Mineralium Deposita

, 44:849

The El Teniente porphyry Cu–Mo deposit from a hydrothermal rutile perspective

  • Osvaldo M. Rabbia
  • Laura B. Hernández
  • David H. French
  • Robert W. King
  • John C. Ayers
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00126-009-0252-4

Cite this article as:
Rabbia, O.M., Hernández, L.B., French, D.H. et al. Miner Deposita (2009) 44: 849. doi:10.1007/s00126-009-0252-4

Abstract

Mineralogical, textural, and chemical analyses (EPMA and PIXE) of hydrothermal rutile in the El Teniente porphyry Cu–Mo deposit help to better constrain ore formation processes. Rutile formed from igneous Ti-rich phases (sphene, biotite, Ti-magnetite, and ilmenite) by re-equilibration and/or breakdown under hydrothermal conditions at temperatures ranging between 400°C and 700°C. Most rutile nucleate and grow at the original textural position of its Ti-rich igneous parent mineral phase. The distribution of Mo content in rutile indicates that low-temperature (∼400–550°C), Mo-poor rutile (5.4 ± 1.1 ppm) is dominantly in the Mo-rich mafic wallrocks (high-grade ore), while high-temperature (∼550-700°C), Mo-rich rutile (186 ± 20 ppm) is found in the Mo-poor felsic porphyries (low-grade ore). Rutile from late dacite ring dikes is a notable exception to this distribution pattern. The Sb content in rutile from the high-temperature potassic core of the deposit to its low-temperature propylitic fringe remains relatively constant (35 ± 3 ppm). Temperature and Mo content of the hydrothermal fluids in addition to Mo/Ti ratio, modal abundance and stability of Ti-rich parental phases are key factors constraining Mo content and provenance in high-temperature (≥550°C) rutile. The initial Mo content of parent mineral phases is controlled by melt composition and oxygen fugacity as well as timing and efficiency of fluid–melt separation. Enhanced reduction of SO2-rich fluids and sulfide deposition in the Fe-rich mafic wallrocks influences the low-temperature (≤550°C) rutile chemistry. The data are consistent with a model of fluid circulation of hot (>550°C), oxidized (ƒO2 ≥ NNO + 1.3), SO2-rich and Mo-bearing fluids, likely exsolved from deeper crystallizing parts of the porphyry system and fluxed through the upper dacite porphyries and related structures, with metal deposition dominantly in the Fe-rich mafic wallrocks.

Keywords

Rutile El Teniente Porphyry copper deposit Molybdenum Chile 

Supplementary material

126_2009_252_MOESM1_ESM.doc (404 kb)
Supplementary Data Repository(DOC 404 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Osvaldo M. Rabbia
    • 1
  • Laura B. Hernández
    • 1
  • David H. French
    • 2
  • Robert W. King
    • 3
  • John C. Ayers
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto GEA, Casilla 160-CUniversidad de ConcepciónConcepción 3Chile
  2. 2.CSIRO, Lucas Heights Science and Technology CentreBangorAustralia
  3. 3.Mérida 1948, Parque Residencial Laguna GrandeSan Pedro de la PazChile
  4. 4.Department of GeologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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