The Stratiform Ag-Cu Deposit El Jardín, Northern Chile

  • C. K. Mayer
  • L. Fontboté
Part of the Special Publication No. 8 of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits book series (MINERAL DEPOS., volume 8)


The El Jardín mine belongs to a belt of stratabound Cu, Ag-Cu and Ag deposits in the lower part of the Hornitos Formation (Upper Cretaceous?, Paleocene?) in northern Chile. Other examples of this belt are: Elisa de Bordos [Ag-(Hg); see Jurgeit and Fontboté this Vol.], Amolanas (Cu-Ag), El Venado (Ag-Cu), Boli-viana [Ag-(Hg)], Altar de Cobre (Cu) and a great number of smaller deposits (Fig. 1). Exhibiting differences in ore textures, the deposits show similarities in host rock lithology, and mineralogic and geochemical composition. Vein-type deposits occur in the same stratigraphic position. Nordenskjöld (1897), Kuntz (1923), Little (1926), Cortés (1942), and Segerstrom (1959) provided early descriptions followed by Lortie and Clark (1974, 1987), Mayer and Fontboté (1984, 1986), Jurgeit et al. (1986) and Mayer (1988). This paper is based on field and laboratory work and presents a short description of host rock lithology, diagenetic evolution, ore geometry, composition, and zonation of the El Jardín mine (27°45′30″S/70°11′30″W), 47 km SEE of Copiapó, capital of the Atacama Province, N-Chile (Fig. 1). The main ore horizon is mined in several smaller mines at a length of about 3 km. A second ore horizon, stratigraphically 40 m above the main orebody, was mined during 1982 and 1983, but the production ceased due to processing problems. The production is about 100 t/day with an ore grade of 1.8% Cu and 100 g/t Ag. The present description is restricted to the main orebody in the sectors Zulema, San Pedro and San Antonio (Fig. 3).


Coal Seam Silver Sulfide Argillic Alteration High Alumina Basalt Pumice Fragment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Coira B, Davidson J, Mpodozis C, Ramos V (1982) Tectonic and magmatic evolution of the Andes of northern Argentina and Chile. Earth Sci Rev 18:303–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cortés JL (1942) El yacimiento de cobre de Amolanas en Copiapó. Anales 1 Congr Pan Ing Min Geol Santiago 3:1139–1144Google Scholar
  3. Fisher RV, Schmincke HU (1984) Pyroclastic rocks. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York Tokyo, 472 pCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Jurgeit M, Mayer CK, Fontboté L (1986) Pyroklastische Gesteine und Erzführung in der schichtförmigen Silberlagerstätte Elisa de Bordos, Formation Hornitos, Region Atacama, Chile. Berliner Geowiss Abh A, Sonderbd (Geowiss Lateinamerika-Kolloq, Berlin, Abstr), pp 149-150Google Scholar
  5. Jurgeit M, Fontboté L The stratabound tuff-hosted Elisa de Bordos silver-mercury deposit, northern Chile. This Vol, pp 647-658Google Scholar
  6. Kuntz J (1923) La minería de Copiapó. Santiago, Bol Min 35:87–100, 131-156, 165-210Google Scholar
  7. Little JM (1926) The geology and metal deposits of Chile. Branwell, New York, 188 pGoogle Scholar
  8. Lortie RB, Clark AH (1974) Stratabound fumarolic copper in rhyolitic lavas and ash-flow tuffs, Copiapó District, Atacama, Chile. Problems of Ore Deposition, Fourth IAGOD Symp, Varna I:256–264Google Scholar
  9. Lortie RB, Clark AH (1987) Strata-bound cupriferous sulfide mineralization associated with continental rhyolitic volcanic rocks, Northern Chile: I. The Jardín copper-silver deposit. Econ Geol 82:546–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mayer CK (1988) Ag-und Ag-Cu-Lagerstätten in der Region Atacama, Nordchile. Lagerstättenkundliche und geochemische Untersuchungen am Beispiel der Distrikte Chañarcillo (Ag-[Co-Ni-As]) und El Jardín (Ag-Cu). Heidelberger Geowiss Abh 19:290Google Scholar
  11. Mayer CK, Fontboté L (1984) Die Grube El Jardín (Provinz Atacama, N-Chile), ein typisches Beispiel von stratiformen Ag-Cu-Lagerstätten in kontinentalen euxinischen Fazien, gebunden an saure Vulkanite. IX Geowiss Lateinamerika-Kolloq, Marburg, Tagungsheft, pp 106-107Google Scholar
  12. Mayer CK, Fontboté L (1986) Paragenetische und geochemische Zonierung in der stratiformen Ag-Cu-Lagerstätte El Jardin, Region Atacama, N-Chile. Berliner (Geowiss Abh A Sonderbd. Geowiss Lateinamerika-Kolloq, Berlin, Abstr), pp 159-160Google Scholar
  13. Nordenskjöld O (1897) Über einige Erzlagerstätten der Atacamawüste. Bull Geol Inst Upsala 3:347–351Google Scholar
  14. Roseboom Jr EH (1966) An investigation of the system Cu-S and some natural copper sulfides between 25 °C and 700 °C. Econ Geol 61:641–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Segerstrom K (1959) Cuadrángulo Los Loros, Provincia de Atacama. Inst Invest Geol Carta Geol Chile 1,1:33Google Scholar
  16. Segerstrom K (1968) Geología de las hojas Copiapó y Ojos del Salado, Prov. de Atacama. Inst Invest Geol, Santiago, Bol 24:58Google Scholar
  17. Segerstrom K, Parker RL (1959) Cuadrángulo Cerrillos; Provincia de Atacama. Inst Invest Geol Santiago, Carta Geol Chile 1,2:33Google Scholar
  18. Teichmüller M, Teichmüller R (1967) Diagenesis of coal. In: Diagenesis in Sediments. Develop Sediment 8, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 391–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Thorpe RS, Francis PW, Moorbath S (1979) Rare earth and strontium isotope evidence concerning the petrogenesis of North Chilean ignimbrites. Earth Planet Sci Let 42:359–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Zentilli M (1974) Geological evolution and metallogenetic relationships in the Andes of Northern Chile between 26° and 29° South. Ph D Thesis, Queens Univ, Kingston, Ontario, Can 394 pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. K. Mayer
    • 1
  • L. Fontboté
    • 1
  1. 1.Mineralogisch-Petrographisches InstitutUniversitätHeidelbergDeutschland

Personalised recommendations