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Cortesia de

_Geolibros_

ECONOMIC

GEOLOGY
AID

BULLETIN

Vo..

70

OF

THE

TIE

SOCIETY

OF

ECONOMIC

GEOLOGISTS

AucusT, 1975

The PorphyryCopperDepositat E1 Salvador,Chile


LEWIS B. GUSTAFSON
AND JOHN P. HUNT
Abstract

The formation of the porphyry copper deposit at E1 Salvador culminated volcanic


activity in the Indio Muerto district. Host rocks for the ore are Cretaceous andesitic
flows and sedimentaryrocks overlain unconformablyby lower Tertiary volcanics. Early
rhyolite domes,formed about 50 m.y. ago and roughly contemporaneous
with voluminous
rhyolitic and andesitic volcanics, were followed by irregularly shaped subvolcanic in-

trusions of quartz rhyolite and quartz porphyry about 46 m.y. ago. Minor coppermolybdenum mineralization accompanied this event. A steep-walled granodioritic
porphyry complexand the closelyassociatedmain center of mineralizationand alteration,
were emplaced41 m.y. ago.
The oldestof theseporphyries,"X" Porphyry, is fine grained, equigranularto weakly
porphyritic. Porphyritic textures are seen in deep exposures,whereas strong K-silicate
alteration at higher elevationshas developedthe equigranulartexture. Next, a complex
seriesof feldsparporphyrieswas intruded. These'includean early group, "K" Porphyry,
and a late group, "L" Porphyry, definedby mappedage relations at intrusive contacts.
Strong alteration and mineralization of most "K" Porphyry bodies have partially
obliteratedthe porphyry texture. The larger "L" Porphyry complex is relatively unaltered and unmineralized. A wide range of textural variation in "L" Porphyry is

spatiallyrelatedto its conta.


cts and evidencesreactionwith intrudedandesitc. Relatively minor porphyrydikes and igneousbrecciacut the compositeporphyry stockand
are followed by postminerallatite dikes and clastic pebble dikes. Below the present
surface,pebbledikes exhibit a striking decreasein abundanceand a changefrom a
radial-concentricto a nearly orthogonalpattern.

Petrologic trends are obscuredbecausemost intrusive rock types are not exposed
away from the area affectedby alterationand mineralizationand becausechemicaland
mineralogicvariation within a single fresh major intrusive unit, "L" Porphyry, is
apparentlygreater than it is acrossthe entire porphyry series. However, rhyolitic
volcanismin the district was clearly more felsic than younger granodioritic porphyries
and producedhigher K20/Na20 ratios. Comparedto average granodiorite,the E1
Salvadorporphyriesare low in total iron andhavea smallerK20/NagO ratio. Compositional trends in "L" Porphyry correlate with textural variations. The initial 87Sr/86Sr
ratio of early siliceousextrusive rocks and domes,as well as of the main porphyry
seriesandall alterationproducts,is a consistent
0.704.
Early alteration-mineralization
was mostlyaccomplished
before the intrusionof the
last major feldsparporphyry("L" Porphyry) and contributedprobablythree-quarters
of the 5 million tons of copperin the orebody. Early mineralizationis characterizedby
distinctive quartz veins and largely disseminatedK-silicate assemblages
of alkali

eldspar-biotite-anhydrite-chalcopyrite-bornite
or chalcopyrite-pyrite.Early quartz
veinsare typicallygranularquartz-K-feldspar-anhydrite-sulfide,
generallylack internal
symmetry,
andare irregularanddiscontinuous.
K-silicatealterationof someporphyries
appearsto haveoccurred
duringfinalconsolidation
of the meltsas well as later. Biotization of andesiticvolcanicsand an apparentlycontemporaneous
outer fringe of propylitic alteration were producedduring this Early period. Except at deepest.exposed
elevationsin the youngerporphyries,incipientK-silicatealterationconvertedhornblende

phenocrysts
to biotite-anhydrite-rutile,
ilmeniteto hematite-rutile,
andsphene
to rutile857

No. 5

The PorphyryCopperDepositat E1 Salvador,Chile

Fig. 1. Aerial view of Cerro Indio Muerto, lookingwest, during constructionof the E1 Salvadormine. Volcanic peaks
of the high Cordillera,the Salar de Pedernales,and low hills underlain by folded Mesozoicsedimentsand Paleozoicgranite
are in the background. A major north-south fault separatesthis structural block from the volcanic rocks of the Indio Muerto

district. The main orebodyunderliesTurquoiseGulch, the northwest-facing


amphitheaterbeneaththe peak of Indio Muerto.
Limonite-stained
siliceousrhyolite,quartz porphyry,and Tertiary ignimbritesform high ridges around Turquoise Gulch.
Dark Cretaceous andesitic rocks are bleached on the lower flanks of the mountain.

858

L. B. GUSTAFSON

AND ]. P. HUNT

anhydrite.Anhydritedeposition
occurredthroughthe entirehistoryof primarymineralization,andprobablymoresulfur'wasfixedas sulfatein anhydritethan in sulfides.
Outward within a central zone of K-silicate alteration with chalcopyrite-bornite,the

proportionof bornitedecreases
until pyrite appearsand increasesas chalcopyrite
diminishes.Pyrite abundance
increases,then decreases
in an outer propyliticzone
with epidote-chlorite-calcite.
In the outermost
propyliticzone,minor chalcopyritemagnetiteveinsgive way outwardto specularhematite. Pyrite is very closelyassociatedwith sericiteor sericite-chlorite,
and pyrite-sericite-chlorite
veining is clearly
youngerthanbothK-silicateand propyliticassemblages.
The major fringezoneof

pyrite-sericite
appears
to bea relatively
latefeaturesuperimposed
across
thetransitional
boundary
of the Early-formed
zones.Patternsof alteration-mineralization
are strongly
influenced
by the intrusionof "L" Porphyry,whichremoved
part of the previously
formedEarly patternandlargelycontrolled
subsequent
Lateevents.
A Transitional
typeof quartzveinwasformedafterconsolidation
of all majorintru-

sionsandpriorto the development


of Late pyriticandK-feldspar-destructive
alteration
assemblages.
Transitional
quartzveinsoccupy
continuous
planarfractures,
whichtend
to be flat. They are characterized
by a lack of K-feldsparand associated
alteration
halosandby the presence
of molybdenite.The assemblage
K-feldspar-andalusite
on

deeplevelsis probably
a Transitional
alteration
assemblage.
Tourmaline
in veinlets

and brecciasis closelyassociated


in time with Transitionalquartz veins. The

abundance
of tourmalineincreases
upwardtowardthepresentsurface.
Late mineralization,characterizedby abundantpyrite and K-feldspar- destruc-

tive alteration,tendsto be more fracturecontrolled


than Early and more disseminated mineralization. Late sulfide veins and veinlets cut all rock types, except

latite,andall EarlyandTransitional
ageveins.Theycontain
pyriteandlesserbut
upward-increasing
amounts
of bornite,
chalcopyrite,
enargite,
tennantite,
sphalerite,
or
galena.Quartzandanhydrite
are the mostcommon
gangue
minerals.Alteration

halossurrounding
thesepyrite veinletsare principallysericiteor sericite-chlorite.
Theseveinsoccupy
a radial-concentric
fracturesetat all levelsof exposure.
Verticalzoning
ofLatealteration
andsulfide
assemblages
is welldeveloped.
Peripheral
sericite-chlorite
givesway upwardto sericite,whichencroaches
inwardon central

zones.Upperlevelassemblages
are dominated
by sericiteand andalusite
and are
superimposed
on EarlyK-silicate
assemblages.
Sericite-andalusite
assemblages
are

gradational
with underlying
andalusite-K-feldspar
zones.Deep-level
Early sulfide
zones,
withantithetic
pyriteandbornite,
areabruptly
truncated
by laterdisseminated
sulfide
zonescontaining
contact
assemblages
of pyriteandborniteandvariableamounts

of chalcopyrite
and"chalcocite."
Evidence
for sulfide
zoning
higherwithintheleached
capping
is based
on studyof relictsulfide
grains.Pyrite-bornite
sulfide
zones
are

generally
found
withsericite
oradvanced
argillic
alteration
assemblages,
butthe"roots"
of thesezonesextenddownwardinto K-feldspar-bearing
lower level alterationzones.

Advanced
argillicalteration
assemblages
containing
a'bundant
pyrophyllite,
diaspore,

alunite,
amorphorous
material,
andlocalcorundum
arestrongly
developed
at highele-

vations.Theseassemblages,
present
in postore
pebble
dikes,wereformedverylate in
theevolution
of mineralization.
Wherepreserved,
theassociated
sulfide
is pyrite.

Twotypes
of fluidinclusions
arefound
in EarlyandTransitional
quartz
veins
but
neverin Latepyriticveins.Theycontain
high-salinity
fluidcoexisting
withlowdensity
fluid.Both
exhibit
homogenization
temperatures
intherange
of360
to>600C.
A thirdtypeof inclusion
is found
in veins
of all ages,
contains
low-salinity
fluid,and
homogenizes
at lessthan350C.

Supergene
enrichment
formed
thecommercial
orebody,
roughly
300million
tonsof
1.6%Cu. Secondary
Cu-Sminerals
extensively
replaced
chalcopyrite
andbornire
but
coated
pyrite
withlittleor noreplacement.
Kaolinite
andalunite
aretheprincipal
supergene
alteration
products.
Kaolinite
replaces
feldspar,
biotite,
andchlorite
butnot
sericite.Thezones
of supergene
kaolinite
aredeveloped
beneath
theupperlevelzones

ofstrong
sericitic
alteration
andwithin
theupper
preserved
portions
oftheunderlying
K-silicate
andsericite-chlorite
zones.Magnetite
is oxidized
to hematite
by supergene
alteration.
Anhydrite
ishydrated
to gypsum
andthendissolved
by supergene
waterto
depths
asgreatas900mbeneath
thepresent
surface.

Sulfides
originally
present
in .theleached
capping
havebeen
oxidized
to limonite,
composed
mostly
ofjarosite,
goethite,
andhematite.
A dominantly
jarositic
capping
overlies
mostof theorebody
andtheinnerpyriticfringe.Thisis surrounded
by a

THE PORPHYRY COPPER DEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR, CHILE

859

goethiticcapping. A thin hematite-goethitc


cappingbetweenthe jarosite and the enrichment blanket was apparentlyformed during a secondstage of oxidation and
leaching. Copperwasmostlyremovedfrom the sericiticcapping,but iron, molybdenum,
and goldwere relatively immobileduring supergeneleaching.

Interpretationof the space-time


patternsand relationsof the mineralization,
alteration,
volcanism,and intrusion allows reconstructionof the depositionalenvironmentsof the
E1 Salvador porphyry copper deposit. The bulk of the primary mineralizationand
alteration accompanyingemplacementof the porphyrieswas accomplished
in less than
one million years, at the end of an extendedperiod of volcanism. The granodioritic
stocksintruded their cogeneticvolcanic pile, which extendedprobablyless than 2,000
meters above the present surface, Early mineralization-alteration formed simultaneous
with, adjacent to, and within recurrent intrusionsof porphyry. The pressure-temperature environment was close to that of the final crystallization of the melt. The saline
aqueousfluids responsiblefor the bulk transport of metals and sulfur at this time were

boiling, limited in quantity, and of largely magmatic origin. They were generally
depletedat present levels of exposureprior to the eraplacementof the last porphyry
mass. The relatively oxidized state of sulfur during this Early period probably reflects
leakageof hydrogenfrom the mineralizingsystem.
As cooling of the intrusive complex progressed,the structural and chemical character
of the mineralizing environmeritshifted, largely in responseto the inflow of meteoric
water. This water was part of a deep convective system driven by heat from the cooling intrusive center. With continued cooling, upper and peripheral zones of Late
alteration and mineralization progressively collapsedinward and downward over zones
of Early mineralization, penetrating deepestalong continuousvein structures. There
was extensive reworking of previously deposited sulfides and wall-rock alteration,
especiallyat high elevations. In the last stages, an acid hot-spring system was es-

tablishedin the upper portionsof the deposit. Final and relatively minor intrusion of
latite dikes into this hot-spring systemcausedpebblebrecciationalong Late vein structures. Erosion and supergeneleachingand enrichmentfollowedwithin 5 m.y. and may
have overlappedthe final stagesof hot-springactivity.

A geneticmodelis proposedfor the eraplacement


and depositionof porphyrycopper
depositsin general. Essential elementsof this genetic model are (1) shallow emplacementof a usuallycomplexseriesof porphyriticdikes or stocksin and abovethe
cupolazone of a calc-alkalinebatholith; (2) separationof magmaticfluids and simultaneous metasomaticintroduction of copper, other metals, sulfur, and alkalies into both

the porphyriesand wall rocks; and (3) the establishment


and inward collapseof a
convectiveground-watersystem,which reactswith the coolingmineralizedrocks.
The well-known similarities of porphyry copper deposits from many parts of the
world are variations on a common theme. The differences and unique features ex-

hibitedby individualdepositsreflectthe imprint of local variablesuponthe basicmodel.


The local variables include depth of emplacement,availability of ground water, volume

andtiming of successive
magmaadvances,
and the concentration
of metals,sulfur,and
othervolatilesin the magmas,as well as depthof exposure.
Introduction

As summarizedby Perry (1960) geologyplayed


a critical role in the discoveryof the E1 Salvador
orebody beneath the iron-stained slopes of Cerro
Indio Muerto.

