduction or post-collision and extensional settings, and subordinately with calc-alkaline magmatism. The reasons behind these asso- ciations and the large variations in metal endowments of porphyry Cu–Au deposits remain obscure. Here, I show that porphyry Cu–Au deposits define two distinct trends in Au vs. Cu tonnage plots (Cu-rich and Au-rich). Metal endowments for both trends grow larger the longer the mineralization process. However, Au is precipitated at much higher rates in Au- rich than in Cu-rich porphyry deposits. Using Monte Carlo simulations of petrologic pro- cesses, I show that whereas Cu-rich porphyries require large amounts of magma and water to be formed, Au-rich porphyries are the result of a better efficiency of Au precipitation.
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Research groups Isotope Geochemistry, Geochronology and Thermochronology
Mineral Resources and Geofluids
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CHIARADIA, Massimo. Gold endowments of porphyry deposits controlled by precipitation efficiency. In: Nature Communications, 2020, vol. 11, n° 248. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-14113-1 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:128994

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Deposited on : 2020-01-16

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