ANDEAN METALLOGENESIS: A SYNOPTICAL REVIEW AND INTERPRETATION

(*)
Jorge Oyarzún Departamento de Minas, Universidad de La Serena, Casilla 554, La Serena, Chile

(*) In:

CORDANI, U.G. / MILANI, E.J. / THOMAS FILHO, A. / CAMPOS, D.A. TECTONIC EVOLUTION OF SOUTH AMERICA, P. 725-753 / RIO DE JANEIRO, 2000

Abstract- The paper presents an introductory view of the Andean belt and their mineral deposits, followed by a general description of each of the principal Andean metallic provinces: the iron, copper, gold-silver, pollymetallic and tin belts. Finally, the segmentation, zoning and metallogenetic evolution of the Andean belt is described and discussed. Although a major part of the Andean ore deposits are related to magmatic activity, and calc-alkaline magmas are dominant, at least the larger deposits of the belt are related to short-lived disruptions in the normal tectonic regime and in the mechanisms of magma generation and emplacement. Both changes in rate and angle of convergence of the

tectonic plates are key factors for explaining such disruptions though the deep structure of the continental lithospheric plate seems also important. Most of the larger ore deposits of the Andean belt have a Tertiary age and are in the central part of the Andes (10º S to 35º S), where the belt has developed a thick continental crust, as a consequence of a higher degree of orogenic evolution during the Mesozoic-Cenozoic span. This relationship has a parallel in the magmatic-metallogenetical evolution of the island arcs, where the number of different types of ore deposits and the magnitude of the larger ones followed to the development of a dioritic-tonalitic crust. A possible explanation to this analogous behaviour may be related to the growing opportunities for interactions between magmas, solid materials and fluids from different layers (from the asthenosphere to the crustal sedimentary strata) provided by the increasing complexity of the orogen.

Resumen- La presente contribución entrega una visión introductoria de la cadena andina y sus yacimientos minerales, seguida por una descripción general de cada una de sus principales provincias metálicas: las fajas ferríferas, cupríferas, de metales preciosos, polimetálica y estañífera. Finalmente, se describen y discuten la segmentación, la zonificación metálica transversal y la evolución metalogenética de la cadena andina. Aunque una parte principal de los yacimientos metalíferos andinos se relaciona directa o indirectamente a la actividad magmática y el magmatismo calcoalcalino ha sido dominante, al menos los principales yacimientos del orógeno se relacionan con trastornos del régimen tectónico y de los mecanismos de generación y emplazamiento de magmas. Tales trastornos han sido producidos por rápidos cambios en la velocidad de convergencia de las placas tectónicas oceánica y continental, así como por modificaciones del ángulo de convergencia, aunque probablemente también la geometría de la corteza continental profunda ha tenido un rol significativo. La mayoría de los grandes yacimientos metalíferos andinos tiene edad terciaria y se encuentra en la parte central del orógeno (10º S a 35º S) donde su corteza continental es más profunda. Ello se interpreta en términos del mayor grado de evolución orogénica de ese segmento andino durante el lapso Mesozoico-Cenozoico. La relación antes señalada tiene un paralelo en la evolución magmática-metalogénica de los arcos de islas, donde tanto la producción de yacimientos de distinta tipología como la magnitud que ellos alcanzan crecen junto con el

desarrollo de una corteza diorítico-tonalítica. Una posible explicación de esta analogía radica en las mayores oportunidades de interacción entre magmas, materiales sólidos y fluidos (desde la astenósfera hasta los niveles sedimentarios corticales) que ofrece la creciente complejidad del orógeno.

Introduction: The Andean Belt and its Mineral Deposits
In geological terms, the Andean belt has a particular importance as a model for the evolution of magmatic arcs developed over close to the continental crust, on an active, plate consuming, convergence border. Although the magnetic anomalies of the oceanic floor permit to follow the convergence history of the margin only as far back as the Cretaceous, there are geological evidence of plate tectonic activity in the Andean domain during Palaeozoic times. In consequence, the geological evolution of the Andes offers a most interesting frame for describing the metallogenical development of the belt and searching for the reasons that explain the origin and geological evolution of their mineral belts. The Andean belt is a complex orogenic system, that has its maximum wide (near 800 km) around 18º S and comprehends several cordilleras, sierras, plateaux, basins and valleys. Three well defined different cordilleras and one sierra are distinguished in Colombia, while only one cordillera exists in south Ecuador. The present configuration of the belt is relatively recent. Thus, the Bolivian Altiplano was a subsident zone until its Pliocene uplift. The valley or longitudinal depressions present a rapid subsidence in some sectors (e.g., Colombia, south Chile), where the accumulated Plio-Quaternary sedimentary and volcanic materials attain up to 5-10 km in thickness. The present Andean cordilleras lift up over the western and north-western border of the South American tectonic plate and face four other tectonic plates, three of them of oceanic type: The Nazca, Cocos and Caribbean plates, and one of oceanic-continental nature, the Antarctic plate. Only the Cocos, Nazca, and Antartic plates present

active subduction (the relative motion of the Caribbean plate being of transcurrent type). The seismic activity affects the entire Andean belt, but the Benioff zone under the Continent exhibits important differences in definition and angle of dip, attaining a maximum depth (some 350 km) at the central part of the Andes. The oceanic trench also attains a maximum depth (some 8 km) between lats. 22º and 25º S, where it run parallel to the coast, some 100 km westward. Considering the relatively close heights of the Principal Cordillera, this part of the Andean belt presents the major topographic contrast of the Earth. The continental crust has different thickness along the belt, attaining a maximum of 70 km under the Principal Cordillera, between 14º S and 22º S, a figure close to that of the continental crust under the Himalayas. In exchange, the thickness of the continental crust is small or null under a part of the coastal region of Colombia and Ecuador. Also, the continental crust varies in thickness transversally to the belt, first increasing, and then diminishing, until it become stable at a figure of 3035 km under the continental shield. The presence of major longitudinal and transversal faults is an important trait of the Andean geology. The first ones have controlled the vertical displacement of the longitudinal tectonic blocks, as well as the magmatic emplacement and the distribution of ore deposits. Several of these faults, as those of Romeral (Colombia) and Atacama (Chile), have a history that began, at least, during the Early Mesozoic. The transversal faults linked to differential displacements of the continental plate, have also played an important role in the distribution of some ore deposits, e.g., the Chaucha porphyry copper, Ecuador (Goossens and Hollister, 1973). The Andean belt presents hundreds of strato volcanoes and many of them are important heights of the Belt. They are distributed in three main active segments: 5º N - 2º S (andesitic-basaltic), 16º S - 28º S (andesitic) and 37º S - 46º S (andesitic-basaltic). Only five stratovolcanoes are known in a more southern position (48º S - 56º S), and their composition are andesitic. The principal volcanic segment: 16º S 28º S, also presents around 150.000 Km2 of Miocene-Pliocene rhyodacitic ignimbrites; some of the flows being linked to very large calderas (up to 30 km in diameter, Francis and Baker, 1978). Some of the Andean volcanoes have supplied important clues for understanding the genesis of the ore deposits, as in the cases of San Fernando, Ecuador (Goossens, 1972a), and El Laco, Chile (Park, 1961). Although some authors, as Aubouin et al. (1973) and Zeil (1979), sustain the existence of fundamental differences between the Paleozoic and post Paleozoic geologic development of the Andean belt, these

differences depend on the Andean segment and the period considered. Neither the episodes of marginal basin development nor the stages of strong horizontal compressive tectonics are exclusive traits of the Palaeozoic evolution. On the other hand, important sedimentary Palaeozoic basins are characterized by vertical tectonics. Also, calcalkaline magmatism, so typical of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Andean belts, is equally abundant during the Palaeozoic, and attains a peak during the Permian. Thus, the Permian-Triassic transition occurs in geological continuity. Finally, Palaeozoic and post-Palaeozoic tectonic directions are similar and the Palaeozoic metallogenesis includes the same metals deposited in Mesozoic and Cenozoic times, although the areal distribution of the metallic belts is different. Porphyry copper deposits, a main trait of the Cenozoic Andean metallogenesis, were formed in the Andean domain at least since the Carboniferous (Sillitoe, 1977). Nevertheless, some of the characteristics traits of the Andean belt, e.g., the generation of large amounts of calc-alkaline magmatism, became heightened in Mesozoic and Cenozoic times, whereas other, like the accretion of oceanic prisms, lessened their relative importance. The separation of South America from Africa that began during the Jurassic, did not imply radical changes in the Andean belt evolution, which remained basically a "magmatic belt" (Zeil, 1979). As suggested by Coney (1970) and other authors, this evolution may be described in terms of the superimposition of magmatic arcs over the edge of the Continent. This description, which is valid for the central Andean segment, should also include episodes of accretion to the Continent of oceanic magmatic-sedimentary prisms at the northern and southern parts of the belt. Ensialic basin development was also important during the Mesozoic and during the Cenozoic Andean evolution. However, some of these Mesozoic basins (e.g., the Neocomian basin in central Chile, Aberg et al., 1984), attained during their evolution several characteristics of the marginal basins. The Andean belt exhibits the imprints of several important compressive episodes. However, their intensity was different along the belt. Besides, strong folding was attained only on the miogeosynclinal facies between the western volcanics and the eastern continental terrains. Mesozoic Andean magmatism includes tholeiitic, calc-alkaline and alkaline series. Tholeiitic series are characteristic of the accreted oceanic prisms of the Northern Andes, whereas calc-alkaline magmatism predominated along the principal magmatic arc of the belt, and alkaline magmatism appeared in small amounts, as intrusive and extrusive

Both. selenium. in addition to high-grade tin ores. polymetallic and tin belts (the last one. the main difference concerns the huge amounts of ores formed after the Palaeozoic. especially in the Central and Southern Andes. alone. although some segments are extremely rich and others have scarce or null presence of mineral deposits. Potosí. the last 30 years have been generous in terms of the discovery of new "world class" ore deposits. 1998). such us El Indio and Escondida in Chile. and the Andes are still . 14º S and 30º S. 1975). as well as some Ni-Cr deposits in ultrabasic rocks. they contain ore deposits of different ages. Stoll. 1988) and in the Tertiary back-arc region of northwest Argentina (Sasso and Clark. The tin-silver province of south Bolivia is well known by their "fabulous" deposits. Chile. In exchange. has about a quarter of the world’s copper reserves and close to one third of those of molybdenum. tellurium. The post-Paleozoic metallic provinces appear as 50 to 300 km wide belts. and which are generally associated to sub-volcanic igneous rocks. Cu-Fe deposits in amphibolites and W deposits in granulites of the Pampean Ranges of Argentina. some 500 km from the coast).000 t of silver. Besides. 1996. bismuth. rhenium. iodine. Also. Though Palaeozoic and post-Palaeozoic Andean ore deposits contain basically the same metals. where three or all the four provinces are present. tin. barium. 1977). berilium.. the copper and the polymetallic provinces are present along the major part of the Andes. Although these major provinces are defined by the predominance of one or two principal metals. which have minor economic importance (Di Marco and Mutti. there are some differences regarding the type of deposits (e. there are not post-Paleozoic BIF’s). the presence of shoshonitic rocks has been established both in the Jurassic-Early Cretaceous magmatic arc in Central Chile (Levi et al. silver. Regarding the older ore deposits in the Andean domain. indium. elongated parallel to the Andes. Between lats. boron. The Andes are one of the richest orogenic belts in terms of metallic ores and several of the Andean countries are among the top ten of the world. nitrates. either in production or in geological reserves of antimony. tungsten and zinc (Petersen. the tin and the iron provinces are more restrained along the Andean belt but present an homogeneous distribution of the ore deposits.. lead. molybdenum.g. platinum. typologies and paragenesis. the iron belt appears close to the Pacific coast.bodies in the back arc region. followed by the copper. However. copper. the only ones that have a possible Precambrian age are some Ni and Cr ores in ultrabasic rocks of the Eastern Cordillera of Perú. which produced some 60. as Cerro Rico. Equally famous are the polymetallic and copper provinces of Perú.