Interest in Indio Muerto

Mountain

as a possibleimportantcopperprospectwent back
to about 1922 and the early years of the nearby
Potrerillosmine and metallurgicalplant. Then mine
superintendent Greninger, and mine geologists
March, Reed, Watson, and Wendell all commented

favorablyon certainaspectsof the so-called"Camp


Area", about two miles north of the present E1
Salvador orebody. Even the ancient turquoise
diggingsof the Incas,in what is now knownas TurquoiseGulch, excited interest and speculation. In

1944, Reno Sales and Vincent Perry, accompanied


by March and Wendell, visited the Camp Area.
During this visit Perry was impressedby porphyry
float containingglassyquartz veinletsin the gravelfilled arroyo leading from Turquoise Gulch, and
which remindedhim of quartz veining he had previously mappedover the fabulousLa Coloradaorebody at Cananea,Mexico. The followingyear he
assignedRoland Mulchay and E. C. Stephensto
map and appraisethe surfaceof Indio Muerto. They
reportedfavorablyon the Camp Area as a copper
prospectbut stressedits limited tonnagepossibilities.
In 1950 Perry again visited the district, this time
accompaniedby William Swayne as well as then
Potrerillos geologistsSwensenand Brinley, and

860

L. B. GUSTAFSONAND .1.P. HUNT

" MOCHA

' 2Ca'

'' C, COLORADO

IQUIQUI=
:) I

using the Mulchay and Stephensmap as a guide


examined the leached outcrops within Turquoise
Gulch. During this visit particular emphasiswas
placedon the distributionof quartz mineralization
and other featuresof limonite and alteration,indicating a favorable exploration target. Subsequently,
Anaconda'smanagement
approvedPerry's vigorous
recommendation
for a major explorationeffort to
test the possibilityof a secondaryenrichedtarget
beneathTurquoiseGulch. Swayne,assistedby John
Bain and Hans Langerfeldt, was then assignedto
map in detailthe ruggedslopesof Indio Muerto and
the surroundingdistrict and to plan a drilling campaign. The mappingproject was a major undertaking as no adequatebase maps, roads, or water

Q.
ANCA

existed within

TALTA

the district.

These difficulties were

overcomeand an accuratemap was preparedupon


whichPerry and Swaynetogetherlaid out four initial
test holes. Swayne'smappingand interpretations
were supplemented
by mineralogicalstudiesof rock
specimensby Charles Meyer in Anaconda'sButte
laboratories. Meyer was then in charge of Anaconda'sgeologicalresearchand also inspectedthe
prospectaccompanied
by Salesand Perry during the
subsequent
drilling campaign.
In 1951, approvalfor drilling was given by Anacondamanagement. A singledrill rig was allocated
for the initial exploration program. The prime
target in Turquoise Gulch was inaccessible
at the
start and the first two holes were drilled in more,

easilyreachablelocations. They intersectedinteresting but low-gradesecondarycoppersulfidesin what


subsequently
proved to be the outer pyritic fringe

PELAM.ES

50

100 150 200 250

KM.

of the orebody. The third hole was drilled to explore the readily accessibleCamp Area target and
intercepted1,000 feet of plus one percentprimary
coppermineralization. Such an encouragingshowing threatenedto divert management'sinterestfrom
the secondarilyenrichedtarget in TurquoiseGulch,
and a fourth hole was drilled near Hole 3. In spite
of the tempting distractionof.the Camp prospect,
Swayne movedthe rig back to the relatively inaccessible
primetargetarea in TurquoiseGulch,where,
in the meantime,a drill road and site had been completed,and startedHole 5. Completionof this hole
was delayeddue to management'sinterest in the

interceptof primary mineralizationin the Camp


VALPARAISO

SANTIAGO
TENIENTE

EL

FiG.2. Locationmapof northernChile.

Area, where two additional holes were finished.

Finally, in 1954, Swayne, supportedby Perry,


managedto completeHole 5, interceptinghigh-grade
secondarilyenriched ore beneath the barren outcropsof TurquoiseGulch, and it ,wasevidentthat a
major discoveryhad been achieved.
The developmentof the E1 Salvador Mine following the discoveryof the TurquoiseGulch orebodythrough1959,the first year of production,has

THE PORPHYRY COPPERDEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR, CHILE

861

alsobeendescribed
by Perry (1960). 'Swayneand km. Actual ore reserves prior to production
Trask (1960) described
manyof the generalfeatures (January 1, 1957) were about 300 million short
of the mine and district as well as the geologic tons averaging1.6 percent total copper, approximappingand officeproceduresroutinelyusedat E1 mately 5 million tons of coppermetal. This repreSalvador. Severalimportantaspectsof the geology sents roughly one-third to one-half of the total
were reportedduringthe courseof the work (Hunt, amountof copperdepositedin the district.
The Indio Muerto district and the Potrerillos
1964, 1969; Hemley, 1969; and Gustafsonand
Hunt, 1971).
During the period of Anacondamanagementof

porphyry copper deposit, 25 km southeastof E1


Salvador,both lie alongthe northernedgeof a disE1 Salvadorprior to July 1971,morethan 80 man- sected and eroded lower Tertiary volcanic field,
yearsof detailedgeologicmappingand studywere roughly50 x 200 km in extent,whichcontainsrhyoinvestedin the property. The presentauthorshave lite and andesiteextrusivesand numerousgranodiothe privilegeof summarizing
someof the resultsof rite andquartzmonzonitestocks.Theselower Tertithis effort. A significantpart of this commitment ary Volcanicswere laid down unconformablyover
of manpowerand money was deliberatelyaimed at foldedand erodedUpper Cretaceousandesiticvolthe broad objective of developingnew exploration canicand related sedimentaryrocks. The Quaterconceptsand toolsthrougha "case-history"analysis nary volcanicbelt, lying some 60 km east of E1
of a major porphyry copperdeposit. E1 Salvador Salvadorin the High Andes,appearsto be a recent
was selectedfor studybecauseof excellentand com- analogueof the lower Tertiary field. Erosion and
plete geologicrecordsand becauseof the unusually dissection
of the lower Tertiary rockswere aidedby
good rock exposure,consistingof surface outcrops major northerlytrendingfaults,mostshowingdownoverlyingmore than 200 km of tunnelsand diamond to-the-west relative .displacements
and unknown
drill holes which extend over a vertical range of strike-slip components. Both E1 Salvador and
900 meters.
Potrerillos have been exposedby erosion,which
The main thrust of geologicresearchat E1 Salva- progressed
to the point of largelystrippingthe lower
dor was directed at understandingthe detailed Tertiary volcanics
but not deeplyerodingthe underanatomyand evolutionof the Turqu'oiseGulch ore- lying .Mesozoicrocks.
body. Broader studies,such as t.he relation of the
Upper Cretaceous(?)rocks,approximately3 to
Turquoise
Gulchorebody
to othersmallermineralized 5 km thick,are exposedin the northernhalf of the
centersin the districtand the geologyof the district Indio Muerto district and at lower elevations within
itself in relation to the Mesozoic and Cenozoic hisCerro Indio Muerto itself (Fig. 3). The lower part
tory of the AndeanCordillera,were begunbut never of this Cretaceous
sectionis dominantlysedimentary
completed. We also regret tha.t critical petrological and composed
of andesiticconglomerates
and sandand chemicalstudiesof both the regionalrocksand stone,tuffaceousin part, with subordinateandesitc
alteration-mineralization
suites within the mine were
flows. The upper part of the Cretaceoussection
never completed.
containsnumerousandesiteflows, subordinateandeThe presentpaper attemptsto focuson what we sitic conglomerates
and sandstones,
and at least one
consider to be the main scient.ific result of Anasilicicpyroclasticunit. Theserocksare very similar
conda'.sgeologiceffort at E1 Salvador,namely, de- to and probablycorrelatewith the lower and upper
scriptionand interpretationof the space-timerela- membersof the Cerrillosformationin the Copiapo
tions of volcanismand porphyry intrusionwith the area (summarizedby ,Segerstrom,
1967). In the
concurrentlyevolving mineralizationand alteration Indio Muerto district,the Upper Cretaceous
rocks

in the mainorebodybeneathTurquoiseGulch.
Geologic Setting

The E1 Salvador mine is located in the Indio


Muerto district in the Atacama Desert of northern

Chile,some800 km north of Santiago(Figs. 1 and


2). During 12 yearsof operationunderAnaconda,
the mineproduced80 millionshorttonsof sulfideore
averaging1.5.% Cu. The orebodyis a "chalcocite"
enrichment,blanketroughly1.5 km in diameterand
up to 200 m thick, underlyingthe TurquoiseGulch
area. .Surface indications of alteration and mineralization can be observed in the Indio Muerto district

in a north-northeast
elongatezoneof some5 by 10

are folded into a faulted antif'ormal structure trend-

ing northerlyand havinga steepwesternlimb. In


the vicinity of the orebodies,distinctionbetween
igneous and clastic units within this formation is

impossible
because
of strongalterationandtheyhave
beenmappedsimplyas "andesite."

A seriesof lowerTertiary andesiticand rhyolitic


extrusives,includingabundantignimbr,ites,
overlies
the Cretaceousrocks and comprisesintertongued
volcanicpiles whosethicknesshas not been determined. In the vicinityof TurquoiseGulch,at 'least
400 m of siliceous.ignimbritesoverlie the unconformityand dip gentlyto the south. The fact that
the steepporphyrycontactsand sulfideveinsin the

862

L. B. GUSTAFSON AND ]. P. HUNT

mine dip northerly,perpendicular


to thesevolcanics,
suggestsminor southerlytilting or warping of the
districtafter mineral.ization.Thesevolcanicsprobably correlate with the I-Iornitos formation in the
Copiapoarea (Segerstrom,1967), and thereforethe
un.conformity
has beennamedthe "I-Iornitosunconformity".
On the southeastflank of Cerro Indio Muerto, a
secondunconformitywith sharp local relief is seen
cuttingthroughthe Horn.itosvolcanicsinto an under-

Indio Muerto Rhyolitedomes


The main peak of Cerro Indio Muerto and the
high ridge to the southwest(Figs. 1 and 4) are
formedby two rhyolite domes. Undergroundpenetrationshavepartially definedthe geometryof each
as flaring .outwardabovethe elevationof the I-Iornitos

unconformity(Fig. 5). A third rhyolite body,


locatedon the east flank of Indio Muerto, is petrologicallyvery similar to thesedomesand is probably a more deeplyerodedand steep-walledvolcanic

lying windowof Cerrillosrock.


s. This unconformity neck. The smaller irregular masseson the northand the thick seriesof overlyingandesiticand rhyo- east flank of the mountain are dikes and sills of
liti'.c volcanics and sediments have been called the

similar rock intruding Cerrillos "andesites." The


Indio Muerto unconformity
and series,respectively.
rhyolite domesclearly intrude the rhyolitic pyroMappingto definetheextension
of this unconformity clasticsabovethe I-Iornitosunconformitynear Turandthe detailwithinthe volcanics
'onthe southslope quoiseGulch. A flow brecc.
ia of identical rock on
of the mountainwas never completed,so thesefeathe southeastslopeof the mountaingradesdownhill
tures on Figure 3 are somewhatspeculative. The into water-worked debris derived from the domes.
Indio Muerto seriesrocksprobablycorrelatewith the
These rocks directly overlie the Indio Muerto unCerro La Peinetavolcanicsin the Copiaporegion conformity,which thereforemarks the surfaceat the
(Clark et al., 1967).
time of emplacement
of theseearly rhyolites. These
Intrusive activity centeredin the Indio Muerto
rhyolitesare clearlyolder than quartzporphyryand
districtbeganduringmid-Eocenewith the emplacegranodioriteporphyry,being cut by dikes of these
mentof a groupof rhyolite.domes,
whichapparently rocks.
formed

one of the volcanic centers for the Indio

Theserhyolitesare readilyidentifiableas a single


Muertoseriesextrusives.A second
groupof quartz rocktype,calledIndio Muerto Rhyolite (Fig. 6A).
rhyoliteandquartzporphyryintrusions
wasfollowed They containpracticallyno quartz phenocrysts,
but
by the granodioriticporphyrycomplexaroundTur- all containmore or lessabundant,1 to 3 mm phenoquoise Gulch at the end of the Eocene. It is not

crystsof alkali feldspar,recognizable


evenin strongly

clearhow muchof an edificewas built by eitherof altered areas. A variety of matrix textures are
thesevolcanicepisodesor how much erosionpre- seen, all suggestingdevitrificationof glass. Flow
cededthe intrusionof the main porphyrysequence. bandingis commonand widespread.
Only minor copperand molybdenum
mineralizat.ion
A singlecompletechemicalanalysis(Table 1) and
was relatedto the quartz rhyolite and quartz por- a few partial analysesindicatea silicacontentrang-

phyry volcanicevent.
s, but the bulk of mineralization
ing from about74% to 77% S.iO2,with K20 ranging
and alterationaccompanied
the emplacement
of the
from 4.0% to 6.5% and Na20 from 1.6% to 3.6%.
finalporphyrycomplex. Subsequent
supergene
oxi-

dationand sulfideenrichment
of the primarymin- Quartz rhyoIite
eralization formed the commerc.ial orebodies at E1

Close to the northeast flank of the mountain lie

Salvador. Supergeneenrichmentwas accomplishedtwo hills of quartz rhyolite, known as Cerro Pelado


long beforethe presenterosionsurfacewas formed, and Rhyolite Hill (Fig. 3). This rock type is
as notedelsewherein the Atacamadesert (Sillitoe characterized
by abundantand usuallysmallquartz
et al., 1968). Oxidizedportionsof the originalen- phenocrysts
and relativelyabundantfeldsparphenorichmentblanketare exposedon the lower slopesof crysts (Fig. 6B). Small biotite booksand K-feldIndio Muerto and are overlainby Miocenegravels. spar phenocrystsare commonlypresentbut sparse,
The presentpaper will concentrateon thoseevents and opaquesare pract.icallyabsent. Age relations
that took placein the TurquoiseGulcharea at the with the Indio Muerto Rhyolite domes and with
culminationof volcanicactivity and producedthe quartz porphyry, describedbelow, are inconclusive.
main orebodyof the E1 Salvadormine.
Cerro Peladois a steep-walled,
complexintrusive
center. Quartz rhyolite forms an arcuatemassive
plug with arcuateand tangentialdikes. The marPrincipal Intrusive Rock Types
gins of the plug are stronglybrecciated.Enclosed
within the circularoutlineis what is probablya colThe Turquoise Gulch center of mineralization lapsed breccia, containing fragments of andesitic
containsa complexof siliceousto intermediate
intru- sedimentpartiallyengulfedby quartzrhyolite. Cerro
sive rock types.
Peladohas many of the characteristics
of a shallow

SIMPLIFIED

GEOLOGIC
o

MAPof
z

the INDIO

MUERTO

DISTRICT

FAULT
POLD

MIXED HYITIC

&

__ TERTiJ,

15 OF
FIY
UNDETERMINI[:D
VOLeAN,CS--UNJFFEIIENTI&TE0.
AGE D(JE TO INCOMPLETE
INCLUDES
M;INQ
SOME
iNTRUYE
RHYOLI?E

Fro. 3. Simplifiedgeologicmap of the Indio Muerto district.

