4CENOZOIC METALLOGENIC POTENTIALOF CENTRAL IRANCenozoic mineralization in central Iran can beviewed within the Neo-Tethyan tectonic framework outlined above, from which it is clear that the main period of porphyry copper formation occurred dur-ing the later stages of subduction-related magmaticactivity in the Urumieh-Dokhtar arc. Good geologi-cal exposure in the core of this belt means that mostoutcropping porphyry systems have already beendiscovered. However, there is potential for explora-tion beneath Pliocene–Quaternary cover at the mar-gins of the belt.Perhaps of greater potential, however, is explora-tion for epithermal styles of mineralization, particu-larly of the alkalic-gold type associated with post-subduction or collisional tectonics (Richards, 1995).Mildly to highly alkalic volcano-plutonic systemsare scattered widely throughout central Iran, and arenot restricted to the narrow Urumieh-Dokhtar arc.Understanding these deposits, or predicting their oc-currence, will require a considerably more detailedknowledge of the tectonomagmatic framework thanis currently available for this region.5CONCLUSIONSCentral Iran marks the locus of collision between theArabian and Eurasian plates following subduction of the Neo-Tethys ocean. This collision was multi-stage and diachronous, involving the elimination of at least two small oceanic plates (Neo-Tethys I andII) during the Cenozoic. Porphyry copper depositsare associated with pre-collisional arc magmatism,and there is potential for alkalic-type gold and other styles of epithermal mineralization in associationwith post-subduction alkalic magmatism. The geol-ogy of this region is not well known, however, andits mineralization potential has not yet been thor-oughly tested using modern exploration techniques.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI am grateful to Rio Tinto Mining & Exploration for field and logistical support while visiting Iran in thesummer of 2002. In particular, I would like to thank Neil McLaurin, John Bartram, Hossein Iranmanesh,Esmaeil Heidari, Hooshang Asadi, Kambiz Moha- jeran, and Faranak Parvinpour. Brent McInnes isthanked for stimulating discussions in the field.REFERENCES
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1239Metallogeny of the Neo-Tethys arc in central Iran