Bolivia and Argentina. that is interbeded with micaschists. The ores are oolithic and the iron beds. because of the specials characteristics of the district. deposited during a marine transgression. as in the case of the evaporitic deposits of Chile. some industrial minerals of the Andes present special interest. cherts and greenschists) that have a Lower Carboniferous metamorphic age and belong to an accreted terrain (Aguirre et al. The present exposition will now describe the different metallic provinces of the Andes. The oceanic volcano-sedimentary prisms contains. 1) may be grouped in four types: BIF type deposits of the Nahuelbuta belt (Chile). attracting about 15% of the world’s investment in mineral exploration. including a special section on precious metal deposits and will be completed with a discussion of the main factors involved in the metallogenetical interpretation of the belt.t. Also. 1972). and in Colombia. The BIF-type iron ores of Nahuelbuta are emplaced in highpressure metamorphic rocks (pelitic schists. situated between 38º05’ S and 38º30 ‘ S. the Sn-Ag sub-volcanic deposits in Bolivia and the zoned polymetallic deposits of Perú. The principal iron mineralization. some chromite podiform deposits and also some pyritic Cu-Zn massive sulfide bodies. oolithic iron deposits in northwest Argentina and Colombia. Ore reserves are about 100 M. nitrate and borates. Kiruna-type deposits in the coastal ranges of north Chile and Perú and skarn type FeCu deposits of the Andahuaylas-Yauri zone in Perú. On the other hand.. in addition to the magnetite ores. iodine. contain . important scientific studies have been dedicated to those types of ore deposits that are well represented in the Andean belt. 1984). The Argentinean deposits are in coastal marine facies at the eastern border of a central craton. where they are Upper Eocene in age. crops out in three main areas. lithium.. where they have a Lower Silurian age.. but will be considered separately. that contain huge amounts of potassium. epithermal Au-Ag deposits. Metallic Provinces in the Andes The iron belt The iron ore deposits of the Andean domain (Fig. close to 73º15’ W.considered a first class target. This is the case of porphyry copper. The magnetite deposit of El Laco volcanic structure in north Chile is included in the third group. containing 30% Fe (Oyarzun et al. The oolithic iron deposits are found in northwest Argentina.

and dynamic schists of this origin are frequent. The principal districts (e.chamosite (partly altered to hematite) as the principal iron mineral (Bossi and Viramonte. ore for the whole belt.. between Lagunillas (Venezuela) and Sabanalarga (Colombia). The iron-bearing magmatic complexes presents horizontal sections that were originally circular (Boquerón Chañar) or ellipsoidal (El Romeral) but were later modified by strike-slip faulting. during a marine transgression. crops out the Sabanalarga formation. Río Iruya and Unchimé. the alignement of the major deposits coincides with a pre-Cretaceous crustal weakness line that controled the western border of the Neocomian basin (the present Atacama Fault Zone). The iron ore has an aluminous composition and chert content is low. At a regional scale. minor chalcopyrite. followed by silicification .g. Hydrothermal alteration is widespread and complex. but replacement is dominant in the larger deposits. In general. 1975).2% P. are situated between 27º S and 30º S and their reserves (before mining) are about 200 M. Some 70 km south from Paz del Río. (60% Fe) with some 2000 M. with a maximum wide of 8 km. faulting is intensive and extensive in the iron belt. actinolite. as other districts of the belt. 1970). The Kiruna-type iron deposits of north Chile are distributed along a narrow N to NNE belt on the Coastal Range between 25º S and 31º S.. El Romeral: 29º43’ S). Both. Their total pre-mining reserves are about 300 M. was formed at the Upper Eocene. that present similar oolithic iron ores (Angulo. Though the productive formation (Zapla) crops out along hundreds of kilometers in a north-south direction. 1978). close to 65º W.t.). as a part of a sequence of sandstones and shales deposited in the beach-lagoon transition zone. The mineral ores contain 4247% Fe and 0. probably comagmatic with the andesitic rocks (Oyarzún and Frutos. is dominant. the principal deposits occur between 24º S and 25º S. etc. The paragenesis of this Kiruna-type ore deposits includes low Ti-magnetite.t. El Algarrobo-Penoso: 28º47’ S. actinolite and apatite as main species. They are those of Zapla. Paz del Río. where the oolithic iron formation is 0. The oolithic iron deposits of Colombia are part of a 650 km long NNE belt. intruded by dioritic bodies. The principal zone is that of Paz del Río (6º11’ N / 72º43’ W). 1984). ore.8-1. which presents at least four zones of mineralized outcrops.t.5 to 8 m thick and crops out along 57 km in N30ºW direction. partly altered to chlorite. However. The axis of this belt is in close coincidence with that of the Neocomian magmatic arc. containing 40% Fe (Angelelli et al. replacement and fracture filling are observed. as well as minor scapolite and a late sulfide phase (pyrite. The mineralized complexes are formed by volcanic and sub-volcanic andesitic rocks.

that have been mined for their copper content. and some chalcopyrite-magnetite skarn ores. Soler et al. have recently proposed that these deposits were formed at a magmatic stage and later overprinted by hydrothermal fluids.t.and rock bleaching. the last one considered as a copper deposit. Among the principal deposits are Huancabamba. Pyroxene andesites are . like San Cristobal. 1990) are similar in mineralogy to the Cretaceous deposits of north Chile. made up of stratiform ore lenses. 1985). The El Laco Kiruna-type iron ore deposits. 1984. The iron belt also include smaller iron vein-type deposits as well as a few iron skarns. that also includes minor apatite. their origin is related to replacement by hydrothermal fluids from Middle Jurassic subvolcanic intrusive rocks. These bodies crop out across a surface of 1. although there are differences concerning the source of the fluids. The deposits are associated to quartz monzonite stocks dated at 34-33 Ma. The iron deposits of the coastalt belt of Perú (Soler et al. (60% Fe) by Petersen and Vidal (1996).73º39’ W. 1991). According to Bellido and Montreuil (1972) they contain the highest potential ore reserves in Perú. (1965). and chalcopyrite as a later sulfide phase. Isotopic (K-Ar) dating of the iron deposits are between 128 Ma (Boquerón Chañar. Bookstrom (1977). However. Concerning the origin of the main iron ore deposits of the belt. close to the border with Argentina (Fig. (1985). Pichón. Colquemarca. estimated at 2000 M. (1995). 1986).14º30’ S and 71º39’ W . Cardozo and Cedillo. pneumatolytic-hidrothermal fluids were considered as a satisfactory depositional mechanism by Ruiz et al. The iron-copper skarns deposits of the Andahuaylas-Yauri zone in Perú are located along a WNW trending belt between 13º30’ S . 1974) and 110 Ma (Los Colorados. 1986. Zentilli. The ores include magnetite with some native gold as early minerals. Nystrom and Henríquez (1994) and Travisany et al. Oyarzún and Frutos (1984) and other authors. like Bandurrias. which is coincident with the climax of the mafic magmatism. According to Atkin et al. are made up of several flow-like and subvolcanic intrusive magnetite bodies with the same mineralogy.. and El Romeral. 1983) are also in the 128-111 Ma span. 1). hosted in carbobnatic and volcanoclastic rocks. The principal deposit is Marcona.8 km2 around a Pliocene volcanic center of north Chile. 1981. Livitaca and Tintaya. Several age determinations at El Algarrobo (Montecinos. that intrude carbonatic sediments dated as Albian-Turonian (Noble et al. Munizaga et al. but also with the passage from the "Mariana" to the "Chilean" style of oceanic plate subduction (Sillitoe.

dominant in the volcanic flow. concerning porphyry copper deposits and plate tectonics: Sillitoe. if we considerer only those porphyry copper that have been selected for high tonnage mining operations. exotic etc. the principal traits for each deposit type in the Andes will be considered. In the following paragraphs. In exchange. Zn and Pb. as well as the origin of controversies regarding the genesis of the deposits (Park. 1973). Frutos and Oyarzún. under distinct tectonic conditions. (1992). for the Perú to Colombia Andean sector. Frutos et al. Fe. 1975). where they attain world’s marks. from Jurassic to Middle Miocene-Early Pliocene. of iron ore but has not been extensively mined. but a central subvolcanic intrusive has a dacitic composition. The copper province Copper deposits are present from the northern to the southern ends of the Andean belt. El Laco iron deposit contains several hundreds M. 1972. 1961. the distribution of the deposits along and across the Andean belt and the facts that they belong to a wide chronological span. Besides. However. and their ages cover the Upper Paleozoic to Pleistocene span.g. the peculiar characteristics of the deposits have been the matter of several studies.t. like Mo. the field is geographically restrained to the sector between 10º S and 35º S and to . Sillitoe (1988). present different erosion levels and were emplaced in a variety of host rocks. breccia pipe. The deposits belong to a variety of types.. In those deposits. have allowed the construction of a number of genetical models (e. skarn. On the other side. eds. manto-type. Nystrom and Henríquez. the abundance of important deposits and studies about them. Larson and Oreskes. enargitic vein and replacement.. massive sulfide. For that purpose. both in tonnage and grade. becoming classic examples of their type. Each of these epochs is represented by longitudinal belts up to 100 km wide. 1975. as El Salvador deposit (Gustafson and Hunt. which also contain other types of ore deposits. 1994. copper is associated to a number of metals. as well as the paper by Sillitoe. Ag.. Porphyry copper deposits are also present along the whole andean belt (Fig. some of them. 1990. considers six epochs of porphyry copper mineralization in the Chilean-Argentinean sector of the Andes. make difficult to present a synoptical view. among them porphyry copper. Also. (1996) is strongly recommended. 9). Au. have been studied in great detail. from Late Carboniferous-Early Permian to Middle Miocene-Early Pliocene. the publication by Camus et al. 1994). and the tops and bottom of porphyry systems: Sillitoe. and also six epochs.