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

' oooN

19500

ROCK

TYPES

,TURQUOISE
o

ioo

RECENT
DETRITUS

GULCH

.oo

IGNEOUS

QUARTZ

GRAIN

CONTOUR
I:ORPHYRy

Surface

of +1= Cu
to Surface

INTERVAl_-

Enrichment
25

Blanket

Meters

*[-J"X"
PORPHYRY
QUARTZ

'

BRECCIA

Outer
Limit
Projected

"" PORPHYRy

LATITE

PEBBLE
DIKE
CLASTIC
BR
ECCIA
TOURMALINE
BRECClA

AREA

::5oo

RHYOLITE

PORPHYRY

1900)

INTRUSIVE

"A"PORPHYRY

UNCONFORMITY

I'Ll'pORPHYRy

ANDESITIC
(CerrlllOI SEDIMENTS
fn
)

2600Meter
LevelBI

outerLimit
of +0.45% CuProtoreJ
'-'

J
0500

RHYOLITE
( Hornifol EXTRUSIVE

i
.

hi

0oo
19950

19500

hi

19000

'e.o<'

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

FIG. 5. Rock types in the E1 Salvador mine, isometric projection.

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

THE PORPHYRY COPPER DEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR, CHILE

volcanicneck It is not certainwhetherthe nearly


fiat baseof the quartz rhyolitein Rhyolite Hill was
the surfaceon wh.ich it was extrudedor represents
merelythe baseof an intrusivesill.

869

Peladoquartz rhyolite. The large areas of quartz


porphyryin and surroundingTurquoiseGulch are

exposuresof rather extensiveand thick sills of quartz


porphyry which were .intrudedat the base of and
withinthe Hornitosvolcan.
ic pile. In mineexposures
Quartx porphyry
and drillingbeneaththeseoutcrops,only a few small
Quartz porphyryis a major intrusiverocktype in dikes are seen below the Hornitos unconformity
the TurquoiseGulchand Old Campcentersof min- (Figs. 4 and 5).
There is a striking differencein shape between
eralization. It is characterized
by usuallyabundant
the
quartz porphyry intrusionsand both the earlier
and large quartz and plagioclasephenocrystsin a
Ind,
io
Muerto R'hyolitedomesand later steep-walled
siliceousfine-grainedgroundmass.The texture is
granodioritic
porphyries. This suggests
that quartz
similarto the coarsest
quartzrhyolite(above), exporphyry
was
intruded
at
a
different
depth
or at a
cept that plagioclase
phenocrysts
are larger (some
different
rate
than
these
other
intrusions.
Quartz
> 1 cm) and more abundantand biotite booksmore
rhyolite
has
closer
affinities
to
quartz
porphyry
than
prominent(Fig. 6C).
to
Indio
Muerto
Rhyolite
in
texture
and
shape.
Clearly more than one intrusive unit has been
includedas quartz porphyry,but only in the Old Quartz rhyoliteand quartzporphyryare interpreted
Camparea havecontactsbetweentwo quartz por- as beingcloselyrelatedintrusions.

All of the quartzporphyryin the mainTurquoise


phyriesbeenmapped..Theirregularnorth-trend.
hag
Gulch
area is moderatelyto stronglyaltered. The
dike belween
TurquoiseGulchand the Old Camp
single
chemical
analysisof quartz porphyry (Table
area (Fig. 3) contains
abundant
brokenphenocrysts,
suggesting
that it was a feederfor pyroclastic
ex- 1) is of a sericite-chloritealtered dike rather than
trusives. Quartz porphyryat the Old Camparea of fresh rock. The alterationmay accountfor the
formsan arcuatedike,presumably
a ringdike,wh.ich relativelyhigh FeOa/FeO and KO/NaO ratios
occupies
nearly170 degreesof a circlearoundCerro reportedin the analysis.

Fit;. 6. Texturesof intrusiverocksrelatedto early rhyoliticvolcanicevents.

A, IndioMuertoRhyolite.Flowbanding,
devitrification
textures(quartzandalkalifeldspar),
andsparse
smallphenocrystsof alkalifeldspar
characterize
theclusterof rhyolitedomeson andaroundCerroIndio Muerto. Quartzor biotite

phenocrysts
are not seen. (Nonpolarizedlight)

B, Quartzrhyolite.Abundant
phenocrysts
of quartzandalkalifeldspar
arecommonly
fragmental,
andbiotite"books"
are
smallandsparse.Groundmass
is a very finegranularintergrowthof quartz,alkali feldspar,and sericite,whichshows

neitherflowbanding
northeusualdevitrification
textures.Coarsevarietieswith someplagioclase
phenocrysts
approach

quartz porphyryin texture. (Cross-polarizedlight)

C.,.Quartz
porphyry.Largephenocrysts
of plagioclase
andquartzare setin a fine-grained
groundmass
of quartzand
sencte.Biotite"books"
areprominent,
butin thisspecimen
are alteredto sericite,
as is theplagioclase.
(Cross-polarized

light)

Notethatlikethephotographs
in Figures7, 8, and9 thesearenegative
printsmadeby usingthinsections
directlyas

negatives
in theenlarger,with or withoutpolarizingsheets.

870

L. B. GUSTAFSON AND .L P. HUNT

TABLE1. ChemicalAnalysesof Intrusive Rocks. The samplesare from the freshestant most weakly mineralizedexposures
of eachtype in the minearea,but mosthave beenaffectedby significantmineralizationand alteration. Analyseswere
madeby the Japan Analytical ResearchInstitute, exceptfor (1), which was made by The AnacondaCo. In
sampleswith significantamountsof sulfides,the ratio of Fe2Oato FeO is erroneouslyhigh.

SiO2
AlcOa
FeOa
FeO

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

(8)

(9)

(10)

(11)

75.86
12.87
0.44
0.75

60.11
15.01
1.40
0.47

57.75
.16.44
0.59

62.93
14.66
1.00
1.00

56.58
17.41
3.44
2.72

64.31
16.29
2.63
1.77

64.53
16.10
1.23
1.37

65.09
15.03
2.05
1.27

62.46
17.39
2.42
1.64

53.85
16.66
2.03
1.05

59.23
15.59
3.10
1.71

0.02

0.05

trace

2.22
0.06

MnO

0.00

0.01

0.03

0.03

0.01

0.02

MgO

0.05

1.36

2.58

1.33

2.15

1.60

1.34

1.31

CaO

0.23

5.44

6.39

4.66

6.14

4.34

4.55

NaO
KO
H20(+)

3.44
5.13
0.39

1.99
3.77
2.55

4.04
2.28
1.04

6.73
1.45
0.62

4.65
1.57
1.18

4.79
1.79
0.98

3.99
2.30
1.24

trace

1.48

2.43

3.87

4.40

6.64

5.41

3.56
2.68
2.47

4.29
3.58
0.93

5.59
1.89
1.25

4.31
2.73
1.32

2.13

HO(--)

--

1.09

0.28

0.95

0.53

0.41

0.53

0.77

0.29

0.51

2.30

P20,
TiO
SOs

0.00
0.24
0.00

0.28
0.14
6.30

0.85
0.99
3.79

0.55
0.62
3.43

0.48
0.73
2.24

0.32
0.71
0.55

0.26
0.43
2.27

0.22
0.48
1.83

0.20
0.45
0.45

0.22
0.66
6.23

0.29
0.96
trace

0.02

0.63

0.20

0.38

0.22

0.08

0.28

0.57

0.25

0.07

trace

CO2

0.17

0.27

0.08

0.26

0.33

0.24

0.40

0.35

0.04

0.53

1.55

F
Cu

0.013
0.00

0.02
0.26

0.04
0.53

0.03
0.50

0.06
0.06

trace
0.03

0.04
0.15

0.04
0.13

0.04
0.03

0.04
0.27

0.03
0.01

101.09

100.15

101.11

100.52

100.87

101.02

101.74

100.34

99.94

100.72

-0.32

-0.10

-0.19

-0.11

-0.11

--0.14

--0.29

-0.12

-0.04

100.77

100.05

100.92

100.41

100.83

100.88

101.45

100.22

99.90

2.68

2.69

2.66

2.73

Subtotal

99.60

Less O

equivalent
for S

--0.01

Total

99.59

Sp. gr.

2.52

2.67

2.66

2.66

2.66

2.70

--

100.72

2.56

(1) Indio Muerto Rhyotite, ES 1693; practicallyunmineralizedand unaltered;surface.

(2) Qua,,rtz
porphyry,
ES2702;sericite-chlorite-anhydrite-chalcopyrite-bornite;
2400level.

(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8)

"X
"K"
"L"
"L"
"L"
"L"

Porphyry, ES 2699; K-feldspar-biotite-anhydrite-chalcopyrite-bornite;


2400 level.
Porphyry, DDH 547-180 m; K-feldspar-biotite-anhydrite-chalcopyrite-bornite;2,460-m elevation.
Porphyry,ES 2691; no aplitic groundmass,
biotizedhornblendeand anhydriteveinlets;2400 level.
Porphyry, ES 2689; (-) aplitic groundmass,practicallyfreshand unmineralized;2400 level.
Porphyry, ES 2688; (4-) aplitic groundmass,weak chloritization,sparsechalcopyritein "alkali seams";2400 level.
Porphyry, ES 2687; (4-) aplitic groundmass,weak sericite-Na-plagioclase-chlorite
with sparsechalcopyrite-pyrite;

2400 level.

(9) "L" Porphyry,ES 2703; (4-) coarseapliticgroundmass,


practicallyfreshand unmineralized;
2400level.

(10) "A" Porphyry, ES 2701; "mineralized"texture, biotitie-alkali feldspar-anhydrite-chalcopyrite-bornite;


2400 level.
(11) Latite, ES 2695; moderatemontmorillonite-calcitealteration; 2400 level.

"X" Porphyry

The oldestof the main seriesof granodioritic


porphyriesin TurquoiseGulchis knownas "X" Porphyry. (The main intrusiverock typesin the E1
Salvadormine were arbitrar.ilygiven letter designations,X, 14,L, etc.,referringto crosscuts
in original
explorationworkingswheretheserock typeswere
well exposed.) This porphyrywas referredto by
Swayneand Trask (1960) as "fine-grainedErariodiorite." As shownin Figure 4, there are three
mainbodiesof "X" Porphyrylyingalongthe northnortheast
axialtrendof theporphyrycomplex.The
central body forms a discontinuous
fringe about a
youngerfeldsparporphyryintrusion.
"X" Porphyrycharacteristically
sendsmany irregular .dikesinto andesite. Recrystallization
of
andesite
intoa relativelycoarse,
equigranular
biotized
rockin the immediate
vicinityof the contactlocally
makesrecognitionof the intrusivecontactdifficult,

especially
wherefurthercomplicated
,bysuperimposed
hydrothermalalteration. Definitive age relationsat
contactsbetween"X" Porphyryand quartzporphyry
have not been found, but gross geometry strongly
impliesthat the steep"X" Porphyry stockscut the
quartz porphyry sills. Younger feldsparporphyries
("K" and "L") clearlyintrude"X" Porphyry. "X"
Porphyrycontactslocallytruncateearly quartzveins
with sulfidesin andesire,but most quartz veins cut
across these contacts.

The weaklyporphyritictexture of "X" Porphyry


is best observedin deep undergroundexposures,
where the rock is least altered (F.ig. 7A). In exposuresat higher elevations,the rock is strongly
altered and appearsequigranular,with only sparse
evidenceof a porphyritictexture (Fig. 8C). Plagioclasephenocrysts
are commonlyobliteratedby alkali
feldsparsand hornblendephenocrysts
by biotiteand
alkali feldspar. Over broad areas, there is n'o evidenceof an originally,moreporphyritictexture.Small

THE PORPHYRY COPPERDEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR,CHILE

dikesof "X" Porphyrygrade into aplitesat their


extremities, as do some small dikes of other porphyries. It is not fully clear whether the equigranular texture of "X" Porphyry at upper levels
was developedthroughpost-consolidation
al.teration
of the rock or whether it was developedprimarily
during final stagesof consolidation
of the melt.

"K" Porpl,yry
Followingeraplacement
of "X" Porphyry,a complex series of feldspar porphyries was intruded.
"Feldspar porphyry" is a textural term meaning
porphyry characterized primarily by plagioclase
phenocrysts,
with an abundance
of mariephenocrysts
but lackingprominentquartz and K-feldsparphenocrysts. The main massof feldsparporphyry in the
TurquoiseGulch area is separatedinto an early "K"
Porphyryand a later "L" Porphyry.
"K" Porphyry occupiesthe southeasternlobe of
the main mass of feldsparporphyry in Turquoise
Gulch.

It is older than the main mass of "L"

Por-

phyry to the northwestbut intrudesandesiteand the

871

easternlobe showsthe clearestevidenceof multiple


intrusionof feldsparporphyrymagma. Here dikes
of both marie feldsparporphyry ("A" Porphyry)
and igneousbreceiawhichclearlycut "L" Porphyry
are in turn cut by dikesof porp'hyrywhichare indistinguishablefrom the host "L" Porphyry. So
closeis the similarityof early and late surgesof "L"
Porphyrythat contactsbetweenthem can be traced
for only shortdistances.
"L" Porphyryis the only oneof the major intrusive rockswith exposurefresh enoughto determine
the original compositionand petrography. The texture and compositionvary markedly. However, all
textural variants are characterized by abundant
phenocrystsof plagioclase,biotite, hornblende,and
locallyquartz. These are enclosedin a matrix of
quartz, alkali feldspar, and biotite and(or) hornblende,with accessoryzircon, apatite, sphene,magnetite,and ilmenite(Figs. 9 and 10).
The major texture variation is in the abundance
and grain size of the groundmass. Where micro-

scopic
textureof the groundmass
isa "sugary"equi-

granular mixture of relatively fine grained quartz


fringingmassof "X" Porphyry. This is established and alkali feldspar,with marlcsand other accessory
not only by dike shapesbut by truncationof quartz minerals, it has been called "aplitic" groundmass.
veinsand alterationassemblages.While rock tex- This is characteristicof most "L" Porphyry as well

ture, degree of alteration and nfineralization, and


as the least altered exposuresof "K" Porphyry.
locationare usefulfor field recognitionof theserock Along with variation in the abundanceof aplitic
types,it is the age relationships
at the intrusivecon- groundmass
are seenrather systematicvariationsin
tacts that were used to define each porphyry rock the abundanceof quartz phenocrysts,color index,
type.
and ratio of identifiablebiotite and amphibolepheno"K" Porphyry is best describedas an intrusive
cryststo total biotite plus amphibole. The sizesof
complex,as within its main body many local conplagioclase
phenocrystsand the ratio of hornblende
tacts between intrusive surges of "K" Porphyry
to
biotite
phenocrysts
showno systematicvariations.
have been mapped. There is a fairly wide range
Systematic
textural
patterns have been mapped
of textural variation within "K" Porphyry. As
with "X" Porphyry, it is not entirely clear how within "L" Porphyry (.Fig. 11). Areas of abundmuch of this is due to post-consolidation
alteration ant aplitic groundmass,quartz phenocrysts,low
and how muchto reacti'on
betweencrystalsand late- marie content, and a high proportion of marlcsas
stage melt and fluids during final crystallization phenocrystsgrade into relatively nonporphyritic,
(Figs. 7B, 8A, 8B). Most "K" Porphyryexposed more marie rock with no quartz phenocrystsnear

in the mine is at least moderatelyalteredto potassiumsilicateassemblages.


