Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 417–434 | Cite as

Origin of native copper in the Paraná volcanic province, Brazil, integrating Cu stable isotopes in a multi-analytical approach

  • Sérgio Benjamin Baggio
  • Léo Afraneo Hartmann
  • Marina Lazarov
  • Hans-Joachim Massonne
  • Joachim Opitz
  • Thomas Theye
  • Tillmann Viefhaus


Different hypotheses exist on the origin of native copper mineralization in the Paraná volcanic province that invoke magmatic, late magmatic, or hydrothermal events. The average copper content in the host basalts is ~200 ppm. Native copper occurs as dendrites in cooling joints, fractures, and cavities within amygdaloidal crusts. Cuprite, tenorite, chrysocolla, malachite, and azurite occur in breccias at the top of the lava flows. Chemical analyses, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectrometry, electron microprobe analyses, LA-ICP-MS, and Cu isotope analyses were used to evaluate the origin of native copper in the volcanic province. Copper contents in magnetite of the host basalt are close to 1 wt.%, whereas clinopyroxene contains up to 0.04 wt.% Cu. Cretaceous hydrothermal alteration of magnetite and clinopyroxene released copper to generate hydrothermal copper mineralization. The isotopic composition of the native copper in the Paraná volcanic province varies from −0.9‰ in the southeastern portion (Rio Grande do Sul state) to 1.9‰ in the central portion (Paraná state) of the province. This study supports a hydrothermal origin followed by supergene enrichment for native copper in the Paraná volcanic province.


Paraná volcanic province Native copper Copper isotopes Hydrothermal mineralization 



The financial support was provided by Project VALE/CNPq, MCT, and Mineral Sector Fund (CT-Mineral) entitled “Desenvolvimento de metodologia de exploração geológica para geodos de ametista e ágata, cobre e outros bens minerais em ambiente hidrotermal do Grupo Serra Geral, sul-sudeste do Brasil” and project of excellence PRONEX-FAPERGS/CNPq on strategic minerals from southern Brazil, coordinated by Léo A. Hartmann. The authors wish to thank P.C. Soares, A.R. Cabral, three anonymous reviewers and the editors Frank Melcher and Georges Beaudoin for their comments that helped to improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sérgio Benjamin Baggio
    • 1
  • Léo Afraneo Hartmann
    • 1
  • Marina Lazarov
    • 2
  • Hans-Joachim Massonne
    • 3
  • Joachim Opitz
    • 3
  • Thomas Theye
    • 3
  • Tillmann Viefhaus
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Leibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  3. 3.Universität StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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