mafic magma (Skewes and Arévalo. 1988). including Chuquicamata. 10).. Cuajone. 1997). fits better in the dioritic model proposed by Hollister (1974). the three deposits of Pliocene age. emplaced in volcanic rocks or in intrusive complexes. like Chuquicamata and El Teniente. 9. Most porphyry copper deposits in the Andes are related to dacitic-granodioritic porphyric stocks. In general. 3 and 9). the Arequipa lineament includes four important Paleocene deposits (Cerro Verde. 10).M.those deposits of Tertiary age. Sr isotopic ratios of the porphyric stocks are low and point out to a deep seated origin. six major Eocene-Oligocene deposits. that has been recently reinterpreted in terms of the intrusive emplacement of a high-K. They alone account for about a 25 to 30% of the world’s reserves and current production of both copper and molybdenum. between M. Also. following the important Domeyko fault system (Fig. Porphyry copper deposits present both spacial and chrological clusters in the Andean belt. many important porphyry copper deposits in the Andes are in or close to large fault zones (Fig. 1988). The last one. and Quebrada Blanca. Also. rapidly rise through the crust. metallic Cu (Oyarzún and Frutos. attain ore reserves (before mining) up to 50 M. Thus. in the case of Chuquicamata and El Salvador. As shown in Fig. whose magmas are not affected by crustal contamination (Zentilli et al. allowing a small to null degree of contamination (Maksaev and Zentilli. although this structural control is evident for those deposits of the . Although the stocks generally belong to the calcalkaline series. 1998). 1980). the emplacement-alteration-mineralization process can be generalizad as "a subvolcanic magmatic development of a metalrich magma. Quellaveco and Toquepala) along a 150 km long narrow band in SW Perú (Figs. their Pb isotopic ratios have a narrow range. are distributed along a 125 km N-S line. El Abra and Collahuasi. The larger porphyry copper deposits of the segment. the phyllic zone is rather absent in some of them. As pointed out before. where residuals fluids mixed with meteoric waters during the late stage of its cooling" (Ambrus. this sector is in close coincidence with the Andean segment that presents a thicker continental crust. there are a number of evidences suggesting that the magmas responsible for the porphyric systems. Other important cluster is that of the Los Bronces-Río Blanco and El Teniente (130 km south). ore bearing. Although a majority of the deposits fits well in the Lowell and Guilbert (1970) model. shoshonitic or high-K cal-alkaline rocks have been identified at the Farallon Negro district (Sasso and Clark. Besides.t. Pb isotopic ratios are similar to those of the Southern Volcanic zone of the Andes. Thus. 1978). such as El Abra or El Teniente. However.

Petersen and Vidal (1996) remark that the number of large and high grade enargitic deposits is an unusual trait of the Peruvian metallogeny. The Peruvian territory is also richely endowed in Cu +/. they also rank among the major Mo deposits of the world (Ambrus.t. ore. The Andean porphyry copper deposits have Mo contents that range between 0. A second type of skarn. where Bajo de la Alumbrera attains 780 M. enargite-bearing massive sulfide deposits may represent the upper levels of porphyry copper systems.Fe skarns deposits (Vidal et al. Zn. Among the major skarn deposits in Perú. 1990) is represented in Perú by Raul-Condestable and in Chile by Candelaria (Fig. Both of them are related to the Lower Cretaceous basin and present mineralogical analogies with regard to the Kiruna-type iron deposits of Perú and Chile. Zn deposits related to calcic skarns. Cobriza.67 g/t Au (Sasso and Clark. A detailed description of Cu-bearing tourmaline breccia pipes in Chile was produced by Sillitoe and Sawkins (1971). other appear as independent mineralizations and exhibit much variety in diameter of the pipe as well as in the number of deposits in a given district. Ferrobamba and Tintaya (Petersen and Vidal. like Los Bronces-Río Blanco or El Teniente (Camus. 1975). containing 0. Ag. Cerro de Pasco. . 4) also belongs to the enargitic type. 7). 2). they are also common in other zones of the Tertiary volcanic belts of the Andes.stockwork-type. Breccia pipe ore deposits are widespread in the Andes. Among the principal enargitic deposits in Perú are Quiruvilca. Huarón. stand out Antamina. such as Chuquicamata. with the important exception of the Farallon Negro district in Argentina. which host Tertiary monzonitic granitoids (Fig.Au. The rich vein gold deposit of El Indio. 1996). As mentioned before.Fe. the amphibolitic Cu +/. 1998). Au. some skarns deposits of the Andahuylas-Yauri zone are also important for their magnetite content.1% and this metal follows copper in economic importance. Although the enargitic vein and replacement Cu +/. The Peruvian deposits are well zoned from Cu and Au in the center to Zn and Pb in the margins. Chile (Fig. gold content are rather low. 1978).52% Cu and 0. However. Yauricocha and Julcani (Figs. Morococha.01% and 0. Colquijirca. Although many of them are related to porphyry copper systems. partly as a consequence of the broad distribution of Mesozoic back-arc carbonatic rocks. According to Sillitoe (1983). Pb deposits are better represented in Perú. Given the large tonnages of porphyries like Chuquicamata and El Teniente. 2 and 5). this is not the case for porphyry deposits of the breccia pipe-type. The mineralogy of the deposits is generally cupriferous (with Au) or polymetallic. In exchange.

atacamite. the exotic mineralization episodes mainly occured during the Lower Miocene. (1983) repectively. 2). existed in the Andes of south Perú and north Chile between 12º S and 27º S (Munchmayer. was deposited in the groundmass and vesicles of lava flows or in the matrix of pyroclastic rocks. In Chile. However. Mineralization occurred in the epithermal or low mesothermal range. but normally are in the 1-10 M.. Tambo Grande. chlorite and calcite. ore range (Camus. The stratiform Cu mineralization. Carolina de Michilla.2 to 3. Exótica deposited on a wide paleochannel. at 5º S. The larger one. 2) and the polymetallic skarn of El Toqui. is located in the NW corner of Perú. that are probably co-genetic (Vivallo and Henríquez. although the accreted oceanic prisms of the Northern Andes offer favorable environments for Cyprus-type deposits. Copper vein deposits are widespread. stockworks etc. Similar figures (1. at 45º S have been interpreted as massive sulfide deposits by Camus (1985) and by Wellmer et al. 1998). Their mineralogy (chrysocolla. 1996). metallic Cu (before mining). In Chile. The deposits are stratiform or stratabound but frequently also include veins. the source of the Cu mineralization. contained some 3-4 M. metallic Cu) are given by Munchmayer (1996) for Damiana. close to the border with Perú. Favourable climatic and tectonic conditions for the formation of exotic Cu deposits. ores in breccias.t. an important Fe-Cu-Zn volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit. Cu-wad) was controlled by Eh-pH conditions of ground water. exotic Cu deposits formed by lateral migration of supergene solutions from porphyry copper deposits. 1985). the Cu/Fe ratio decreasing outward from the Cu-rich cores. Some typical deposits of this group are Buena Esperanza. in the western slope of Cerro Indio Muerto (El Salvador porphyry copper district). bornite. the manto-type Cu deposits at Punta del Cobre (Fig. that also contains some g/t Ag. ore. 1996). Also. 2 to 4 km south from Chuquicamata. Massive sulfide deposits are not abundant in the Andean belt. chalcopyrite. 1990). and their shape by the former topography around the porphyry. These deposit have magnitudes up to hundred M.5 M. in the Andean belt and it is difficult to present a synthesis of this subject. Their paragenesis is rather simple and includes chalcocite. it is important to state that Cu mining in the Andes began with this type of deposit. pyrite and hematite. In .Manto-type copper deposits are typically found in volcanosedimentary formations of Mesozoic age in north and central Chile (Espinoza et al. and a few are known in western Coombia (Ortiz. Talcuna and Lo Aguirre (Fig. twelve deposits of this type are yet known. containing 1-2% Cu (El Soldado).t. The associated hydrothermal alteration is propylitic and includes albite.t. In general.t. According to Munchmayer (1996).

2. allowing the development of a highly profitable mining activity during the 19th century.). In the northern Andes. Gold mining began in Colonial times in Ecuador with the famous Portovelo deposit (Fig. Santo Domingo. Ishihuinca). but most of them are Tertiary in age. This country has a long and important history as a gold and silver producer. and their hidden deposits. and Molleturo). are today the first target for the mining exploration companies. there are not important silver deposits in Colombia. the first of the world in Colonian times. A general view of gold deposits in Perú was presented by Noble and Vidal (1994). like California and Marmato (Sillitoe et al. b) Sedimentary rock-hosted gold (Yauricocha. etc. classify the Peruvian gold deposits (Fig.Gold bearing systems of Cenozoic age: a)Au-bearing porphyry and skarn deposits (Michiquillay.Au vein deposits.Quartz veins of Paleozoic and Mesozoic age: a) Pataz-Buldibuyo belt (Pataz. Frontino and Marmato (Fig. Segovia. It is interesting to remember that platinum was first discovered in Colombian placer deposits and that this country was the only platinum producer in the world till 1819 (Angulo. some of them related to porphyry copper systems. In exchange. etc. 1978). gold deposits and prospects in Ecuador belong to the epithermal vein (Portovelo. 1982). such as those of California. there are also several lode gold deposits. 4) and with many small Au-Ag veins and placer gold deposits. intrusive breccia (Gaby) and porphyry copper (Fierro Urco) types. etc. 4). c) Nazca-Ocoña belt (Calpa. Utupara. etc.). and this metal is a sub-product of gold mining. Although the gold production of this country is mainly obtained from placer and vein-type deposits. Pilzhum.. 5) in the following groups: 1. According to Gemutz et al.). Gold and silver metallic belts Gold and silver were main lures for the Spanish conquerors in the Andean countries. favorable climatic and tectonic conditions produced a high degree of supergene enrichment in Cu +/. Parcoy.north Chile. that began in pre-Hispanic times. Their age is Jurassic for a few deposits (Nambija. Tintaya. b) Santo Domingo-Ananea region (Ananea. stockwork-vein (Chinapitza).). As in Colombian deposits. together with those of copper. (1992). Polymetallic and precious metal deposits. Chinapitza). skarn type (Nambija and Pachicutza). . Noble and Vidal (1994). Colombia has been an important gold producer. besides the placer deposits. silver is subordinated to gold in most of the Ecuadorian precious-metal deposits.