"L" Porphyry

The largestmassof feldsparporphyryin TurquoiseGulch is "L" Porphyry. It is a complex


steep-walledstock with a crudely arcuate outline,
nearly 1 km across. "L" Porphyry cuts quartz
porphyry,"K" Porphyry,and "X" Porphyry. It is
also youngerthan much,but not all, of the alteration and mineralization
in the deepcentralpart of
the ore zone. Although intrusive contactswithin
the massare difficultto recognize,enoughhavebeen
seenlocally to indicatethat this stock is also made
of a numberof separateintrusiveunits. The south-

contacts with biotized andesite.

This transition

is

accomplished
by both truly gradationaland abrupt
changesin oneor a combinationof the textural features. Such marie contacteffectsare absentor only
weakly developedwhere "L" Porphyry intrudes
early porphyriesor previouslymineralizedand biotized andesite.A miniature (5 cm), nonporphyritic,
mafic porphyry rim has .beenfound surroundinga
small (10 cm) inclusionof biotizedandesitewithin
one of the high groundmass
porphyrycenters. On
both scales,Na20 risesand K20 dropsapproaching
the "andesite"from high-groundmass
porphyry.Evidently, reactionwith the intruded "andesite" is the
chief cause of the textural

variations.

872

L. B. GUSTAFSON

AND I. P. HUNT

Fro. 7. Textures of intrusive porphyriesof the main TurquoiseGulch porphyry series (except "L" Porphyry, Fig. 9).
A, "X" Porphyry. Euhedralplagioclaseand biotite clustersafter subhedralhornblendeare seenonly in deepexposures.
The anhedralgranulartextureostrongK-silicatealteration (Fig. 8C) is more tpical. The anhedralinterstitialmaterial is
quartz, K-feldspar,biotite,and anhydrite. Biotite "books"are rare and confinedto a few contactzones. (Cross-polarized
light)

B, "K" Porphyry. Euhedralplagioclase


phenocrysts
with biotite "books"and local quartz "eyes"in an "aplitic"groundmasscharacterizerelativelyunaltered"K" Porphyry. This is petrologicallyvery similar to "L" Porphyry (,Fig. 9), but
low-groundmass
variantsare not seenin "K" Porphyry. Argillic alteration gives mottled appearanceto the plagioclase.
(Cross-polarized light)

C, "A" Porphyry. Plagioclase


and hornblende(arrow) phenocrysts
are surrounded
by an abundant"eldspathic"
groundmass(Fig. 10C), whichis characterized
by tiny plagioclase
laths andabundantmarlcs,usuallyhornblende.A "wormy"intergrowthof alkali feldsparis seenin outergrowthzonesof someplagioclase.A wide rangeof normaltexturalvariation,
involvingmostlythe abundance,
texture,and mineralogyothe groundmass,
is seenin essentially
unmineralized
andunaltered
"A" Porphyry.

(Cross-polarized light)

D, Latite. Euhedralplagioclase
phenocrysts
are commonlyalteredto a "wormy" intergrowthcontainingmostlyalkali
feldspar,montmorillonite,and calcite. Quartz, amphibole,and biotite phenocrysts
are relatively sparse. Groundmass
containstiny sodicplagioclase
lathswith interstitialK-feldspar,quartz,andabundant
amphibole,
magnetite,
andilmenite.(Nonpolarized light)

than 100 m, most are quite irregular and cannotbe

"A" Porphyry

"A" Porphyry is the name given to a group of


relatively minor intrusive bodiescharacterizedby
rather sparse plagioclasephenocrystsin a finegrained,dark groundmass
containingabundant,small,
growth-zonedplagioclasecrystals (Figs. 7C, 8D,
10C). "A" Porphyryoccursin dikesrangingfrom
a few centimeters

to more than 10 m in thickness.

Although the largest dikes are continuousfor more

traced for more than a few tens of meters.

Some

seemto have.beeneraplacedas a seriesof discontinuous pods. Most "A" Porphyry dikes are younger
than most of the "L" Porphyry,perhapsemplaced
duringthe late stagesof "L" Porphyryintrusion. In
a few exposuresthere appearsto be a closespacetime association between the intrusion of "A"

Por-

phyryand the formationof tourmalinebreccias.

THE PORPHYRYCOPPERDEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR,CHILE

873

FxG. 8. Textures of strong K-silicate alteration in "X", "K", and "A" Porphyry.
A, "K" Porphyry with porphyritic texture (Fig. 7B) stronglyobliteratedby replacementof phenocrystsand recrystallization of groundmass. Plagioclaseis rimmed and veined by perthite, with oligoclasetypically separating any unreplaced andesinefrom the perthire. The relatively coarse, ragged "perthitic" groundmass(Fig. 10B) assemblagereplacesbiotite phenocrysts as edgesof plagioclase. Diagonal "A" quartz vein. (Cross-polarizedlight)
B, "K" Porphyry with poorly defined area of fairly clean, residual porphyry texture within an area of texture obliterated
by intenseK-silicate alteration. Within "K" Porphyry there is a general correlation betweenintensity of texture obliteration
and abundanceof "A" quartz veining. (Macrophotograph)
C, "X" Porphyry with much of the plagioclasereplaced by alkali feldspar and relatively coarsequartz and perthite in the
matrix (Fig. 7A). Irregular clots of "shreddy" biotite do not suggest hornblende pseudomorphs. This texture is widespreadin "X" .Porphyry with no evidenceof any structural control. (Cross-polarizedlight)
D, "A" Porphyry "mineralized' 'texture (cf. Fig. 7C). Some plagioclasephenocrystsare replaced by alkali feldsparbiotite-anhydrite (B), and a miarolitic cavity(?) filled with anhydrite-biotite-quartz-borniteis marked C. The trachytic
groundmasscontainsvery fine grained plagiodase laths and biotite. This texture characterizesdikes (or extensionsof dikes
with normal texture, as in Fig. 7C) which intrude previouslywell mineralizedrock in the central portionsof the deposit.
(,Nonpolarizedlight)

Igneousbreccias

fragmentsin a groundmass
of alkali feldspar,quartz,
and biotite with chalcopyrite,bornite, and futile.
Sixty metersbelow, the brecciais .smaller,contains
practicallyno fragments,and is confinedwithin "L"
Porphyry. The rock, which has a sharp intrusive
contactwith the "L" Porphyry,lookslike little more
than a foliatedor "stretchedout" surgeof "L" Porphyry magma. At higherelevations,the Main Breccia crosses
into the "K" Porphyrywith little change
otherthan an increasein "K" Porphyryfragments.

Intrusive rockscontainingmore or lessabundant


heterogeneousrock fragments in an igneous (i.e.,
originally magmatic,not alastic) matrix are here
called"igneousbreccias." Four of the largestbreccia massesare shownin Figure 4B, as they are exposedon the 2600 level.
The Main Breccia,which is an arcuatefeature near
he contact between"L" Porphyry and "K" Porphyry, is the bestexposed. Near the 2,600-m elevation, wherethe Main Brecciacutsseveralrock types Above the 2,710-m elevation, an arcuate mass of

(Fig. 5), it containsabundantheterogeneous


rock intensely
brecciated
"K" Porphyrycontaining
abund-

874

L. B. GUSTAFSON

AND J.P. HUNT

zoneat higherelevaant,quartzfragmentsoverliesthe upwardprojection whetherthe arcuatebrecciated


brecciation
relatedto the intrusionof
of the Main Breccia. The deepexposuresappearto tionsrepresents
representthe roots of the breccia. It is not clear igneousbrecciaor to a prior structuraleventwhich

Fro. 9. Textural variations within E1 Salvador "L" Porphyry.

.A_,
Maximum-groundmass
texture.Mostplagioclase
phenocrysts
are isolatedin (+) "aplitic"groundmass
(seeFig. 10.A_).
Plagioclase
are oscillatoryzoned An.so,
usuallyhavenormallyzonedrims Am, havemoderately
well orderedstructures,
and rangefrom 1 to 5 mm in size. Phenocrysts
alsoof quartz, biotite,and hornblende(biotized); accessories
are zircon,
apatite,sphene,
magnetite,andilmenite. (Cross-polarized
light)

B, Intermediate-groundmass
texture.Mostplagioclase
phenoc.rysts
in pointcontact
in () "aplitic"
groundmass.
Plagio-

claseare slightlyaltered,but thereis no systematic


variationin size of plagioclase.(Cross-polarized
light)
C, Low-groundmass
texture. Most plagioclase
phenocrysts
in edgecontact.(--) "aplitic"groundmass
is relativelycoarse
andraggedandhasa relativelylow alkali feldspar-quartz
ratio. (Cross-polariz.ed
light)

D, No-groundmass
texture.Quartzandbiotitebutalmostno K-feldspar
are interstitial
to plagioclase.
This textureis
developed
nearcontacts
withbiotized
andesite
(Fig. 11) andas a reaction
rim aboutaninclusion
of andesite
withinporphyry
with (+) "aplitic"groundmass.(Cross-polarized
light)

E, Porphyritic
habitof marlcs,
biotite,biotized
hornblende
withinporphyry
withmaximum
"aplitic"groundmass
(.A_).Fine

disseminated
opaques
are magnetiteandhematite-rutileafter ilmenite. (Nonpolarizedlight)

F, Irregular"shreddy"
habitof biotitewithinno-groundmass
porphyry(D). Degreeof anhedral
habitof marlcsranges

between
E andF, correlates
well with abundance
of "aplitic"groundmass,
and is easierto map. (Nonpolarizedlight)

THE PORPHYRY COPPERDEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR,CHILE

O.Imrn

875

FiG. 10. Microscopictexturesof groundmass


in porphyriticrocks.

A, "Aplitic"groundmass,
typicalof unalteredfeldsparporphyries.Sugarygranularmixture
of subround
quartzandalkali feldsparwith moreor lessfinegrainedbiotiteand accessory
Fe-

Ti oxides. The alkali feldsparis not perthitic,but its compositionand structureare not known.
Minor amountsof sodicplagioclase
may be present. In hand specimen,
especiallyof rock with
no sericiticor argillic alterationwhere the groundmassis relatively fine grained, this kind of
groundmasscommonlyappearsaphanitic. (Cross-polarizedlight)
B, Perthitic groundmass,
typical of strongK-silicate altered feldsparporphyries. lelatively

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

coarse,ragged mixture of quartz and perthitic alkali feldspar with more or less fine grained
biotite. This texture is developedboth by alteration of "aplitic" groundmassand by original
crystallization_ Becauseof its coarseness,this groundmassrarely appears to be aphanitic,
even in hand specimenslacking sericiteor argillic alteration. (Cross-polarizedlight)
C, 'eldspathic" groundmass,typical of "A" Porphyry. It is composedlargely of plagioclase laths, usually growth zoned with more calcic cores, and abundant marlcs with minor
quartz and rare K-feldspar. Marlcs are most commonly hornblende,usually biotized, and
commonly with a fine acicular habit. Groundmass intermediate between this and "aplitic"
groundmassoccursin some "L" Porphyry. (Cross-polarizedlight)

was merelyfollowedby the intrusionof the igneous rangesfrom a few metersto more than 1 km. Few
breccia. Dikes of "A" Porphyry and of still later pebbledikeshave a verticalcontinuityof more than
"L"-type porphyrycut this brecciaon the 2600 level. 600 m below the present surface. There is one
circular outcrop of pebble breccia on the surface
Latite
whichis presumablya "pebblepipe." The abundance
A seriesof northwest-trending
latite dikes is ex- of pebblesrelative to matrix varies widely. The
posedacrossthe district, as well as in the mine area matrix consistsof pulverizedrock and vein material,
(Figs. 3 and 5). These are the only truly postore ranging in size from silt to coarsesand size.
intrusiverocksat E1 Salvador. The dikescut practiThe degreeof roundingof a pebblecorrelatesin a
cally all mineralizationand alteration featuresin the rough way with the distanceof travel of the pebble.
mine. The typical texture and petrographyof the Angular pebblesalmostinvariablyare of the same
latite are illustrated in Figure 7D.
rock types as the immediate endosing wall rock.
Well-rounded
pebblesmay haveoriginallycomefrom
Pebble Dikes
lower or higher elevationsthan where exposed,alPebbledikesare a conspicuous
featureat E1 Sal- though this is usually indeterminate. The Crevador, especiallyat the surfaceand on upper levels. taceousandesResare readily convertedto sandmaLike latite dikes,with which they showvery close trix and angular slabs,while porphyry rock types
spatialand temporalrelationships,the pebbledikes tend to round readily and can be found relatively
postdatenearlyall primarymineral.ization.Much of far from their source. There is a generallack of
our understanding
of the pebbledikesat E1 Salvador evidence
of long-distance
transportof pebblesin these
is derivedfrom the work of Langerfeldt(1964a).
pebbledikes. However,in the two largestanddeepPebbles dikes at El Salvador are dikelike features
est known pebbledikes,pebblesof barren, coarse,
filled with alastic material, generally containing subporphyritic
rock, presumablyfrom significantly
abundantroundedpebbles(Fig. 12). The width of deeperlevels,are found. T,hesepebblescould be
thesedikesrangesfrom lessthan ! cm to 2 m, with samplesof a subjacentcupola of a granodiorifie
rare bulgesto 6 m. Their continuityalong strike batholithlying belowthe porphyrycomplex.

