Mineralium Deposita

, 44:265 | Cite as

Recycling of orogenic arc crust triggers porphyry Cu mineralization in Kerman Cenozoic arc rocks, southeastern Iran

  • Behnam Shafiei
  • Michael Haschke
  • Jamshid Shahabpour


Pre-collisional Eocene–Oligocene arc diorites, quartzdiorites, granodiorites, and volcanic equivalents in the Kerman arc segment in central Iran lack porphyry Cu mineralization and ore deposits, whereas collisional middle-late Miocene adakite-like porphyritic granodiorites without volcanic equivalents host some of the world’s largest Cu ore deposits. Petrological and structural constraints suggest a direct link between orogenic arc crust evolution and the presence of a fertile metallogenic environment. Ore-hosting Kuh Panj porphyry intrusions exhibit high Sr (>400 ppm), low Y (<12 ppm) contents, significant REE fractionation (La/Yb > 20), no negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* ≥ 1), and relatively non-radiogenic Sr isotope signatures (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7042–0.7047), relative to Eocene–Oligocene granitoids (mainly Sr < 400 ppm; Y > 12; La/Yb < 15; Eu/Eu* < 1; 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7053–0.7068). Trace element modeling indicates peridotite melting for the barren Eocene–Oligocene intrusions and a hydrous garnet-bearing amphibolite source for middle-late Miocene ore-hosting intrusions. The presence of garnet implies collisional arc crustal thickening by shortening and basaltic underplating from about 30–35 to 40–45 km or 12 kbar. The changes in residual mineralogy in the source of Eocene to Miocene rocks in the Kerman arc segment reflect probing of a thickening arc crust by recycling melting of the arc crustal keel. Underplating of Cu and sulfur-rich melts from fertile peridotite generated a fertile metallogenic reservoir at or near the crust–mantle boundary, and dehydration melting under oxidizing conditions produced syn- and post-collisional ore-hosting intrusions, while the lack of post-collisional volcanism prevented the venting of volatiles to the atmosphere from sulfur-rich and oxidized adakitic magmas.


Porphyry copper Metallogenesis Alpine–Himalayan collision Kerman Iran 



This study is part of the senior author’s Ph.D. dissertation at Shaheed Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran. Logistical and financial support were provided by the Research and Development center of National Iranian Cu Industries (NICICo). We are grateful to S. Ghasemi, A. Atashpanjeh, and M. Pourkani (NICICo) for providing drill core samples of Kerman porphyry Cu deposits, and Rio Tinto Ltd. for permission to use data from unpublished reports 2000–2001. We thank J. Ramezani (MIT, USA) for Sr–Nd–Pb isotopic measurements and A. van der Merwe for graphics work. We gratefully acknowledge J. Richards, P. Hollings, and F. Bouzari for constructive and helpful reviews, and we appreciate the very helpful suggestions and comments by the Editor B. Lehmann and Associate Editor T. Bissig.

Supplementary material

126_2008_216_MOESM1_ESM.doc (186 kb)
ESM 1 (186 KB DOC)
126_2008_216_MOESM2_ESM.doc (1.2 mb)
Table 4 Major (wt.%) and trace element (ppm) analyses of representative granitoid rocks in the KCMA (1.18 MB DOC)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Behnam Shafiei
    • 1
  • Michael Haschke
    • 2
  • Jamshid Shahabpour
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeologyGolestan UniversityGorgan, I. R.Iran
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of GeologyShaheed Bahonar University of KermanKermanIran

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