The Miocene sub-volcanic deposits of the central and southern part of the Cordillera Real. However. Although there are important Au-Ag deposits in Chile. appearing in independent primary (argentite. oxide ore. Silver is also an abundant metal in many hydrothermal deposits in the volcanic rocks of the Western Cordillera of Perú.Quaternary placer deposits. Quiviri and La Joya..). there are many important Ag deposits of the "Guanajuato" type that are almost devoid of Au contents. the acid-sulfate stage was developed between two stages of adularia-sericite alteration. containing 1. Although Perú ranks third in present gold production among the Andean countries (after Chile and Colombia). etc. Ag/Au = 100) and the ephithermal deposits of San Juan de Lucanas: Ag/Au = 160. Among the principal Ag-rich deposits are Quiruvilca (polymetallic. etc. most of them linked to sub-volcanic magmatic activity of Miocene age in the high Andes. Ag is commonly found only in solid solutions or inclusions in galena and sulfominerals in the deposits hosted by sedimentery rocks in the western and eastern cordilleras (Bellido and Montreuil. Ccarhuaraso.). this situation should soon be changed. Sayapullo.) minerals. Hualgayoc). etc. etc. La Joya (Long et al. near Ancash.t. etc.65 g/t Au and 20 g/t Ag The ores are present in fractures of an intrusive dacitic body and were deposited at high temperatures (300º-550º C) from highly saline fluids. proustite.) or secondary (native Ag. At julcani.subdivided in: -Polymetallic systems (Quiruvila. Among the polymetallic districts. 4. Llallagua. in a large number of deposits Au is rather related to Cu and Fe. Besides. -Epithermal deposits of the adularia-sericite type Ag-Au vein systems (Cailloma. 1972). María Luz-Huachacolpa district: Ag/Au = 450 and Julcani: Ag/Au = 65 (Noble and Vidal. such as the Pierina mine by Barrick. 1992) has shown an important potential as a gold and silver deposit with reserves before mining of 10 M.) and of high-level. due to a number of important mining projects. 1994). acid-sulfate systems (Yanacona. In exchange. are best known for their Sn-Ag veins as well as for the Sb vein deposits. etc). Arcata. They are distributed in four hills: Kori Kollo. programmed for a production of 22 t Au/year (equivalent to total gold production of Perú in 1993). west from the Altiplano region of Bolivia. acantite.Bulk mineable ores (Yanacocha. 3. as well as in inclusions of silver minerals or soild solutions in galena and Cu sulfominerals (tetrahedrite. . they are also related to polymetallic veins and stockworks in the boundary zone with the Altiplano region.

etc. 5) had Au content over 10 t. Lobo. pyrargirite. 15% of total world production). metasomatic (Andacollo). passing to 12 t in 1981 and to 18 t in 1982. Marte. El Indio. El Guanaco. Refugio. 2. 1996). a production of 53 t was attained. Chilean hydrothermal gold deposits are Jurassic to Upper Miocene in age and their mineralizations are in hydrothermal breccias. 1965). hosted by stratified rocks belonging to the volcanicsedimentary transitional facies of the Jurassic and Cretaceous back-arc marine basins. veins. etc. only six deposits have Ag/Au ratios over 10 (Choquelimpie. (1996) mentions the Paramillos. Chile was an important silver producer in the 19th century (300 t in 1873. that also includes the Au-rich porphyries of the Farallón Negro district in Argentina (Sasso and Clark.) are located over an Andean segment characterized by a flat subduction zone. 1998). low sulfidation vein-type deposits. A rapid increase began in 1980 (6 t). stockworks and disseminations (Sillitoe. Nevada and the Maricunga district (La Coipa. Caracoles. Sillitoe. epithermal (Faride.Cu deposits correspond to Mesozoic pluton-related veins. (Mendoza) silver deposit . La Coipa (Ag/Au = 98). Chañarcillo and Agua Amarga (Fig. 1991. San Cristóbal. As pointed out by Gemutz et al. only two districts: Los Mantos de Punitaqui and El Bronce (Fig.Low sulfidation. Faride. is properly an Ag-Au deposit. La Pepa. Of those deposits containing more than 10 t Au listed before. the first of a series of discoveries in the Tertiary volcanic belt of the Andes between 26º S and 31º S (Cuadra and Dunkerley.Porphyry-type (Marte. proustite.Distal contact.).) in very rich oxidation zones (Ruiz et al. 1991). San Cristobal. 6). Refugio). Nevada/Pascua and El Indio-Tambo). El Hueso. La Coipa and Fachinal). The rest of the deposits over 10 t Au were classified by Sillitoe (1991) in four types: 1-High sulfidation. Oyarzun et al.. La Coipa. La Pepa. Lobo. Tres Puntas. Although most of the Au +/. A review of precious and base metal deposits in Argentina by Gemuts et al. cerargyrite etc. Guanaco. and supergene processes are responsible for the deposition of secondary minerals (native Ag. epithermal (Choquelimpie. (1992) and by other authors. mostly coming from placer deposits. 1991. and then gradually descended to 2-3 t/year between 1955 and 1970. 1991).. 3. as a result of the discovery and development of the high grade enargitic gold deposit of El Indio.Gold production in Chile attained a peak in 1938 with some 11 t Au. In 1996. Among the principal silver districts are those of Huantajaya. all of them are Tertiary in age. Silver mineralization includes a variety of sulfide species (argentite. Fachinal). With the important exception of the Cretaceous Andacollo deposit (Reyes. They are epithermal. 4.

now well established as a sedex mineralization. Thus. low sulfidation. Au-Ag and polymetallic veins. though Paleozoic deposits are known. although their principal deposits are located in the Peruvian segment.. They are related to Middle Jurassic acidic magmatic episode.. Several of them are now the basis for an important mining industry in Argentina. represents the largest Paleozoic Pb-Zn concentration in South America (Sureda and Martin. After 1960. ore (12% Pb+Zn.and the Gualilán gold deposit as the older mines in Argentina (Gualilán dates from the 17th century). The polymetallic province The polymetallic province (Fig. most of the deposits are Mesozoic or Cenozoic in age. Farallón Negro (Mn-Ag-Au vein) and El Aguilar. El Aguilar (23º13’ S / 65º42’ W). some of them important like the Zn-Pb-Cu deposit of Los Bailadores.t. Besides. Also. Echavarría and Etcheverry. 1977) or El Aguilar in NW Argentina. the Argentinean border of the Andes was rapidly explored and a number of precious metal deposits were discovered (some of them very close to the Chilean ones. Other Pb-Zn-Ba ores in Ordovician clastics sediments are those of Pumahuasi (22º17’ S / 65º33’ W). Modern exploration pre-1960 was centered in high-grade precious and base metal deposits such as Mina Angela (Ag-Pb-Zn-Au vein). polymetallic deposits are poorly represented in the Chilean territory. Also. most of these veintype deposits has been mined for silver. between 46º00’ S and 47º20’ S. 11) is present along the entire Andean belt. 1990). 1986). Venezuela (Carlson. obscured the genesis of the deposit. They are part of a belt that continues for some 500 km north. Both districts include epithermal. which also present thick and widespread carbonatic sedimentary strata. with some 30 M. Besides. a Pb-Zn-Ag sedex deposit in Ordovician quartzites. Lama in the vecinity of the Pascua deposit). the clastic-carbonatic . Although Mesozoic and Cenozoic polymetallic deposits are present in the Northern Andes (Colombia and Perú). in the pre-rift tectonic conditions associated to the break-up of Gondwana (Giacosa et al.. 1988. 1998). after the discovery of El Indio. a series of porphyry copper prospect were detected and drilled. in Sierra Nevada. e. The fact that a Cretaceus plutonic intrusion thermally modified the original deposit and some skarn-type ore bodies were formed. a sedex massive sulfide deposit in the Jujuy province. except for the Patagonean Cordillera. 100 g/t Ag). to the Sucre zone in Bolivia (Sureda et al.g. a group of goverment geologists discovered the Cerro Vanguardia and El Dorado districts at El Deseado Massif (Santa Cruz province) in southeast Argentina.

mainly host epithermal silver veins or skarntype Cu or Fe deposits. Cardozo and Cedillo. They are. paleogeographic conditions were favourable for the deposit of carbonatic rocks on the Peruvian territory. except for some carbonates of Campanian-Maastrichtian age (Pareja et al. 1978).. . In exchange. with very high Zn grades.rocks interfingered with andesitic volcanics of the Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous back-arc basin. including abundant carbonatic facies (Fig. San Vicente. that may be partly explained by the widespread distributiion of Mesozoic marine sediments. 1973). in part. Carahuacra. 1987. are found in the sedimentary rocks of the Triassic--Liassic platform of the Pucará basin (Amstutz and Fontboté. a new marine transgression during the Albian -the sea coming this time from the south. contemporary basins on the Bolivian territory received only clastics sediments. These sectors were united in the Dogger and separated again during the Malm by a major NW trending positive block. also exhibits strong semilarities to Mississippi Valley deposits.covered the zone of the present western and Eastern cordilleras of Perú..only in the southwestern basin. and Shalipayko. lagoon and carbonatic reef facies. and the sea remained there until the Upper Cretaceous (Senonian). 7) and El Extraño (9º09’ S / 78º05’ W).. the basin also received andesitic lavas. However. Among the principal deposits are Huanzala (Fig. deposited in an ephemeral basin (Cardozo and Cedillo. Thus. 7) . in the western part. The Cercapuquio Pb-Zn stratiform deposit in central Perú (Cedillo.g. when the basin was divided in two sectors (north and south). e. where clastic and carbonatic sediments were deposited. a rich polymetallic province developed in the Peruvian territory. such as San Vicente. which also includes some deposits that present volcanic influence. During the Malm and the Lower Cretaceous. hosted by lagoonal sediments of Upper Jurassic age. 1980). 1990). located in the eastern facies of the basin. and reached 13º S (Audebaud et al. that has been the larger Zn producer of Perú is in sedimentary rocks of tidal flats. During the Upper Triassic. of the Mississippi Valley type. a NW trending band between 76º W-77º W at 9º S and 72º W74º W at 14º S. About 80 stratabound Zn-Pb (Ag-Cu) ore deposits and prospects are known in the Valanginian to Aptian Santa Formation. Several traits of these ore deposits indicate a syn-diagenetic origin. Rich stratiform polymetallic deposits. In exchange. marine sedimentation continued -in association to andesitic volcanics.g. The marine sedimentation continued during the Lias. e.. the sea advanced from the north. 1990). Westward. 1990). the presence of rhytmites involving the ore minerals (Samaniego. covering the Pucará basin domain.