876

L. B. GUSTAFSON AND 1. P. HUNT

Fro. 11. Abundanceof apliticgroundmass


in "L" feldsparporphyry.

Flow bandingof the matrix of pebbledikes is the surfaceat the time of pebble-dikeformationbut
commonlyobserved. Many pebbledikes, particu- was not openat depth.
larly the small ones,are irregular in both thickness
There is a striking decreasein the abundanceof
and attitude. Thesecommonlyfollow sharpchanges pebbledikesfrom the surfacedownward,especially
in direction betweenintersectingstructures.
belowthe Hornitosunconformity
at roughly2,800Peb.bledikes occupy preexisting throughgoing m elevation. Many pebbledikes seem simply to
structures,especiallylate 'hydrothermalvein struc- terminate downward. In other areas, especially
tures. Late hydrothermalvein materialand ground- whereparallelswarmsof pebbledikeson the surface
up alteration halo material are very abundantin overliesinglemajor pebbledikesa.tdepth,a splitting
pebbledikes. T.he surfacepattern of pebbledikes of the major dikesupwardis implied.
(Fig. 4A), as mappedby Hans Langerfeldt,shows
Very closerelationships
betweenlatite dikes and
a distinctradial pattern with a few circumferential pebblebrecciashave been noted in a number of exstructures. There is a strongcorrespondence
of this posures(Fig. 12). The marginsof latiteare usually
structural pattern with the pattern of "D" veins faultedandoccupied
by pebbledikes.Round,polished
described
below (see Fig. 22). In strikingcontrast pebblespluckedfrom the pebbledikesare occasionto this pattern is the nearly orthogonalconjugate ally includedin latite, and in at least one instancea
pattern of pebble dikes at the lower levels in the pebbledike is clearly truncatedby latite. On the
mine (Fig. 4B), even at levels where radial vein other hand,pebbledikeslocallycontaincompletely
fractures do exist. On these lower levels, pebble isolatedbut unroundedfragmentsof latite. Latite
dikes have the northwest and northeast trends of
dikesalsofavornorthwest-trending
faults,whichare
la-teregionalfaults in the districtand do not occupy the principallociof the deeppebbledikes.
the radial vein set exceptin areaswhere this trend
On deeplevels,pebbledikesare relativelyfresh,
is parallel to the northwestor northeastdirections. with weak calcite and chlorite alteration of their
Evidentlytheradial set of fractureswas opennear matrix material. Near the surface,many pebble

THE PORPHYRYCOPPERDEPOSITAT EL SALVADOR,CHILE

877

5 mm

Real
c16stic
matrix
about
pyroelastic
pebbles
in
pods;
goes
towell
defined
pebble
dike
across
back.

J
I

Alteration bandingin latite


.....
tmcreamnglaltered toward margin!

( Incipient
dostic
groundmoss
developed
in

ploceinirregular
zonesoboutfragmenled

)/andesJte(?)with
foliati
.... dislurbed.

I-'
:i(-:'/
i ,/ ./[/(_.'
v..'*.'?"
__(///.
Pyroclastics

I-/- f/:' .;
l-,tJ .:.:
:

, .-'-' '

.'

,: ! II'..'
t,/ .: .:fJ'--- ' ///. --

.-',/// - . d4.'f

//
/_-/ '

.....

,Oh ood
softflat frag-

,,.

(Round
pebbles
included
in Iotite "squirt"
D
TUNNEL No. 5 LATITE DIKE-SKETCH EAST WALL
1:.1.00
!

Fro. 12.

(e?e to e9om!
L.B. GUST,&FSON

Pebble breccias and latite dikes.

A, Surfaceexposure,showingroundedpebblesin sandyclasticmatrix. At high elevations,


mostpebble dikes are altered to advancedargillic assemblages.

B, Sawed specimenof pebbledike from the deepestlevel. Subangularto round porphyrypebblesare


not altered.

C, Photomicrographof the clastic matrix of a pebbledike showingflow banding.


D, Sketchof a drift wall, showingclosespatialassociation
and contradictoryage relationships
between
pebbledikes and latite dikes.

wide compositional
variation in most elements,illustratingthe problemof adequatelysamplingthese
rocks. An even more serioussamplingproblem is
the fact that truly fresh samplesof the mineralized
rocks are not exposed. Unaltered samplescan be
obtainedonly of postmineralintrusiverocksor so
different radial sets about two different centers, far away from the centerof mineralizationthat corroughly600 m apart, suggestsat least two distinct relation with the mineralized rocks is uncertain.
With these qualificationsin mind, we tentatively
episodes
of pebble-dikeformation.
concludefrom thesedata that the early rhyolitesare
Geochemistry
o] theintrusiverocks
more siliceousand have higher KaO/NaaO ratios
Somechemicalanalysesof the leastalteredavail- than the granodioriteporphyriesassociatedwith the
able exposuresof intrusiverocksa.t E1 Salvadorare main period of mineralization. Later dike.s("A"
presentedin Table 1. In most cases,only single Porphyryand latite) appearto havestill lower silica,
samplesof eachrock were analyzed. The one in- higher iron, and possiblyhigher alumina contents
trusiveunit, "L" Porphyry,which was sampledto than earlier intrusiverocks. Comparedwith Daly's
representthe range of textural variants, shows a and Nockolds'granodiorites(Poldervaart, 1955),
dikesobviouslyguidevery intensesericiticand advancedargill.icalteration. A few younger,relatively
nonsiliceous
pebbledikes lacking advancedargillic
alteration cut siliceousand highly altered pebble
dikes. This and the fact that the youngerand older
pebbledikescan be interpretedas belongingto two

878

L. B. GUSTAFSON AND J. P. HUNT

Indio Muerto Series Volcanics (4)

> Indio Muerto Rhyolite Domes(6)

461+_.s
!

> Quortz
Rhyohtes
{mcl
sercHe)
($)

SermHe,Cerro
Pelodo

(1111111111111SerlcHe
OldComp

Fspor.
Porph.-SericHe-LotHe
(Bohte,hornblende
,serralie){T)

(llll>

BmhzedAndesHe
(Biotite)

o'5os
uHll
Fspor.
Porph
(Binroe)
(I)
iillll]11111
Gronita
Porph.
(Hornblende)

Gulch
Fspor.
(Biohte)

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

Sericife
"K"Porphyry

LotHe
{Blotlie)
39.t

11

<11111lilill>

PrlmoryAlumte

Supergene
Alumte
o2

III Ill I III I1111111ilI I I

Supervene
Alunile

Rb-SrAge{Number
inparentheses
isnumber
of somples n isochron )

,rTTTT'?Tq'rl',
K- Ar Age
I
55

50

MILLION YEARS B.RI

45

Fro. 13.

Selected radiometric

,0

I
30

age dates,Indio Muerto district.

the freshestE1 Salvador granodiorites(i.e., "L"

ent methods and different laboratories

on the same

Porphyry) are on the low side but within "normal"

specimen.Most of the dateswere determinedby


limits for silica,lower in total iron, and have lower ChristopherBrooks at the CarnegieInstitution's
K20/Na20 ratios. Relativelyconsistent
composi- Departmentof TerrestrialMagnetismand at Montionaltrendswithin"L" Porphyrycorrelatewith tex- trealUniversity. The resultspresented
in Figure13
tural variation. Approachingandesitecontactsfrom are considered to be the most reliable. Determinahigh-groundmassareas, there is a decreasein SiO2 tions consideredto be geologicallyimpossibleor
and KO and an increasein AlcOa, CaO, Na20, which have been superseded
by more geologically
total Fe, MgO, and TiO2. This corresponds
to the consistent determinations have been discarded and
increasein plagioclaseand biotite (and/or horn- are not shown.
blende)and decrease
in quartzand alkali feldspar. Rubidium-strontiumtechniqueswere required to
Reactionwith the andesitichost rocksis indicated, readthroughlater thermaleventsto definethe time
but insufficient work has been done to define the gap betweenthe two seriesof rhyolitedomesand
processesinvolved.
the mainporphyryseries. An ageof about46 m.y.
Radiometric Age Dating

is well established
for the quartz rhyolite on Cerro

Peladoand RhyoliteHill and for the sericitealteraThe "absolute"agesof eventsattendingformation tion in the Cerro Pelado center. Six whole-rock
of the El Salvadorore deposithavebeenratherwell specimens
of quartz rhyoliteyield an isochronof
documented
by extensive
radiometric
dating. In all, 45.4--+1.4 m.y., with an initial strontiumratio of
37 independent
age determinations
have beenmade 0.7040. Includedin this isochronare two specimens
by K-Ar andRb-Sr methodson wholerocks,biotite, alteredto sericite,indicatedby geologicmappingto
hornblende,sericite,alunite,and jarosite. Several be closelyrelatedin spaceand apparentlyalso in

of thesedeterminations
wereduplications
by differ-

ime to the intrusive event.

The most Rb-enriched

THE PORPHYRYCOPPERDEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR,CHILE

879

of these-sericite
specimens
yieldsa mineralage of all rhyolites(with and withoutquartz eyes) in a
yidds45.1+ 1.1 m.y. The selection
46.1+--0.5m.y. whenan initial strontiumratio of singleisochron
0.7040 is used. A singleK-Ar age of 45.6---+
1.3 of the 50 m.y. age as mostprobableis a matter of
judgment,and the indicatedapproximately
m.y. on sericitefrom the Old Campsupportsthe geologic
geologicargumentspreviouslypresentedthat the 5 m.y. time gap betweenthe two rhyolite events
firmlyestablished.
T.he50.3+--intrusionof quartzporphyryis closelyrelatedto the cannotbeconsidered
quartzrhyolitevolcanic
eventandthatmineralization 3.2 m.y. isochronon Indio Muerto seriesvolcanics
in theseintrusivecentersis closelyrelated to the includesfour whole-rocksamplesof rhyolitic flows
volcanicevents. To avoid obtainingan anomalously and ignimbritefrom the thick volcanicsequenceon

low agefor thisspecimen,


all but the coarsest(q-100
mesh)fractionof the sericitehadto be separated
out.
The 50.4 +--2.8 m.y. ageon the early Indio Muerto
Rhyolitedomesis lesswell established.Six specimensof petrologically
similarbut separatedmasses
are includedin a singleisochron.Geologicrelations
suggest
thatthe quartzrhyoliteswereemplaced
after
significanterosionof the Indio Muerto Rhyolite
domesbut do not conclusivelyprove even the rela-

tive age of the differentrhyolites. The inclusionof

the hills southeast of Indio Muerto.

The indicated

initial strontiumratio of 0.7041 is very closeto all


other initial strontium ratios in the district.

K-Ar agesin the TurquoiseGulchcenterfor biotites from early-stagealterationto the postmineral


latite dikes,for hornblendefrom three feldsparporphyries,and for alterationsericiteall fall closeto 41
m.y. Rb-Sr analysesof the same.specimens
define
an isochronat 41.3 --+1.1 m.y., with an initial strontium ratio of 0.7042. The singlebiotite sufficiently

Fro. 14. Relations at intrusive contactsbetween feldspar porphyries.

A, Contactbetween"L" Porphyry (below) and "K" Porphyry (above). Younger "L" has a clean
porphyrytexture,is weaklyaltered,and containsmuch less quartz veiningand sulfidesthan the older
"K". Bleachingis due to supergene
kaolinization,extendingonly a shortdistanceinto "L" Porphyry.
B, Intrusivecontactwithin the "K" Porphyrymass. Older rock (right) containsmanyquartzveins
which are truncatedat the contact,although many other quartz veinsof this sameEarly type are younger

than the intrudingporphyry. Both rocks are strongly altered to K-silicate assemblages
and contain
abundantchalcopyrite-bornite,
althoughalterationof the older rock is more intense.
C, Thin section
of "L" Porphyry(above)"K" Porphyrycontact. Truncatedearly quartzvein with
disseminated
chalcopyrite-bornite
extendsinto chilledmarginof "L" Porphyry. Feldsparsare alteredto
supergenekaolinitc. (Cross-polarizedlight)
D, Thin sectionof early quartzveinsin "K" Porphyry (above), truncatedand includedby younger
"K" Porphyry. Degreeof K-silicatealteration,as indicated
by degreeof obliteration
of porphyrytexture,
is muchstrongerin the older rock. Supergenekaolinizationof plagioclase. (Cross-polarized
light)

880

L. B. GUSTAFSON

AND J. P. HUNT

A, ContinuousverticaI "B" vein, with relatively coarse quartz and sparsesulfide, cuts less continuous
lacing "A" veins, which are dark becauseof abundantdisseminatedsulfidesand fine granular habit. Rock
is "X" Porphyry bleachedby supergenekaolinization.
B, Two steep"D" pyrite-"chalcocite"veinswith sericite halos cut a 10-cm "L" Porphyry dike within
"K" Porphyry. The veins have characteristicallylittle quartz, and one occupiesa small fault. Rock is

bleachedby supergene
kaolinization.

enrichedin Rb to providean independent


mineral curately working out the detailedthree-dimensional
ageis calculated
to be 41.5+--0.4 m.y. old. It is ap- geometry. Many kilometersof the-back and walls
parentthat the agesof mineralization
eventsof the of undergroundworkingswere scrubbedwith determain Turquoise Gulch area are indistinguishablegent and wire brushesto reveal details. In many
within the analyticalaccuracyof the combined
dat- places,1: 100-scalenoteswere also taken to suppleing techniques.All appearto havebeencompressed ment the regular l:500-scale observations. Minwithin a periodof lessthan onemillionyears. The eralogicdetail .wasmappedusing a color code.
initial8*SrffSrratiosfor all isochrons,
includingthe
It hasprovedto be very importantto differentiate
groupof IndioMuertovolcanics,
areremarkably
con- primary 'background"featuresfrom thosefeatures
sistentat 0.7041 -- 0.0003 m.y.