. 1988.However. 7). in spite of the large number of geological studies already performed. Cardozo and Cedillo. considering bedding and other sedimentary features of the ores. 7) some 8 km south from Cerro de Pasco is hosted by the Tertiary La Calera series. Cu. As pointed out by Canchaya (1990). Yanacancha. such as Uchucchacua are Late Eocene-Early Oligocene in age (Soler and Bonhomme. Although mined since Spanish Colonial times for their silver ores. as well as in the Pulluicana Formation (e. Cardozo and Cedillo (1990) classify the hydrothermal . in 11º51’ S / 76º37’ W.g. Pb. The thickness of the ores beds is normally less than 2 m and they are separated from each other by shale beds. the deposits of the Hualgayoc district were later mined for their polymetallic ores (Zn. 1990). The deposits are dispersed along a 150 km narrow N-S band between 24º10’ S / 64º23’ W and 25º15’ S / 65º06’ W. Many of the deposits are in the Chulec Formation (e. there are also evidences of hydrothermal activity and contact metamorphism affected the deposits. The stratabound ore deposits of the Casma Formation (Middle Albian) are rich in sphalerite and barite and have minor Cu. Quijote). Lead-zinc (silver) stratabound deposits are hosted by Upper Cretaceous carbonate rocks in Hualgayoc (Fig. cited by Cardozo and Cedillo. the origin of the stratabound deposits of the district remains obscure. The major enargitic stratabound Cu-Pb-Zn-Ag deposit of Colquijirca (Fig.g. is hosted by altered volcano-sedimentary rocks. Leonila Graciela (Vidal. 1936). 1986). Zn) stratabound sulfide ore deposits in carbonatic rocks of Late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary age (Sureda et al. with frequent chert and tuffitic intercalations. Although this deposit has been traditionally classified as a hydrothermal replacement (Mc Kinstry. However. Lehne (1990) proposes a syngenetic origin. The principal deposits of this group. 1990). Western Cordillera of northern Perú (Cardoso and Cedillo. Pb. Porica).. Although it is possible that some of the deposits considered as Miocene. Ag) beneath the oxidation and supergene enrichment zones. Pb and Ag contents. there is a number of polymetallic (Cu. 1990) are associated to subvolcanic intrusive of Miocene age in the northern and central part of the country. 1987). Carolina. both their tonnage and grade are low. Most of the hydrothermal polymetallic deposits in Perú (Soler et al. 1986. formed by clastic sediments and carbonatic rocks. In northwest Argentina. the Miocene remains as a principal metallogenical period for this and other types of ore deposits.

it is possible that they belong to different ages of mineralization although these ages remain uncertain. The Miocene belt of polymetallic ore deposits in Bolivia is located west of the Sn-Ag province and represents a sothward extension of the Peruvian Miocene belt. The main deposit.polymetallic deposits of Miocene age in five groups: 1. They are normally zoned and rich in Cu-As sulfosalts. At least in the case of the Chilean polymetallic deposits of the Patagonian Cordillera.t. are linked to dacite domes. e. Among their principal deposits are Laurani. and their mineralogy includes galena. Its geological frame (Miocene sub-volcanic intrusives hosted by Paleozoic clastic rocks) is similar to that of the tin belt. the granitic rocks responsible for the mineralization are Miocene in age. Pb-Zn-Ag(Cu) deposits occur between 46º00’ S and 47º20’ S. 1967. A further southward extension of the Miocene polymetallic belt is represented by Pb-Zn-Ag (Cu. pyrite. veins and disseminations related to the Cordillera Blanca batholith. 4. Antamina and Contonga. there are numerous polymetallic deposits hosted by Paleozoic. including both replacement and veins.Complex deposits. Mina Silva (46º33’ S / 72º24’ W) is made up of high grade Pb-Zn (Ag) ores. ore. Casapalca. The major districts. 1988. Thus. San Andreas.Veins. Colqui. 3. Schneider and Toloza. some of them associated with veins. Mesozoic and Cenozoic rocks of different types. like Santander and Milpo-Atacocha.. tetrahedrite etc.Irregular bodies. Cerro de Pasco. 1-6% Zn and 200-500 g/t Ag (Sureda et al. with minor copper contents. This group includes the polymetallic skarns of Magistral. Laurani. skarns. chalcopyrite. cross cut by a rhyolitic stock and by dykes. W in or around central granitic intrusive rocks and Pb-Zn. Cu. According to this author. La Esperanza (24º14’ S / 66º34’ W) and La Concordia (24º10’ S / 66º24’ W). that . associated to an andesitic-dacitic complex. 1980). Routhier. Márquez (1988) describes a general zoning pattern. Huarón. 1990). Au and Ag in the periphery. is a zoned deposit. a main one..26 M. etc. sphalerite. The major deposits of this group have before mining reserves up to 0. Morococha etc. hosted by Mesozoic sedimentary rocks and Oligocene-Miocene volcanics. In the Patagonian Cordillera of Argentina and Chile. containing 5-11% Pb. between 46º and 52º S. hosted by Palaeozoic metamorphic rocks (phyllites and marbles of marine origin) intruded by post-Paleozoic granitoids (Ruiz and Peebles. Bi) veins in northwest Argentina (Salta and Jujuy provinces). with Mo. are included in this group. Berenguela. Negrillos and Garcí Mendoza. 2.Skarn bodies. directly related to the mineralization (Ahlfeld. 1986). Carangas. as well as the polymetallic veins with silver and tungsten of Pusajirca. Pan de Azúcar (22º43’ S / 66º06’ W).g.

all the major deposits are in the Bolivian territory. and basal hydrothermal alteration and mineralization. close to the Bolivian border. have been recognized in the district. (1983) and Wellmer and Reeve (1990). at 45º00’ S / 71º58’ W. the tin belt presents the higher degree of definition and specification. The tin province Of the different Andean metallic provinces. the tin province is located in the central part of the Andean belt. and contain Zn-Pb-Cu or just Zn as principal economic metals. Some cross-cutting mineralization feeders. The other important district of this belt is El Toqui.. partially altered and mineralized. 8. which covers some 25 km2. They are localizad in three stratigraphic levels. and so far. be related to Permian granitoids (Clark et al. along a NW to NS belt. Wellmer and Reeve (1990) interpreted the genesis of El Toqui district deposits in terms of massive sulfides mineralization in the submarine volcanic environment of an aborted back-arc system. while Ag is recovered as a sub-product. The basal volcanic unit is cross-cut by Zn-Pb-Ag veins and is overlaid by andesitic-rhyolitic flows and clastic-carbonatic sediments. Although Ruiz and Peebles (1988) interpreted the deposit as a Palaeozoic singenetic mineralization.form lenticular bodies hosted by metamorphic limestone. described by Wellmer et al. in the Jurassic-Cretaceous time boundary. Besides. . Also. Thus. The district. contains several bodies in an Early Cretaceous formation made up of silicic volcanic rocks and clastic and carbonatic marine sediments. it is possible that some minor tin deposits in the Caraballa Cordillera of Perú. Schneider and Toloza (1990) argue that all ore deposits of the district (which also include stratabound and not-stratabound deposits in Jurassic rocks) are related to calc-alkaline magmatism developed in a Mesozoic back-arc setting. at the interfingered zones of carbonatic rocks with black shales or pyroclastic horizons. no tin ores have been found along the Chilean territory. 1983). 9 and 11). up to 500 km from the western border of the Continent. where the present continental crust attain the maximum thickness (Figs. overlays a quartz-bearing porphyric sill. that host the statiform sulfide ore bodies. tin deposits of Palaeozoic ages are known in the Argentinean territory. The larger ore body. Although the principal deposits of the tin metallic province have a Tertiary or Lower Mesozoic age and are located in the Cordillera Real of Bolivia. San Antonio. intruded by quartz-bearing porphyries.

12). This participation is coherent with the larger distance of the tin province to the possible situation of the paleo-subduction zones (during the TriassicJurassic and the Miocene. Among .make up a major part of the present Cordillera Real. The strong hydrothermal alteration associated to both types of deposits. difficults the determination of the original composition of the mineralizing igneous rocks.g. The age of the batholiths emplacement is in the 257 to 150 M. there are several polymetallic deposits (mainly rich in Ag).. is recognized. as well as the likely participation of crustal material in the generation of their magmas.a. The outcrops of these monotonous series of shales and sandstones -10 to 20 km thick. that are the products of a detritic sedimentation that began as early as the Cambrian. in the southern segment -as well as in the central part of the belt. The more abundant correspond to Sn-W veins associated to greissen-type alteration. wolframite and sulfide minerals.Miocene SnAg deposits are dominant. 1971). within small batholiths (e. may be divided in two segments. respectively). 1980). span (Grant et al. Eastward of the tin province. 1980). However. where most of the Bolivian tin deposits of all types and ages are found. the belt trends NW and most of the deposits have an Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic age. when conditions changed from marine to continental. Those of the northern area are vein or greissen type. In exchange. 1979) and continued till the Middle Devonian. This fact rise the question of whether the southern part of the tin province is located eastward or rather superimposed to the larger polymetallic one. in a shallow but persistent intercratonic marine basin (Zeil. Sorata) or in the contact metamorphic zone imprinted by the batholiths in the Palaeozoic sedimentary host rocks. It is interesting to note that the southern part of the tin belt coincides with a rich Sb sub-province (Bolivia was the third World’s Sb producer and has some 200 deposits of this metal. The tin belt of Bolivia (Turneaure. Yani. While the ore deposits of Lower Mesozoic age are related to granitic rocks. The deposits of the southern area are pegmatitic and have a Cambrian to Ordovician age (Malvicine. Routhier. North from 18º S. 1975). those of Miocene age are associates to acidic subvolcanic bodies. peraluminous character.persisted up to the Mesozoic. The host rocks for both the igneous bodies and the tin deposits of the whole belt are Paleozoic clastic metasedimentary rocks. Their interest is more scientific than strictly economic. their high potassic.The Argentinean Paleozoic tin deposits occur in two areas of the Pampean Ranges (Fig. but the subsidence of the basin -and the sedimentation. their age is Cambrian to Silurian and their ores include cassiterite.. Two types of tin deposits of Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic age are known.

About 10 M. The ore have been mined from several quartzitic horizons ("mantos") in the 16 x 4 km.t.a distribution in which cassiterite occupies a distal position. 1977). Grant et al. are related to a second. that cross-cut the Paleozoic clastic formations.5 Ma. None of them attains the magnitude of the Tertiary Sn-Ag deposits. The Tertiary tin deposits (Sillitoe et al. the Potosí district is associated to a large ignimbritic source: The Karikari resurgent caldera. Kellhuani. containing 0. Although the stratabound character of the mineralization (that is both concordant and discordant) favours a syngenetic sedimentary origin. Grant et al. the richest Sn-Ag deposits (Cerro Rico. A principal evidence is the zoned character of the geochemical halos and the hydrothermal alteration of the district around the Chacaltaya granite porphyry -dated at 213 +/. (1980) distinguished two types of . is considered by Lehmann (1990) as a further confirmation for the epigenetic origin of this Upper Triassic district. are distributed in the quartzitic units of the Silurian Catavi Formation.. 1981) are related to sub-volcanic intrusive bodies. 1990). partly brecciated. which is found along a NW band. present stratabound control of the ores. Thus. Grant et al. while no ores are present in the interlayered black shale strata. distinguished two chronological groups. 1985. 1980. 16º30’ S and 19º50’ S..y. Fig 8). 1990) is located some 15 km north of La Paz. Francis et al. its origin (syngenetic or epigenetic deposit of the ores) poses an interesting problem (Schneider and Lehmann.. wich are intruded by granites and granodiorites. Chorolque etc. However. The other type of Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic tin deposits. the host rocks for the stratabound tin deposits are Lower Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks. ore. 19º S and north Argentina. in addition to cassiterite. The association of these acidic intrusions to ignimbritic materials is frequent. the studies by Lehmann (1985) presented important evidences of the epigenetic-hydrothermal deposition of the ores (which include about 25 mineral species. (1979). one of the three principal stratabound-type tin deposits (Lehmann. the economic mineral). NW trending district.. at a high emplacement level. 1976.the principal districts are those of Sayaquira. The first is formed by 26 to 20 M. 1975. north of 19º S.5% Sn. such as Catavi and Llallagua. The fact that sericite alteration associated to cassiterite ore produced a similar age to that of the granitic intrusion. several of them sulfides and sulfosalts. old intrusive rocks that crops out between lats. and are associated to several important deposits. Caracoles and Araca. Although this type of tin deposit is not economical under present tin price conditions. younger (17-12 Ma) group of sub-volcanic bodies that crop out between lat. As stated by Lehmann (1985.