clearly relatedto later throughgoingveinsand other

Alunitefrom primaryadvanced
argillicalteration structures. Background-featuresincludemineralizawas formed essentiallycontemporaneous
with the tion which is disseminated or occurs on small disintrusionof latite. The 39.1 -- 1.1 K-Ar age on this continuous
veinsand seams,andassociated
pervasive
aluniteis thereforeslightlyanomalous
but doesindi- alteration. The distinctionis generallyunambignous
catethe generalamenability
of alunitesto K-Ar dat- in deep central zones where hydrothermalveins
ing. The roughly36 m.y. agesof supergene
alunites with K-feldspar-destructivealteration halos are
could probablythereforebe consideredminimum clearly superimposed
on .background
mineralization
ages. The main period of supergene
oxidationand characterized
by K-silicatealterationassemblages
and
enrichment
probably
followednomorethan5 million contrastingsulfideassemblages.However, the disyears after the ,hypogene
event. Attempts to date tinctionis far from straightforward
in peripheraland
jarositein leachedcappingyieldedagesthat are much in high-elevation.mineralizationzones w,here backtoo young. Five samplesindicateageslesst.han 21 groundmineralizationand alterationassemblages
are
m.y., with two indicatingagesyoungerthan the 10 commonlyindistinguishable
from the structurally
to 13 m.y.-old gravelscappingthe erosionsurface controlledassemblages.
which truncatesthe enrichmentblanket. It is apThe superposition
of supergene
alterationandminparentthat evencoarsecrystallinejarositedoesnot eralization
patternson primaryassemblages
presents
retain argon well enough to be useful for K-Ar
anotherobstacleto correct interpretation. At E1
dating.
Sal-vador,
we weregreatlyaidedby the exposure
of
a deepcentralsulfatezone,completely
freeof superRelative Age Relations
gene
effects,
in
which
to
study
deeper
primarypatMost of our understanding
of the evolutionof mineralizationandporphyryintrusionhasstemmedfrom
surfaceand underground
mappingon a 1: 500 scale,
especiallyin the areas of intrusivecontacts. T,he
undergroundexposuresin closely spacedhaulage
and grizzly drifts were particularlyvaluablein a-

terns. The sulfatezone, which will be discussedin


more detailsubsequently,
is a zonein whichthe rock

is thoroughlyimpregnated
with anhydriteand into
whichsupergene
solutions
havenot penetrated
becauseof extremely
low porosityandpermeability.

THE PORPHYRY COPPER DEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR, CHILE

Detailed mapping of undergroundexposuresof


the contactsbetweenthe porphyrieshas provided
strongevidenceof an extremelyclosetime and space
relationshipbetweenthe processes
of intrusionand
mineralization.Figures 14A and 14C showa major
contactbetween"L" and"K" Porphyries,and Figure
15B shows a dike of "L" Porphyry cutting "K"
Porphyry. The intrusivenatureand relativeagesof
the porphyriesare clearlydemonstratedby the truncation of many early quartz veins at such contacts
(Figs. 14C and 14D). At this contact,there is a
strongcontrastbetweenthe nearly fresh,very weakly
mineralized"L" Porphyry and the older "K" Porphyry, whichhasbeenintenselyalteredto K-silicate
assemblages
characterized
by alkali feldspar,biotite,
chalcopyrite,and bornitc. The change in mineral
assemblage
is abruptat the intrusivecontact. It is
clearthat mostof the primary alteration,mineralization, and emplacement
of quartz veinsat this point
was accomplishedbefore the intrusion of the "L"
Porphyry. Some quartz veins and all later sulfide
veinswith hydrolyricalterationhalos (Fig. 15B and
Table 2) as well as supergenealterationand enrichment,cut acrosssuchcontacts.Other contacts,especially wthin the "K" Porphyry complex (Fig. 14B),
separatelithologicallysimilarporphyrieswith a wide
range of intensity of alteration, mineralization,and
quartzveining.Mappingof relativeagerelationshas
demonstrated
that the early processes
of mineralization were imposedupon each successive
surge of
porphyry magmaand its wall rocksbeforeand after
the emplacement
of the next surge.

881

'PLITI'GROUNDMASS[OUARTZ-ALKALI

"ALKALISEAM"
SULRDE,WITH

GROWTHZOING IS OBLITERATED BUT


TWINNING

MAY CONTINUE INTO SODIC

'" QUARTZ
VEIN

H Langerfeldt

Fro. 16. Compositeidealizedsketch of an "A" quartz


veinlet in feldspar porphyry, showing gradational relationshipsbetween"A" veinlets and "alkali seams." No single
actual occurrenceshows this complete range of variation.
After H. Langerfeldt.

but never with bornitc, occursin "A" veins only


nearthe edgesof the deposit. Alterationhalosabout
theseveinsare practicallyindistinguishable
from the
strongbackground
K-silicatealterationwith which
Early Alteration and Mineralization
theseveinsare typicallyassociated.Where they cut
The Early alteration and mineralization,which less pervasivelyaltered rock, perthitic K-feldspar,
were largely accomplishedbefore the intrusion of anhydrite,chalcopyrite,
and bornitc form in halos
the last major feldsparporphyry ("L" Porphyry), alongwith recrystallized
quartz,biotite,andaccessory
are characterized
by distinctivetypesof quartzveins apatiteand rutile. With the rare exceptionof Kand mineral assemblages.Alteration assemblages feldspar-andalusitealteration halos (see below),
with stablealkali feldsparand biotite and chalco- there is no hydrogen-ion
metasomatism
aboutthese
pyrite-borniteor chalcopyrite-pyrite
with antithetic Early quartzveins. They are cut by all otherveins.
pyriteandbornitcarecharacteristic
of boththequartz
The oldest"A" quartzveinsare typicallyvery irveinsand backgroundmineralization. At E1 Salva- regular, discontinuous,
and segmented.This is not
dorperhapsasmuchas75 percentof the copperwas only becausethey have been subjectedto multiple
emplacedduringthis Early time of K-silicatealtera- shearing,segmentation,
and recrystallizationbut beation and low-sulfur sulfide mineralization.
causemany apparentlynever formed with parallel
walls. The fracturesoccupiedby theseveinsappear
"4" quartzveins
to have been formed before the rock was able to sus-

Quartz veinsat E1 Salvadorwere originallyde- tain continuousbrittle fracture. The K-feldspar,


scribedand classified
by Langerfeldt(1960). The sulfides,and anhydrite in "A" veins occur as disfamily of Early quartzveins,oftentruncatedat in- seminatedgrains with the samesizesand shapesas
trusivecontacts
by "X", "K", and "L" Porphyries, the associatedquartz. Successivelyyounger "A"
.havebeencalled"A" veins.As illustratedin Figures veinstend to havemore parallel walls and to occupy
15A, 16,andTable2, "A" quartzveinsare granular more continuousand systematicallyorientedbreaks.
assemblages
of quartz,perthiticfeldspar,anhydrite, A few of thesetend to have someinternal symmetry,
chalcopyrite,
and bornitc. Pyrite, with chalcopyrite whichis lackingin earliertypes,with the K-feldspar

882

L. B. GUSTAFSON

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

AND ]. P. HUNT

THE PORPHYRYCOPPERDEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR,CHILE

883

e
e'-'/''i:i?i::.
":"'"'
::":':':':':':"":":!i:::::'":':':'""'"":!i::::!:i!i!i!iiiii:i!:!:
:":
RELATIVE
ABUNDANCE
OF
"A'
end
"B'
"
';..i'.'.
'!'-i:
QUARTZ
VEINS

IGNEOUS
BRECCIA

"

SECTION
"A"
FELDSPAR
PORPHYRY

.........
:.:,...
........
....
, ?g?:[??:..., .......
......
., :: .............:
-.
::./
;-.-.':
....
::::::??:::::::
.-........:.
,, 'f
-':::-.-':
.:..:.::.:::.?.
:'/
*
..........
:
............
'::-'"-.
'
..-:::':::
-;:
:::::::::"*
:':::-::::::-:
::::.:-.:::::::
/
:f4<f5
:t:
: ,, UAZ
"x" EyE
,-, . :....,..-:.:.:::.:::::
:a-?, :.>:
>?::::<<?:z..:<:
'":':::':'-':'
:'":"::'-:":-:
- :.:..

.....-.-.*.-...-...
-.-

, -:+:.::ccc.*:.:. ..........-...-.....-..-..-..
/

'
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::
::'::''
* ::';
':"*
"
.:::::--.::::c:::
.?:::c
:::: :
::: f
=============================
.-.:...:.-:::::::
::.:::::::::::-..-.,.:.c$$::?::
:$:::::..::$5::::::.
:: ., :
................
'-'-.-:.:.:-:...:.:-:.:..._
.:.:--:-:
c--:-:-c:>:-:
...
cc..
,:
--- .,..:Fc.,,-::
:.c:c,..cc.:
:::-.,:
'"' ":':':':'"'
:- ::''c"':c '<>z:Ac-":'
'cc:":': ' :':".

,
. :.>:-
5:::.:.:-:-:::
-::.:::::
::: .*
. ,:.:<,.,,.::..:,.:.,>$:.
..:v , ..,.....:..
. ..

... ,
. ...:.- :. ,:.:
s ....:::
g::::::::::
'.:
.......
::
:f:::
..*..
: ....:
......

.,

..

?::
.:
.
to
60%
of
th
....ki.......
fhh'
' .. :
:5
:-::
.........
::.::.-'$::$,
moderote
ebuee.A veins
predespecially
inorees
of"high"end
.. .5.-.,.:.
.. inute

-: :...::.... :: .:.:: .::.:

--.:.:
...

*..c.,.:.:.

c"":
..:
-..,,

-* .

',::

::
v:.:.:.-

. .

derete"ebuen.

FIa. 17. Relativeabundance


of 'iA: and"B" quartzveinsat the2,600-and2,660-meter
levels.

K-silicatealterationassemblages
are characteristic
of Early alterationandmineralizationat E1 Salvador.
K-feldspar and biotite are the essentialminerals in

linite, pyrophyllite,alunite, zeolites,and montmorillonites. The componentmineralsare essentiallythe


same as those usually formed in the last stage of
magmaticcrystallization.
With increasingintensityof K-silicate alteration,
there is an increasingdegreeof replacementof original plagioclase. Phenocrystsand groundmassfeldspar are replacedby perthitic alkali feldspar. Replacementof the plagioclase
aboutits rims and along
crosscuttingcracksand veinletsis commonlyzoned.
Sodic plagioclase (probably oligoclase) typically
separatesunreplacedandesinefrom perthitic K-feldspar. This alterationtendsto obliteratethe euhedral
outlines of the plagioclasephenocrysts(compare
alteredrocktypesin Figure 8 with fresh-rockequivalentsin Figure 7). Coarseningand development
of
perthiticfeldsparin the groundmass
accompany
this
replacement(Fig. 10B). Developmentof thisperthitic groundmass
is locallyseenas halosabout early
quartzveinsand veinlets,whereit is clearlyan alter-

this assemblage,
with quartzubiquitous
and usually

ation

concentratedalong center lines or margins of the


veinlets. Quartz is moreabundantand usuallymore
coarselygranular. There seemsto be a zonal pattern, with decreasingproportionsof K-feldsparand
sulfiderelativeto quartz and more commoninternal
symmetryupward and outward beyond the center
of mineralization.

The distributionof quartz veinson the 2600-2660


levelsis shownin Figure 17. Although someTransitional "B" veins (Fig. 15A and Table 2) have been

includedin thismap,"A" veinspredominate,


especially in areas of high and moderate abundance.
Quartz veinsmakeup roughly25 to 60 percentof
the rock volume in areasof high abundance,5 to 20
percent in areas of moderateabundance.

K-silicate alterationand perthitic groundmass

feature

formed

after

consolidation

of

the

very abundant. At E1 Salvador, anhydrite is also groundmass.


ubiquitous
(wherenotremoved
by supergene
action),
Strong K-silicate alteration destroysmagnetite
and Na-feldspar,chlorite,and minor sericiteare com- and hematite-rutileintergrowthsafter ilmenite.Bulk
mon associates.Characteristically
absentare kao- chemicalanalysesshowthat there is a net removal

884:

L. B. GUSTAFSON AND .I'. P. HUNT

' 0

0.1 mm

,0.1
mm

anhy

Fro. 18. Textures

of Fe-Ti

oxides.

A, Intergrowthof hematile-ruffleafter ilmenite. Incipientoxidationof ilmenite produces


hematite-rutileintergrowthsorientedalongbasalor rhombohedralplanesof the parentmineral,
but more completeseparationof phasesinto this anhedral granular intergrowth apparently
representsa commontendencytoward textural equilibrium. (Reflectedlight)
B, Magnetite completelyreplaced by hematite (white). The octahedral orientation of this
marmatitie texture is characteristicof supergeneoxidation. The ruffle (light gray) "sponges"
are formedon removalof hematitefrom hematite-ruffleintergrowths. This hypogenealteration
of hematite-ruffleintergrowthsis accompanied
by destructionof magnetite,except in a transitionalzonefrom whichthis specimen
wastaken. (Reflectedlight)
C, Granular intergrowth of rntile, anhydrite, and quartz, presumablyderived by alteration
of sphene. The rock is "X" Porphyry, which contains hemaffte-rutile after ilmenite and
biotite after hornblende (Transmitted light)
D, Ruffle cluster (medium grain) with pyrite (black), presumablyderived by sulfidationof
hematite-ruffle after ilmenite. In other specimenswith incompletereplacementof hematite,
there are no hematite-pyritecontacts,hematiteapparentlybeing dissolvedahead of the front
of pyrite precipitation. (Transmitted light)

of iron from the rock rather than a simpleaccom- sodicplagiodasedisappear.MagnetReand hemaThe


tite-rutile disappear,leavingonly futile with no
TiO: remainsas granularrutile (Fig. 18).
evidence
of anythingreplacing
them,exceptprobably
Evidence that these .same alteration effects are also
groundmass
silicates.The abundance
of Early quartz
operativebeforefinal consolidation
of the porphyry veinsin the rock increases.Theseveinsare typically
'melt has been seenlocallyat intrusivecontactsbe- segmented,
and .someappearto be the last undimodation of the iron in biotite and sulfides.

gestedremnantsof the intrudedrock.


few centimeters
wide,the followingchangesare observed within the intruding rock, going from the Biotizationo] andesite
tween surgesof "K" Porphyry. Within a zone a
main mass into a zone of reaction with the older

K-silicate alteration in andesite takes the form of

rock. The feldspar porphyry texture becomes a broadhalo of biotizationaboutt-heporp'hyryintruobliterated


throughreplacement
of plagioclase
pheno- sions (Fig. 19B). The basic mineral assemblage
Accescrystsby perthireand oligoclase.Mafic phenocrysts, is biotite-sodicplagioclase-anhydrite-quartz.

biotite books,and biotized hornblendesare resorbed sory minerals are Fe-Ti oxides, sulfides,minor
or replacedby perthire-quartzcontaininginclusions apatite,and zircon.
of rutile and oriented residuals of biotite.
The
At the outer edge of the biotized zone, roughly
"aplitic" groundmass(Fig. 10A) becomescoatset 500 to 1,000 m from the main intrusive contacts,
recognizable,but
and more raggedand perthitic. As t.he groundmass biotizationis not megascopically
getscoatsetand moreperthitic,clear K-feldsparand biotiteispresentasveryfinegrainedflakesrestricted

THE PORPHYRY COPPER DEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR, CHILE

885

to the matrix of the rock. The original rock texture Clusters of "shreddy" biotite witl rutile and anis well preserved.
hydrite occur throughouthigher exposuresof "L"
Closerto major intrusivecontacts,the increasing Porphyryandmuchof the "X" and "K" Porphyries
intensityof biotizationis markedby the appearance and suggestoriginalsitesof hornblendephenocrysts.
of megascopically
recognizablebiotite as an altera- In "L" Porphyry in which hornblendeis partially
tion productof intermediateplagioclase.In areasof altered, ilmeniteis seento be partially replacedby
intense biotization close to intrusive contacts, the an intergrowthof hematiteand rutile (Fig. 18). This
rock is usuallyentirelyrecrystallized
to a fine equi- reactionseemsto be a simpleoxidationreaction: 2
granularassemblage
of biotite,Na-plagioclase,
anhy- FeTiOa + 1/2 0, --> Fe,Oa+ 2 TiO,. Sphene is
drite, andquartz. A few residualplagioclase
pheno- pseudomorphicallyreplaced by an intergrowth of
crysts may remain, but these are usually altered rutile and anhydrite, apparently as a result of the
--'>TiO, + CaSO4 +
with biotite, anhydrite, and occasionallysericite, reaction, CaTiSiO5 + SOa Son

chlorite,and calcite. K-feldsparis generallyabsent


frombiotizedandesite,
exceptin stronglymineralized
zones,and is generallyrestrictedto the immediate
vicinityof "A" quartzveins.
Propylitic alteration

Weak propyliticalterationforms a green fringe

SiOn,Soln. Silica released in this reaction does not

seem to be fixed in place as quartz. Ilmenite


partiallyreplacingsphenein a few specimens
is apparentlypart of an unknownearlier reaction. Of 20
specimens
of "L" Porphyrywith hornblende,
only 2
do not also contain ilmenite. Only two specimens
with

ilmenite

but no hornblende have been seen.

about the mineralizedzonesat E1 Salvador, as was Minor spheneis presentin severalof thesespecimens
originally noted by Swayne and later describedin but in practicallyno others. Apparently there are
more detailby Eckstrand(1967). The propylitized three concomitant reactions: biotization of hornrocksare mostly andesiticflows and sedimentary blende, oxidation of ilmenite, and destruction of
rocks of the Cerrillos formation.

Characteristic con-

sphene. Pseudomorphicreplacementproducts of
stituentsof the propyliticassemblages
are epidote, ilmeniteand spheneas well as hornblendeare seen
chlorite,calcite,quartz,and plagioclase.They are at higher elevationsin the well-mineralizedporpresent as pervasivealteration and are controlled phyriesand"L" Porphyry. Thesereplacements
apby structures. Calcite is abundantas an alteration pear to be the earliest (at any given point) and
product disseminated
in the rocksand in veins and is

deepestmanifestationsof K-silicate alteration.

alsoan abundantandpossiblyoriginalcementing
material in andesiticsediments
well beyondany hydro-

Alkali seams

thermal

alteration.

In weakly mineralized "L" Porphyry, a large

Beyondthe outerlimits of biotizationand pyritic proportionof the sulfidesare presentin alkali seams,
sulfidemineralization,iron and titanium oxides are small veinletsmarkedprimarily by alterationhalos
magnetite, more or less altered to hematite, inter- of alkali feldsparwhere they cut plagioclase
phenogrowths of magnetite-futile, hematite-rutile, and

crysts (Fig. 16).

Only where alkali seamscontain

locallyilmenite. Veinletsof epidote-calcite-specuappreciablebiotite, anhydrite,and (or) sulfideare

lar hematiteare presentwith epidotealterationhalos. they usually traceable through the groundmass.
Near the outer limits of the zoneof biotization,dis- Sericite,either within the seamor as a halo aboutit,
seminated
chloriteis presentwith fine-grained
epi- is presentin thosealkaliseamsthat containpyritebut
dote after plagioclase
grainsand in tiny veinlets. is usuallyabsentwherethereis no pyrite. Tracesof
Chloritedoesnot appearto replacebiotite,in con- apatiteare occasionally
seenin alkali seamsin areas
trast to this characteristic
replacementsequencein of somewhatstronger mineralization,as in "K"
mostof the biotizedzone. Veins of epidote-magne- Porphyry. A gradationbetweenalkali seamsand
tite-chalcopyriteare associatedwith the chloritic "A" veinsis suggested,
althoughno singlespecimen
alteration. Pyritic veinswith sericite-chloritealtera- displaysa completerange of gradationbetweenthe
tion halosare later than epidote-magnetite-chalcotwo. Extensionsof small "A" quartz veins across
pyriteveinlets.Fe-Ti oxidesareconverted
to pyrite- plagioclasephenocrystscommonlyshow zoned rerutile, and a smallamountof chalcopyrite
is dis- action halos, with K-feldspar separatedfrom the
seminated within the sericitic alteration halos.
plagioclase
by a rim of moresodicplagioclase.
Alterationof hornblendeand Fe-Ti oxides

Anhydrite mineralixation

Hornblende,ilmenite,and spheneare preserved Anhydriteis amongthe earliestandlatestproducts


only in deeplevelswithin "L" Porphyry. Horn- of mineralization
and,in fact,spansthe entirehistory
blendephenocrysts
are presentin all stagesof re- of mineralization at E1 Salvador. The bulk of the
placement
to assemblages
of biotite-anhydrite-rutile.early anhydriteis disseminated
and is a character-

886

L. B. GUSTAFSON

AND 1. P. HUNT

istic componentof "A" quartz veins and K-silicate of their own zonalpatterns,in generalcontrastwith
alteration assemblages.Later anhydrite is domi- backgroundassemblages
and do not reflectthe major
nantly fracture controlled and is a characteristic zoning. At E1 Salvador,the backgroundmineralizaproductof all youngerveins. Thus, dependingon tion containsbetweentwo-thirdsand three-quarters
timing,anhydriteis an associate
of a wide varietyof of the total copperof the deposit.
The centralchalcopyrite-bornite
zone is charactermineralassemblages.These includeearly feldspar
and biotite-stable,low-sulfur, chalcopyrite-bornite ized by an absenceof pyrite in the backgroundasand chalcopyrite-pyritesuites and later feldspar- semblage,
pyrite beingpresentonly in youngerveins
destructive,sericite-bearing(and even andalusite- andtheir halos. The proportionof borniteincreases
bearing)alterationassemblages
with abundantpyrite. from nil at the outeredgeof the zoneto greaterthan
Within the sulfatezone, disseminated
anhydrite 50 percentat thecenter. Minor primary"chalcocite"
accounts for more total sulfur than all sulfides comis locally presentwith the bornire near the center.
bined. The abundanceof anhydriteis greatestin Sulfidesconstitutefrom 0.5 to 2.0 percentby volume
andesitichost rocks (5 to 10 percentby volume) of the rock, and the coppergrade rangesbetween
and declinesin successively
youngerintrusiverocks 0.3% and 1.0% Cu by weight. The traceabundance
(1 to 5 percentby volume). The anhydritecontent of goldand silverin the depositcorrelateswell with
of wall rocksapparentlyreflectsboth the original the primary abundanceof copper. Values greater
availablecalciumcontentand the intensityand dura- than0.005 oz/t Au and 0.050oz/t Ag are restricted
tion of the mineralizingprocesses
to whichthe rocks almostexclusivelyto thecentralchalcopyrite-bornite
were exposed. There is a rough inverse correlation

zone.

betweenthe abundanceof anhydriteand the abundSurroundingthe chalcopyrite-bornitezone is a


zonefrom whichbornireis absent.
ance of residualcalcicplagioclase
and hornblende. chalcopyrite-pyrite
Replacement
of plagioclase
by alkalifeldspar,sericite, The proportionof pyrite in the assemblageincreases

and andalusiteand replacement


of hornblendeby outwardfrom nil to 75 percentat the outermargin
continueto increase
biotiteare believedto havebeenthe principalanhy- of the zone. Pyrite proportions
drite-fixing reactions.
outwardthroughthe outerpyrite zone. Total sulfide
Anhydrite-impregnated
rock, the sulfatezone,has rangesfrom 0.75 to 2.5 percentby volumein the
a porosityand permeabilityof nearly zero and thus chalcopyrite-pyritezone and varies widely from 0.5
formsan effectiveundergroundbarrier for the move- to greaterthan 6 percentin the pyritic fringe. Priment of ground water (and mine water). With mary grades in the chalcopyrite-pyritezone range
time, however,the upper and outer surfacesof the from 0.3% to 1.0% Cu by weightand are generally
sulfatezone are attackedby supergene
and other lessthan0.2% Cu in the pyriticzone. Where pyrite
groundwaterscausingfirst a hydrationof primary is more than a smallproportionof the total sulfide,
an'hydriteto gypsumand then the dissolutionof it is invariably associatedwith sericiticalteration,
gypsum, leaching both calcium and sulfate. The which is clearly superimposed
on older K-silicate
supergeneremovalof anhydritecausesthe wall rocks alteration.

to undergoa significant
increase
in porosityanddecreasein specificgravity, as well as a marked decreasein competency.The presentpositionof the
top of the sulfatezone at E1 Salvadorlies below the
supergene
enrichmentblanketand is shownby crosshatchingin Figures20 and 21.

A low-sulfidezone,generallycontaininglessthan
0.25 percenttotal sulfideby volumeandusuallycontaining abundantprimary Fe-Ti oxides (magnetite

and ilmenite or hematite-rutile), is restrictedto the


late porphyries. Backgroundsulfidesare generally
too sparseto define consistentsulfide assembl/ges.
Locally, such as at higher elevationsin the area
Disseminated
sulfideassembla#es
andzones
where the "L" Porphyry has removeda portion of
Patternsof sulfidezoningon deepmine levelsare the centralore zone (Fig. 20A), more abundantsulillustrated
in Figure19A. Thesepatternsare based fides(usually0.25 to 0.50 percentby volume)define
on megascopic
mappingsupported
by quantitativeas consistentlow-intensity chalcopyrite-borniteand
zones.
well as qualitativemicroscopic
examinationof hun- chalcopyrite-pyrite
dredsof samples. Backgroundassemblages,
occurring as disseminations
and in small discontinuous Alteration zoning
The patternsof alterationassemblages
associated
fractures,have been carefullyseparatedfrom assemblages
in largethroughgoing
veinsand associated with the sulfide zones on the 2600 level are shown in
alterationhalos. The distinctionis importantin Figure 19B. The sulfate zone (stippled on Fig.
that the backgroundassemblages
define well-devel- 19B) includesseveralof the major alterationzones.
oped zonal patterns. The assemblagesin younger The presenttop of the sulfatezonelies lessthan 75
veinsand halos,althoughcontainingcertainelements m abovethe level but onceextendedupward, prob-

;?

2OO00

19950

t--, ,,;', ,j

1900

19000

[' "'.t>'--:-;
SULFIDE

'$OO

LEVEL

pyrte
Zone
I/rite
,75
e/oo!
tcal
']ssemlnate4"
I
Calcopyntl8mnle
Zont'
chaicopyrlte
fite
oertlol

ZONING-

drse

mwa.d frcm 3 I to G, onlte i

wIntsily
Pyrlte
Zone
less
Fe-T,
oilall1
mChaleorde"Llyperildof
ryly

L(w
S:flde
eaont
KeTi
esth
restr,ced
mZone
fetetruslves

oI

J_

'ooo

tt

20000N

19950

9500

I000

ALTERATION
ZONINg-2600

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

LEGEND

A
EL

l[iJ[[11

SALkDOR

SULFIDE

ZONING

ISOMETRIC
PROJECTION

' LOOKII,
SIJTHAST

lO

N- INCA A

nFWSE

FELONY

CTSI
l

.,

B
EL

SALgShDOR

AI.TERATION

Z()NIN(;

ISOIILrTIICPROJECTION
LOOIN ,GTHA
ST
v,sEo

ORi

tlNG

F.Y

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

j I

FIG. 21. $upergenepatterns--isometricprojection.