Its paragenesis includes high Tº (pyrrhotite. high initial Sr isotopic ratios (0.716) magmas. 5. emplaced under or within volcanic pipes. in an upper crustal reservoir.with andesitic to basaltic melt fractions. which is still far from attaining economic interest.The stocks and their host rocks have suffered and intense and penetrative feldspar-destructive hydrothermal alteration. chalcopyrite. Some stocks are converted to breccia pipes. Pirquitas (22º44’ S / 66º27’ W) is hosted by strongly folded. . 1990). 1980) Tin-silver veins in northwest Argentina (Sureda et al. the recent paper by Dietrich et al. (1999) provided analytical evidence (melt inclusions data) for the origin of the Bolivian tin porphyry magmas by mixing of high evolved silicic melts -containing quartz phenocryts. with Bi and Cu in the sulfide phase) deposits (Grant et al. like at Karikari.3% Sn. Santa Fe and Morocala (cassiterite) and Tasna (cassiterite.. The first groupe include such important deposits as Llallagua. where peraluminous. 2. Huanuni. The radiometric dating by Sr isotopy have yielded Miocene ages like 20 Ma at Llallagua. but represents an important reserve for the future. Potosí.The disseminated mineralization is earlier than the high-grade veintype one. stannite.707-0. The major deposit. 1980). hosted in Paleozoic clastic rocks that are not related to outcroping intrusive bodies (except dykes). Five principal geological-mineralogical traits are common to the deposits of this groups: 1-The mineralization is centered on small (1-2 km2) porphyric stocks. in general.The mineralization is very complex. tin porphyries are associated with only moderately fractioned subvolcanic rocks of rhyodacitic composition. some 80 M.tin deposits in this belt. In the group of "non-porphyric" deposits are included vein-type Sn mineralizations.. clastic Paleozoic rocks. However. as a whole.. 3.. Although some magmas related to the Bolivian tin porphyries are evolved. 1980). that they denominated "porphyric" and "non porphyric". sphalerite and arsenopyrite. 4. Among them are the Colquiri (fluorite-sphalerite-cassiterite). 1986) represent the southward extension of the Bolivian tin belt. Although their principal economic mineralization is vein-type.Several pulses of intrusion and breccification are observed. of disseminated ore grading 0. evolved from andesite to toscanite (Grant et al. The magmas related to tin mineralization usually have a much differentiated petrological evolution (Lehmann. Cerro Rico and Chorolque.t. The main sulfides that accompany the cassiterite are pyrite. 15-14 Ma at Cerro Rico and 17-12 Ma at Chorolque (Grant et al. they also contain. in which sericite and tourmaline predominate. We will back again to this section on Andean magmas.

Caminos et al. A major part of the extrusive and intrusive rocks of Paleozoic to Cenozoic age belong to the calc-alkaline series. a contribution that has been sustained by Be-10 isotopy (Morris et al. Thorpe and Francis. Pichler and Zeil.g. different fractional crystallization processes during the rise of magmas and possible contamination in their passage through the continental crust.1% Sn and 500 g/t Ag. An alternative source proposed for Andean magmas generated in zones with a thick continental crust. the chemical and isotopic composition of Andean igneous rocks suggest that their magmas originated from common though variable sources and mechanisms. are the lower crustal levels (e. 1994).. and both shoshonitic and alkaline rocks are associated to the calc-alkaline series. Andean Metallogenesis Andean magmas and ore deposits Magmatic rocks are dominant in the Andean belt and most ore deposits are directly or indirectly associated to magmatic activity. as a trigger mechanism for partial melting in the mantle.0. The average grade of the deposit is 1. 1977.. Mc Nutt et al. both crystallized at shallow sub-volcanics levels. Pichler and Zeil.. 1995. 1985). The incorporation of crustal -igneous and sedimentary. variable degrees of partial melting of mantle materials. 1979) and the Plio-Quaternary andesites of the Central Andes (87Sr/86Sr (i) = 0. Except for the tholeiitic rocks. Mc Kee et al.. The participation of mantle melts interacting with crust derived melts in deep reservoir. 1972. The general model (López-Escobar et al.cassiterite..7070.7053 .0.g. This point is illustrated by the strong similarities in chemical and isotopic composition of rocks from such differents setting and age as the Paleozoic granitoids of the Cordillera Frontal in Argentina (87Sr/86Sr (i) = 0. Deruelle and Moorbath. 1972. has also been considered and sustained by Sr isotopy (e.7077.materials to the magmas during its passage through the crust is well established . arsenopyrite etc) and low Tº (sphalerite. 1993. galena. for lavas from the south-central Andes).7051 . The model also considers the participation of melts and fluids from the upper layers of the subducting plate. The final composition of Andean magmas are then explained in term of different contribution from the oceanic plate. 1975). 1979) considers that the Andean magmas originate in the Upper Mantle zone between the subducted oceanic plate and the continental crust. although tholeiitic rocks are present in the accreted oceanic prisms of the northern Andes. 1979. sulfominerals etc) phases..

These results are consistent with ..as a mechanism for emplacement of the Coastal Batholith of Perú (described in the important book by Pitcher et al. Thus. Mo. However. Thus. 1990) points out to the relatively narrow range of Pb isotopic ratios in Andean ore deposits. he also established some relationship between the Pb isotopic ratios and the tectonic setting of the deposits. Pb has a strong tendency to accumulate in the crust and the interpretation of their isotopic ratios in term of sources for the ores does not necessarily apply to other metals like Cu. Mesozoic volcanics rocks in central-north Chile. Puig (1988. the fact that they were mainly volcanics. Although this process involves the continuous (since 102 Ma to 60 Ma) "canibalistic" assimilation of stratified rocks. Rb. Two elements are most relevant in terms of their isotopic ratios to evaluate possible ore sources. differ only by their K. 1985. and considered as a model for batholith emplacement in the Andes). In general. interpreted by this author in terms of reservoir mixing processes during the Andean evolution. are less radiogenic than those found in similar Jurassic rocks. K. several sources are possible to contribute metals and metaloids to the Andean ore deposits related to magmatic processes.. they conclude that different sources participate in variable degrees according to the tectonic settings of the rocks and the ore deposits. eds. Rb and Ba content. and the isotopic data are relevant to assess their relative importance.. it is possible that crustal materials contribute to the magma enrichment in LIL-type (e. 1993).. Pb isotopic ratios are not useful to discriminate between the metal provided by the magma from the metal scavenged from the country rocks by hydrothermal or metamorphic fluids. with similar chemical and isotopic composition to the batholith’s magmas. polymetallic ores in volcano-sedimentary rocks of the tectonically extensional Lower Cretaceous basin in Chile.. where the country rocks are volcanic or volcano-clastic with a similar age and composition to that of the intrusive ones. implies that no sensible compositional change occurred. Besides. However. by partial assimilation of crustal materials. Thus. In consequence. normal high-K and shoshonitic. non LIL-elements remaining almost constant (Oyarzún et al. This situation is fairly common for metallic ore deposits in the Andean belt Mesozoic and Cenozoic rocks. Pb) elements. intermediate to mafic. Ba) and incompatible (e. They are the Pb isotopic ratios for the metals and the S isotopic ratios for the metaloids. However. Cu. Zn or Mo.g.g. There are numerous studies on Pb isotopic ratios in Andean igneous rocks and ore deposits.

Bolivia. An important exception is the San Vicente "Mississippi Valley" ZnPb deposit in Perú. Argentina). Porphyry copper deposits are the best studied deposits in the Andean belt and possibly in the world. Vivallo et al.1 o/oo at El Teniente. have Pb isotopic ratios that are much narrower than that of all other types of ore deposits or the intrusive and volcanic rocks of all ages in the present Central Volcanic Zone (Zentilli et al. volcanoclastic or coarse detritict sedimentary rocks have d34S close to the meteoritic standard. Argentina) and eastern foothills of the Andes. (1990) for stratabound deposits in the Andes: those related to mafic or intermediate rocks have Pb isotopic ratios pointing to a mantle source. d34S in sulfide minerals is very close to the meteoritic standard (e. minor pyrite at El Laco. High Andes (Perú. which are interpreted in terms of bacterial reduction of 34S-enriched sedimentary sulfate (Gorzawski. A deep source is suggested for the former two provinces.the conclusion of Fontboté et al. Sillitoe. -3 o /oo at El Salvador.. Chile. 1973) situate their porphyric . Generally accepted models (e.g. the different studies are coincident in terms of the magmatic origin of sulphur in most of the sulfide metallic deposits of the Andean belt. that presents positive and homogeneous d34S values between +6..g.9 o/oo and +13 o/oo. some of this aspects will be briefly considered.. Regarding to 32S/34S isotopy. In exchange. Field and Gustafson. at least those of the Eocene-Oligocene span in northern Chile. Concerning stratabound sulfide deposits. while those deposits related to felsic igneous rocks or to sediments present isotopic ratios according to an "orogenic" (recycled lower and upper crust) or to an upper crustal source (San Vicente). from W to E: Coastal region of Perú and northern Chile.. 1990). (1990). suggesting the effect of bacterial activity over sulfate ions of magmatic origin (Spiro and Puig. Eastern Andes (Perú.4 o/oo at Chuquicamata. They have low 87Sr/86Sr (i) ratios. those hosted in sedimentary rocks including black shales generally have d34S in the -10 to -40 o/oo. 1984). very low d34S indexes and.1o/oo at Río Blanco and -3. In the following paragraphs. those emplaced in volcanic.. They also remark that Pb isotopes of the ores are more radiogenic in those deposits located eastward. Sasaki et al.g. (1993). -2. 1988). In the case of porphyry copper systems. Petersen et al. 1994). 1988).. a shalebed source for Eastern Andes ore deposits and a craton-source for those of the eastern foothills of the Andes. enlarging the previous study by Macfarlane et al. proposed four Pb isotopic provinces for the central Andes. many aspects of this relation remain poorly understood or are just begining to clarify. 1976. Though the close relationship between magmas and Andean ore deposits is well established. Bolivia. This is also the case for sulfides in magnetite ore deposits (e.. -1.

diapiric-style of ascent through the crust of deeply generated magmas has been proposed by Maksaev and Zentilli (1988) for the porphyries. they exhibit the lower posible degree of crustal contamination. This model is not consistent with the simple relationships of porphyry copper deposits to normal batholiths that the model by Sillitoe (1973) implicates. The only exception was some smaller content of Y and Mn observed by Baldwin and Pearce (1982) in the "productive" porphyries of the El Salvador district (north Chile). the Eocene-Oligocene porphyries. they consider that the andesites represent an ore rich. These authors considered the presence of large ENE and NWN magnetic anomalies that exhibit spacial coincidence with EoceneOligocene porphyry copper deposits between 18º S and 27º S. no significant difference was found regarding "non-productive" contemporary intrusive rocks. before a 50 to 150 km eastward shift of the magmatic belt. However. mafic bodies of batholithic magnitude. where the Cu (Mo) ore is in K-rich biotitic andesites. in terms of mafic magmatic reservoirs from which porphyry copper systems were possibly derived.g. was recently rise by Behn and Camus (1997). high-K. López-Escobar and Vergara. the last important magmatic activity recorded in the Domeyko range. The porphyry magmas had to cross a thickened crust. Therefore. Several studies (e. Skewes and Arévalo (1997) have proposed a daring alternative interpretation to their relationship for the case of El Teniente. However. Although calc-alkaline magmatism has been assumed as the source for porphyry copper systems. a rapid. Considering the chemical analysis published by Camus (1975). as pointted by Maksaev and Zentilli (1988). 1982.. it is well known that the principal mineralization is closely associated to potassium metasomatism. a consequence of the Upper Eocene Incaica compresive stage (a condition in common with the Paleocene porphyries of SW Perú and with the Pliocene porphyries of central Chile). However. Baldwin and Pearce. intrusive magma. However. are rather an anomalous trait of calc-alkaline magmatism. the andesites were hydtothermally altered by the porphyries).. the possibility that porphyry copper systems were not related to normal calc-alkaline batholiths but rather to magnetite-rich. 1982) have intended to find some significant relation between the chemical composition of low altered intrusive rocks associated to porphyry copper deposits and their "productivity" in terms of porphyric mineralization. if interpreted as primary rocks. Instead of the traditional interpretation (that is. should be classified as absarokites (shoshonitic basalt) according to the Peccerillo and Taylor (1976) .intrusives over the cupola of calc-alkaline batholites. that host quartz dioritic and dacitic porphyties. these andesites.

although most of the Andean ore deposits are associated to magmatic activity. tectonics controls not only the production and emplacement of magmas. related to porphyric Cu (Au) mineralization. the volcanism being . 1987). which has been almost permanent in the belt. (1999) may be useful to explain the genesis of other types of Andean deposits. the model by Skewes and Arévalo (1997) is close to the ore-magma concept. which has been applied in Chile to explain the origin of Kiruna-type iron deposits since 1931. Cl rich magmas exist.g. that will be discussed in the next section. Also. but also the channels for the ore bearing fluids. the matallogenetic activity seem rather discontinuous and related to significant tectonic disruptions that abruptly displaced the magmatic belts. Nynstrom and Henríquez. mafic magmas may play a more important part in the genesis of Andean ore deposits than yet recognized. Although this theory (e. (1999) presented analytical data also supporting the participation of andesitic to basaltic melts (mixed with high evolved rhyolitic melts in upper crustal reservoirs) in the genesis of Tertiary Bolivian tin porphyries. However.716). the mechanism of magma mixing proposed by Drietich et al. it is making a comeback again. Besides.707 . where evidences for the involvement of both mafic and alkaline. Therefore. Finally. like the Kiruna-type Cretaceous iron deposits of north Chile.0. Besides. suggest a significant participation of the continental crust in their petrogenesis (Schneider. F. 1994) has been objected on the basis of mineralogical and physico-chemical data. The fact that the Tertiary igneous rocks related to Sn-Ag mineralization in south Bolivia have a per-aluminous character and highSr (i) isotopic ratios (0. favourable conditions for mixing of different types of magmas may have occurred during these disruptive episodes. with a variable degree of acceptance. although the association between plutonic and coeval volcanics rocks is a normal trait of the Andean magmatism.. the ratios between the volumes of intrusive and extrusive magmas has been much variable. Therefore. Andean tectonics and ore deposits Although magmatic activity provide the direct source and mechanisms for the generation of ore deposits in the Andean belt.diagram. the recent paper by Dietrich et al. 1998). It is interesting the fact that high-K or shoshonitic magmas have been established at the Farallón Negro complex (Sasso and Clark.

which implies a shallower angle for the subducting slab. when a Mesozoic mafic igneous-marine sedimentary complex was incorporated to the western border of the continent. El Algarrobo (128-111 Ma. the development of back-arc basins. 1991). Except for some peridotitic podiform Cr ores and for some massive sulfide bodies (Ortiz. for the Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous span. 1988). Among them are the Fe-Cu skarns of Eliana (112 Ma). the accretion to the continent of oceanic prisms. 1989). can be consistently explained in terms of the interactions of the continental and oceanic lithospheric plates. 1983) and several stratabound Cu deposits in central Chile. 1979): a low-stress Mariana type. This coincidence is amazing. Two subduction styles have been recognized for the tectonic evolution of the central and south central Andes (Uyeda and Kanamori. were formed in volcanic or sedimentary rocks of the basin.. the Kiruna-type Fe deposits of the coastal belt in Chile: Los Colorados (110 Ma). the occurrence of several orogenetic episodes. received several thousands meters of mafic lavas and marine sediments. that reached an "aborted marginal basin" stage in Chile (Levi and Aguirre. and where attained a maximum subsidence in the Albian. The passage between both regimes (related to the westward shift of South America after the break-up of Gondwana). Munizaga et al. Monterrosas (110 Ma) and Hierro Acari (109 Ma) in Perú (Petersen and Vidal. Shortly after (112105 Ma) the Andacollo porphyry copper was also emplaced (Sillitoe. 1996). 1990) this episode had little direct metallogenetic importance. About 110 Ma. Montecinos. Both the geological and the metallogenetical evolution of the Andean belt during the Mesozoic-Cenozoic span. .favoured during the stretching stages and the plutonism increasing with the compressive tectonic pulses. considering that extensional conditions still prevailed in the Huarmey basin of Perú at that time. numerous Kirunatype Fe deposits and stratabound and skarn type Cu deposits (several of them rich in magnetite). and the compressive Chilean type of subduction since the Upper Cretaceous. This basin. in close coincidence with the ages of a number of deposits in the Neocomian back-arc basin domain. like El Soldado (110 Ma) and Lo Aguirre (113 Ma. the formation of mega-fault zones and the generation of ore deposits. occurred for the Chilean segment between 108 and 100 Ma (Sillitoe. Post-Palaeozoic accretion of oceanic prisms occurred during Tertiary times in the Northern Andes (Colombia and Ecuador). 1988). Among the main consequences of this interaction are the continuous production of calc-alkaline magmas. 1981) and a straight marginal character in Perú (Atherton and Webb.

1988). However. They include porphyry copper deposits since the Albian. as stated by Sasso and Clark (1998) for the Middle Miocene stage: "The arc therefore dis not merely shift eastward (Davidson and Mpodozis. Two important fault zones in the north Chilean Andes are interpreted in terms of oblique subduction. Other example of sudden horizontal eastward magmatic and metallogenetic displacement. several of the most important porphyry copper deposits of the Andes (Fig. 1997). coincident with the position of the contemporaneous magmatic belt. . The Domeyko Fault Zone is also interpreted in terms of an oblique convergence. They are the Atacama and the Domeyko fault zones. The Atacama Foult Zone (AFZ) represent an older weakness zone of the crust that was reactivated in the Early Cretaceous. the oceanic Aluk plate coming from the NNW (Pardo-Casas and Molnar. Bonson et al. the machanism is not completely understood. During the Lower Cretaceous. Although the eastward shifting has been interpreted in terms of a flatter angle of the subducting slab. along which a deep readjustment of the crust occured (Perry. due to an acceleration to the convergence rate of the tectonic plates. is that of the Andahuaylas-Yauri Cu-Fe skarns belt. Thus. 10) were emplaced along the fault zone. have produced several N-S ore deposits belts. 1991). magmas and their derivative fluids. 1987). within the limits of error of the 40Ar/39Ar dating technique. which had a dominant dextral displacement. as a consequence of a N20ºE plate convergence. This fault zone is also considered as an early structure. the eastward shifting of magmatism in the Chilean-Argentinian Andes from the Jurassic to Miocene times. while the component parallel to the plate boundary (in case of oblique convergence) causes longitudinal wrenching. this time the oceanic plate (Farallón) coming from the SW with a convergence rate of 12 cm/year. 1997). As explained by Scheuber and Reutter (1992). (1984) to a change in the subduction geometry due to the Incaica orogeny.. 1991) but. were focused into dilational sites and fault intersections at the AFZ (Thiele and Pincheira.As pointed out by Sillitoe (1988. instantaneously broadened in the Middle Miocene". this time the process followed an important compressive pulse (the Inca compression). During a short span (10 Ma) in the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. 10). the stress component normal to the plate boundary produces structures of crustal shortening or extension. 1953 in Maksaev and Zentilli. The oblique plate convergence generated regional shearing traduced in dominant sinistral strike-slip movements. up to several tenths of km (Bonson et al. 1987. responsible for Kiruna-type Fe and Cu-Fe deposits like Manto Verde. linked by Noble et al. to which many high tonnage ore deposits are associated (Fig.

1984) and for porphyry copper deposits along the whole Andean belt (Sillitoe. affecting the geometrical and physico-chemical relationships between the subducting oceanic plate. Several volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits as well as important polymetallic districts (e. 1974) or El Teniente (Camus. Chaucha in Ecuador. 1992) is enhanced. affecting the rheological properties of the rocks. although controled by the position of the magmatic arc and favored by structures like the wrenching faul zones. that have some control on the paths of the rising magmas.g. 1975). should be related to deep seated disturbances.. those magmas also contribute to the weakness of the zone. Colqui) may be related to this fault zone (Petersen and Vidal. 1973) are related to important faults. Goosens and Hollister. other major deposits.g.. This concept. the genesis the major Andean deposits. illustrated e..g. may explain why the larger Andean deposits were formed during such short "pulsative" span as those established for Kiruna-type deposits in north Chile (Oyarzún and Frutos. However. Thus. like those of the "Arequipa lineament" (Hollister. In consequence. The metallogenetical zoning and evolution of the Andean belt Three main subjects will be discussed in this section: the tectonic segmentation of the Andes. the wrenching process due to the parallel stress component (Scheuber and Reutter. 1996). the implications of the tectonic segmentations of the Andes in terms of magmatism and ore deposits were first rise by Sillitoe (1974). the asthenosphere and the mantle-crust boundary.An important wrench fault in Perú is the Huara Fault System (Petersen and Vidal. although most of the stockworktype porphyry copper deposits of the Andes (e. mega fault zones have complex relationships with both magmas and ore deposits. who proposed 16 tectonic boundaries between Oº (Carnegie Ridge) and 44º S . do not present evident structural controls (although their alignement points to deep seated controls). 1988). They probably represent major weakness zones within the crust. As pointed out by Maksaev and Zentilli (1988). Casapalca. On the other hand. along a Lima-Cerro de Pasco course. 1996) that has a N to EN direction and occurs in the brittle environment of the Coastal Batholith. San Cristobal. by the Sasso and Clark (1998) model for the Middle Miocene broading of the magmatic arc and the genesis of porphyry Cu (Au) deposits in Argentina. As with many central subjects of Andean metallogenesis. the distribution of the different metallic provinces and the metallogenetical evolution of the belt.

longitudinal segmentation is a natural consequence. the complexities in the oceanic plates (e. enclosed by boundaries 5 (northern limits of the belt of recent central Andes volcanoes and of the Altiplano-Puna block) and 8 (northern limit of the Domeyko Cordillera and westward step in the longitudinal belt of recent volcanoes).. Some of these boundaries. This factor may be important at a regional and locale scale. different erosion levels in the tin belt of Bolivia expose Triassic to Jurassic Sn-W deposits related to deeper seated plutonic rocks in the northern part of the belt and Tertiary Sn-Ag deposits associated to shallow subvolcanic complexes in the southern segment. resulting in the unroofing of the batholithic levels. In exchange. Goossens. 1972b). 1970. in SW Perú (Petford and Atherton. In general. the tin province may be. The Andean tectonic segmentation is the result of a number of heterogeneities along the belt. Besides erosion levels. that could have favoured the magma mixing process proposed by Dietrich et al. seismic and volcanic activity. Thus. are coincident with the longitudinal limits of the metallic belts. Thus. However. e. Also.g. in part. erosion levels have been considered an important factor for explaining metallic belts distribution in the Andes (Petersen. which were proposed on the basis of main structures. If one considers the heterogeneities of the continental crust. main morphological units. where most sedimentary series .g. the pause of the iron belt north of boundary 9 may be interpreted in terms of the higher erosion degree that affect the Lower Cretaceous series. 1990). while the Western Cordillera of Colombia is made up of a Cretaceous oceanic prism accreted to the continent during Tertiary times. the relationships between tectonic boundaries and metallic belts are rather uncertain in terms of cause-effect. a consequence of the thicker continental crust between boundaries 5 and 8. which is made up of old and young terrains and tectonic blocks. a factor considering favourable for the rich development of the polymetallic province in this country.(Chile Ridge). Among the formers is the Precambrian Arequipa Massif. 1970). 1995). (1999). several other factors have been considered to explain the longitudinal discontinuities of Andean metallic provinces (Oyarzún. Mesozoic paleogeographical conditions in central Perú were favourable to the abundant deposition of carbonatic sediments. this province is less developed in Bolivia. the geometry of the continent. old terrain outcrops and the intersections with oceanic ridges. the tin belt is restricted to three segments. 1985. the ridges) and the variation in speed and angle of convergence between the plates (and their consequences in the subduction zone). the deeper erosion levels of the Peruvian western Andes flank may be favourable for the crop out of porphyry copper deposits (Petersen.. Thus. In exchange.

It is likely that the elusive answer be a combination of factors. is interpreted by Sasso and Clark (1998) in terms of an upwelling asthenosphere. and Pb-Zn ores are poorly represented (except in the Patagonian Cordillera). 1980). Sillitoe (1972) proposed a "geostill" model based on metallic elements provided by the subducting plate to the melting zone of the lithospheric slab. both Cu and Au are considered as directly contributed by the asthenosphere to the partial melting zone in the overlying lithospheric wedge. At the Asian margin. Palacios and Oyarzun. even the Sn-W belts. Mesozoic carbonatic sediments in Chile host copper or silver deposits. that have a coherent "continental" position in all the three geological eras. For instance. their different geographical distribution is not consistent with the concept of metallic domains. Thus. present. magma mixing. a transverse rupture in the subducting slab and a minimum contamination by shallow crustal lithologies. and Oyarzún and Frutos (1974) a similar model. Concerning the transversal zoning of the Andean belt. but based on the "anionic" elements. although Paleozoic and post-Paleozoic Andean metallic provinces are similar in nature. Thus. plate tectonic has received a major attention. Thus. is neither a good explanation for the longitudinal Andean metallic segmentation. this arrangement comprehends the preferent position of Cu in the islands arcs and of Sn (W) at the continental border. at least with respect to their better defined and mutually excluding provinces . defined as volumes of the continental crust that are endowed with a special metalliferous potential during long geological times. The distribution of the Cu and Sn metallic provinces at both sides of the Pacific ocean. the presence of carbonatic-rich sedimentary rocks appear as a contributing factor. but not a decisive one. In consequence. the nature of host rocks. 1975). This symmetry suggests that the Andean metallic zoning is a consequence of a general geological mechanism. the fact that modern volcanic and subvolcanic igneous rocks also present such a zoning (with alkaline and K-rich magmas at greater distance from the present oceanic trench. The presence of "metallic domains" (Routhier. the fact that the Andean segments between 26º30’ S and 30º30’ S seem anomalously rich in gold. presents a remarkable "reflection symmetry".have a clastic composition. like sulphur and halogens. however. However. different latitudinal situations. a fact that seems to confirm this hypothesis. regional erosion levels etc. In fact. Although the same factors proposed to explain the longitudinal segmentation have been considered for the transversal zoning. involving plate tectonics. with the copper belts closer to the oceanic trenches and the tin belts in an interior position.

the Sn province in the continental border is associated to ilmenitic granitoids and the island-arc sulfophile province (Cu.g. pers. Although the importance of plate tectonics in terms of Andean metallogenesis is well sustained. The comparison of the post-Paleozoic metallogenetical evolution of the Andean belt with that of the island arcs. com. which is the case for (Sn4+). belonging to the magnetite series (Ishihara and Ulriksen. a necessary step to permit the later mineralizing activity of this element (Burnham and Ohmoto. 1978) presents a special interest. specially in terms of increase in both the number . already mentioned in this review. the reducing character of the ilmenitic series (due to a greater contamination by reducing sedimentary rocks in the upper crustal leves) favors tin mineralizations (as Sn2+ is not incorporated to petrographic minerals. involving both an asthenospheric plume and subduction-related process. The search for this postulated mechanism implies the selection of those geological traits that appear as more significant in terms of regional metallogeny. reveals interesting similarities. The presence (though not exclusive) of S-type granitoids. (1999) for the Mexican volcanic belt. the Fidji arc. these relationshps are similar to those reported by Ishihara (1977. This author considers two types of magmatic series: the magnetite (oxidant) magmas and the ilmenitic (reducing) ones. Llambías. 1981).. 1989) and Chile (Levi and Aguirre. or the model proposed by Sasso and Clark (1998) for the Andean segment between 26º30’ S and 30º30’ S. The participation of the subducting oceanic slab in the process is sustained by a precise ratio established in Japan between the convergence speed rate of the plates and the "productivity" of different arc segment in terms of volcanic sulphur (Ishihara. and the critical examination of their possible roles. Pb. in the eastern magmatic belts of Bolivia and Argentina (Ishihara. 1980). This is the case. it is also certain that the tectonic and magmatic evolution of some Andean segments include periods when the subduction process was perturbed or exhibited little activity. 1977. Also consistent is the fact that the western magmatics belts containing magnetite and sulfide mineralization include only I-type granitoids. Besides. In exchange. like this proposed by Márquez et al. In this perspective. It is possible that under these circumstances. e. e.g. 1981.(the Sn province is very poor in Cu and there is almost no Sn in the Cu province). There. 1984) is consistent with this model. Zn) to magmatic rocks of the magnetite series.. more complex mechanisms participate. 1980) makes magnetite series favorable for sulfide mineralizations. 1981). The fact that an oxidant character of magma is required for the separation of sulphur as SO2. 1978) for eastern Asia. belonging to the ilmenitic series of Ishihara. the hypothesis by Ishihara (1977. Mo. of the Lower Cretaceous basin in Perú (Atherton and Webb.

Concerning the Andean belt is amazing the number of important deposits of Tertiary age.C. this evolution is parallel to the development of a dioritic tonalitic crust. and the same is true for other types of deposits. Sureda (Argentina). Brodtkorb. That is the case for all the metallic provinces. Acknowledgments. and J. an evolved crust implies a higher degree of structural complexity. from the asthenosphere to the sedimentary strata may participate in the generation and differentiation of magmas and in the genesis of the ore deposits resulting of their emplacement and interactions with the host rocks and fluids in the upper levels of the crust. However. the possible effect of erosion levels should be considered a contributing factor. 1980). Also. For the case of the island arcs. Routhier. Certainly. except for the iron belt (though the important Pliocene magnetite deposit of El Laco is in the high Andes at 23º49’ S). Frutos. Lehman. Ortiz (Colombia). a number of geological levels. B. as the Tertiary hypabysal or subvolcanic intrusive rocks are normally eroded at a level that is favorable both for the exposure and preservation of most types of hydrothermal deposits. better opportunities for magma mixing. but also the number of metals involved and the number of types of metallic deposits (from one: massif sulfides to four. have. as well as their distribution in or around the central part of the Andes (10º S to 35º S). R. as well as with many colleagues from the Andean countries. R. contributions from sedimentary strata with different chemical compositions etc. In metallogenetical terms. W. Llambías and R. Levi and P. Along this study and the last 15 years. where the continental crust attained its maximum thickness. Thus. Carrascal and C. as well to other Andean geologist with whom I have had less personal contact but. Palacios (Chile). following a stage of tholeiitic and andesitic volcanism and compressive episode. this crust was developed during the Tertiary. Brousse. Vidal (Perú). Amstutz. as many people. I am much indebted to them. under the encouraging direction of Prof. I have had the opportunity to discuss these matters with Profs. G. none of the well preserved pre-Tertiary porphyry copper deposits in the Andes attains the order of magnitude of the larger Tertiary ones.The present contribution has a far background in a doctoral thesis presented at Paris Sud University in 1985. M. at Fidji (Colley and Greenbaum. F. Not only the number and magnitude of sulfide deposiits greatly increased. .. B. J. among them Drs.of different types of ore deposits and the magnitude attained by the larger ones. including porphyry copper deposits). Avila (Bolivia). like those of the Bolivian tin belt.

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