.o

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

THE PORPHYRY COPPER DEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR, CHILE

893

ably at least to the presentsurface,as indicatedby


tiny relict grainsof anhydritepreservedwithin vein

geneaction. Within the propyliticzoneare veinlets


containingmagnetite,epidote,and chalcopyrite,and
quartz.
farther out beyond the limit of sulfides,hematite,
Central mineralized zones contain K-silicate alteraepidote,and calcite. Propyliticand K-silicatealteration assemblages.Hornblendephenocrysts
havebeen tion assemblages
are probablycontemporaneous
and
replacedby biotite, intermediateplagioclasepheno- zonallyrelated.
crysts have been more or less replaced by sodic
Transitional
Mineralization
and Alteration
plagioclaseand K-feldspar, but biotite phenocrysts
Pyritic and K-feldspar-destructive
mineralizationusually remain unaltered in all but the most intense
alterationassemblages.Sphenehas beenalteredto alteration followed the consolidation of most of the
rutile plus anhydrite, while the original magnetite- lastmajorporphyrycomplex("L" Porphyry). Prior
ilmeniteassemblage
has beenalteredto either mag- to the full developmentof this high-sulfur and
netite plus hematite-rutileintergrowthsor, with the stronglyhydrolyticenvironment,there was a Transitional stageof mineralizationcharacterizedby "B"subtractionof iron, simplyrutile.
A broad halo of biotized andesites surround' the
type quartz veins, abundantmolybdenite,and tourporphyryintrusions. Intenserecrystallization
of the maline.
andesitesto an assemblage
of sodicplagioclase-bio- "B" quartzveihs
tite-quartz-anhydritecompletelyobliteratesoriginal
Quartz veins youngerthan "A" veins and older
textural and stratigraphicfeaturescloseto the conthan late pyritic veins (Fig. 15 and Table 2) are
tacts. As shown in Figure 19, in most of these
rocks, K-silicate assemblages
correlatedwith chal- called"B" veins at E1 Salvador. They are charcontinuous
planarstructures
with paralcopyrite-borniteand chalcopyrite-pyrite
zoneswith acteristically
lel wallsand usuallysomeform of internalbanding.
relativelylow pyriteproportions.
IncipientK-silicate
alterationin "L" Porphyriesis accompanied
by only They commonlyhave flat dips and range up to 10
cm in width. They are further characterizedby
very low intensity sulfidemineralization.
molybdenite
and coarse-grained
quartz and a lack of
A chlorite-sericite alteration zone lies outside the
K-feldsparand hydrolyticalterationmineralseither
presentK-silicatezone. 'Chloriteand sericitepseu-

domorphically
replacethebiotiteand alkali feldspar in theveinor in halos.Theycutall rocktypesexcept
latite, the only exceptionsbeing rare occurrences
formedaspart of a prior K-silicateassemblage,
which
originallyextended
across
mostof the presentchlor- of late "L"-type porphyryand aplite cutting "B"
veins in the northeastpart of the "L" Porphyry
ite-sericitealterationzone but with intensityde- mass.
creasing
outward.With increasing
intensityof alteraWithin thegroupclearlydefinedby a combination
tion, sericitereplaceschloriteand feldspars,starting
of
characteristics
(Table 2), we see variationsin
withoriginalcalcicplagioclase,
thensodicplagioclase,quartz
texture and in the nature of the internal vein
and finallyK-feldspar. The resultingassemblage
is
quartz-sericite-chlorite-anhydrite-sulfide.
There is symmetry. "B" veins occasionallyshow a vuggy
centerfilledwith anhydritein the sulfatezone. These
a generallygoodcorrelationbetweenthe appearance
of major sericiteand of pyrite at the inner edgeof vuggy centersare lined by coarsecrystalsof the

last quartz depositedin the veins.


Whereas"A" quartzveinscontainsulfidessimilar
At lower elevations,
the inneredgeof major sericite
to
lieswithinthe pyritezone,whileat higherelevations thosein the surroundingbackgroundassemblage,
the chlorite-sericite alteration zone at the 2600 level.

it encroaches
into the bornite-chalcopyrite
zone.

"B" veins,especially
in the deepcentralzonesof the
deposit, tend to contain sulfidesdifferent from the

The gray area in Figure 19B represents


a zonein
background. Abundantmolybdeniteis most strikwhichkaolinitehas replacedchlorite,feldspar,and ing and characteristic. Traces of bornite are rare in

locally,biotite. The kaoliniteis generallyassociated"B" veins,while chalcopyrite


and minor pyrite are
with secondaryenrichmentof the sulfides,doesnot
more characteristic.Abundantpyrite is presentin
occurwithinthe sulfatezone,and is almostentirely "B" veinsonly within the pyritic fringe of the deof supergeneorigin. Montmorillonitereplacing
positor wherethe veinshavebeencut by younger
plagioclase
and biotiteas a major constituentoccurs
pyrite-richveins. Reopeningof "B" vein structures
in onlya fewplacesandprobablyis alsoof supergene
andfillingwithlaterveinsare common
andprobably
origin.
responsible
for mostif not all of the weakhydrolitic
Propyliticalteration,definedby the occurrence
of alteration halos seen on some "B" veins.
epidotewith chlorite(Fig. 19B), formsa broadhalo
aboutthe orebodyand includesthe weakouterpor- Molybdenummineralization
tion of the pyritic fringe. Chloriteis more or less
The distributionof molybdenite
at E1 Salvadoris
abundant;
as is calcitewherenot removedby super- closelytied to "B" quartzveinsand the Transitional

894

L. B. GUSTAFSON AND J.P. HUNT

miueralizing environmentthey ,represent. Most of sociatedwith tourmaliueveins. Later pyritic veins


the molybdenitein the depositprobablyoccurswithin rarely containeither abundantmolybdeniteor tourthe "B" quartzveins.It is alsoabundantas "smears" maline.
in late joints with no other associatedsulfide or
Tourmalinebrecciasare early pebblebrecciaswith
gangue minerals and without any alteration halos. rounded fragments whose clastic matrix has been
Minor alnountsof molybdenitealsooccurwith Early cementedwith tourmaline and quartz. Tourmaline
disseminated
sulfidesand in Late pyritic assemblages. brecciasmay either cut or be cut by "B" quartz
Only in areasof abundant"B" quartz veins and as- veins. They are.invariablycut by Late hydrothermal
sociatedbetter grade molybdenitemineratizationare "D" veins. They containmore or lesspyrite with
these other occurrencesof significantabundance.
sericiticalteration,are low in copper,and do uot
Molybdenumgradesin the depositrangefrom less contain molybdenite.
than 0.0055 Mo to greaterthan 0.05% Mo, averagDisseminatedtourmaline, with and without asing about 0.02% Mo by weight. The patt0rn of sociatedsericiticalteration, is abundantat Et Salvadistributionis not very regular but appearsto form dor. Vertical zoningis strong. On the 2400 level,
three centerspossiblylying along an arcuatezone. tourmaline veins are rare and there are no disseminaHighest molybdenumvalues occur within areas of tions of tourmaline rosettes. Tourmaline in veins and
abundant chalcopyriteoverlappingthe junction of disseminations
increases
upwardtoward the surface,
the chalcopyrite-bornite and chalcopyrite-pyrite 400 to 600 m above, where both tourmaline veins
zones. Even strongerevidenceof a Transitional age and disseminated tourmaline are abundant and widethan the associationwith "B" quartz veining is the spread. The relativeage of disseminated
tourmaline
fact that the zone of better grade molybdenummin- is not known,but its abundance
generallycorrelates
eralization cuts across the contact between "L" Porwith abundanceof tourmalineveining. Both forms
phyry and older rocks. Motybdenumvaluesgreater appear to span the period from "B" quartz veins to
than 0.02 percenttend to closeover 'lower valuesin "D" sulfideveinsand may thereforebe in part con-

"L" Porphyrysomewhere
abovethe 2,700-m eleva- temporaneous.
tion. This pattern may possiblybe interpretableas
/lndalusiteandcorundum
a crude,invertedcup.
An assemblage
of andalusitewith K-feldspar is
Tourmaline
locallyabundantat relatively deeplevelsat E1 SalvaAlthoughgeometricallyindependentof "B" quartz dor as on the 2600 level. This assemblage
is classiveining,the distributionof tourmalineappearsto be fied with the Transitionalperiod of mineralizationcloselyassociated
in time with the Transitional.stage alterationbecause
otgrossgeometric
arguments
and
of mineralization.

Tourmaline occurs in a variety of thin veinlets


and in tourmaline breccias. Tourmaline veins,

chemicalinferences,*althoughevidenceof its age relative to "B" veins is lacking. Andalusite assem-

blagesare spatiallyrelatedto the "L" Porphyrymass


studiedby Heatwole (1973), seemto vary between and locally crosscutit.
two extremetypes. One type,apparentlythe earliest,
Figures19B and20B showthe deepestoccurrences
cuts plagioclase(oligoclase) as well as K-feldspar of andalusitein "X" Porphyry and andesireto the
with no alteration. This type containschalcopyrite- west of the southeastlobe of "L" Porphyry and in
bornitewithout pyrite. The proportionof sulfideis quartz porphyry dikes northeast and northwest of
usually small, and minor quartz may or may not the "L" Porphyry contact. The occurrences
in "X"
occur in the vein. The other type, which contains
pyrite with or without chalcopyrite,is borderedby
conspicuous
sericite-pyritealterationhalos. K-feldspar, as well as plagioclaseand biotite, is destroyed
in the halo to which pyrite is added and bornite removed. Intermediatetypes with weak sericite-carbonate halos and abundant residual K-feldspar and
plagioclase'havebeen seen. Many tourmalineveins
appearto have neither sulfidenor alterationhalos.
Tourmalineveinscommonlycut early "A" quartz
veins, but definitiveage relationswith later types of
veiningare not abundant. "B" veinscommonlycontain tourmaline. Where crosscuttingage relations

Porphyry and andesitelie within the sulfatezone in


rock that has been strongly affectedby K-silicate
alterationand that containsboth chalcopyrite-bornite
andchalcopyrite-pyrite.The andalusiteoccursalong
small, discontinuous,
and commonlypoorly defined
veinsand halos. These are most commonlystreaks
of alkali feldsparreplacementof plagioclase,which
appear dark becauseof the associatedbiotite and

sericite. Someare also apparentlyhalosaboutcertain "A"-family quartz veins,of a type which probably fortnedlate in the "A" vein group. A dike of
"L" Porphyry cutting acrossthis area appearsto
containno andalusite. Although no definitiveage
can be demonstrated,
the tourmalineis generally relations have been found, the strong contrast beyounger. Molybdeniteis almostnever closelyas- tweentheunaltereddikeandits stronglyalteredwa!!s

THE PORPHYRY COPPERDEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR,CHILE

895

Width of the "D" veins rangesfrom less than a


wouldsuggestthat the andalusiteassemblages
were
millimeter
to more than 20 cm. They characteristiformedprior to or possiblycontemporaneous
with
the intrusion of the dike.
callyoccupycontinuous,
systematically
orientedfracEssentialminerals of the assemblageformed dur- tures. They containhigh proportionsof pyrite, with
ing this stageof alterationappearto be K-feldspar, lesseramountsof chalcopyrite,bornite,enargite,tenNa-plagioclase,
andalusite,
and anhydritewith biotite antite, sphalerite,and galena. Quartz is usually
or sericite. Judgingby opticalproperties,the plagio- nilnor, tends to show crystal forms, and is low in
claseappearsto be oligoclaseand the K-feldsparnon- fiuid inclusions. Anhydrite is presentin most "D"
perthiticorthoclase.Quartzis ubiquitous
andabund- veins, where not removed by supergene action.
ant, but only rarely is it in contactwith andalusite. Dolomite is a fairly commonnilnor constituent.
Simple sericiteor sericite-chloritealterationhalos
Someresidualcalcicplagioclase
(andesine)is usually
presentbut not in contactwith the andalusite.Most surroundmany "D" veins, particularly the smaller
veins. Other veinscommonlyhave zonedalteration
halos, with outer kaolinite or kaolinite-calcitehalos
separatingthe sericitefrom fresh rock. K-feldsparis
usuallydestroyedin the sericitezonebut may or may
whole rock.
not persist in the outer alteration halos. Iron from
The kaolinite associatedwith andalusite in quartz both oxides and silicatesis usually fixed as pyrite
porphyry occurrencesis probably a supergene in the alterationhalos,and anhydriteforms in most
replacementof alkali feldspar, chlorite, or biotite, alteration halos.
In the deepestexposuresin the mine, pyrite is
which had beenformed with the andalusite.A quartz
porphyrydike at 2,400-m elevation(Fig. 20B) con- usually the dominantor only sulfide in "D" veins.
tains tracesof andalusitewith alkali feldspar,quartz, Pyrite and only tracesof chalcopyriteoccur in the

commonly, andalusite-bearing assemblageshave


clearlybeendeveloped
by the replacement
of plagioclase phenocrysts,but in other areas there has apparentlybeenmore pervasiverecrystallization
of the

sericite,chlorite,and anhydrite. Both sodic and alteration halos. Where "D" veins cut fresh and
traces
potassicalkali feldsparare present,alongwith chal- unmineralizedlate porphyries,the chalcopyrite
copyrite-pyriteand rutile. This is the deepestknown may representa slightadditionof copper,particularly
occurrence of andalusite at E1 Salvador.
at the outer portionsof the halos. However, in simiCorundum in trace quantities is seen in several lar veinscuttingstronglymineralizedrock, especially
specimensof andalusite. In about half of these,the chalcopyrite-bornite
assemblages,
sericite-pyrite
halos
corundumis closelyassociated
with andalusite,com- commonlyrepresent a complete reworking of the
monly in contactwith it. In others,corundumwith sulfideassemblage
and an inwardflushingof copper
no andalusiteoccurswithin crystalsof alkali feldspar out of the vein halo. In suchcases,chalcopyrite
or within biotitic streaks containing only nilnor increases outward from the vein within the halo and
alkali feldspar. A closeassociation
betweenthe for- borniteappearsonlybeyondthe outerlimit of pyrite.
mation of corundum and the alteration of biotite to a

Other veins,seenonlyat higherelevations,


add py-

very pale greenpleochroicmica,probablyphlogopite, rite to their haloswithout destroyingbornite and


is strongly suggestedin several specimens. No chalcopyrite.In these,pyrite occursnot only as a
sulfidization of oxide and silicate iron but also as
corundum-quartzcontactshave been seen.

inclusions
withinoriginalchalcopyrite-bornite
grains.
Late

Late

Mineralization

mineralization

and Alteration

and alteration

are character-

ized by abundantpyrite and stronghydrolytic(Kfeldsparand biotite-destructive)


alteration. Pyritequartz veins, pyritic veinlets with sericitic altera-

tion halos,peripheralzonesof disseminated


pyrite

This type of 'halo has not been noted about barren

pyriteveins,onlyaboutthosewith significant
copper.
Someof theseveinscontaina pyrite-chalcopyriteborniteassemblage,
butunfortunately
mosthavebeen
seenin zonesof strongsupergene
enrichment
sothat
the original sulfidemineralsare difficultto determine.

Tennantitein "D" veins is largely restrictedto

and pervasivesericitization,and upper level high- lower levelsof the mine (below2600 level), while
sulfur and sericiticto advancedargillicassemblagesparallel veins directly abovecontain abundantencontainingpyrite-borniteare the major productsof argite. Assemblages
of pyrite-,ornite-tenantiteare
this Late environment.
rare, and enargite has not been observedin contact
"D"

Veins

The sulfideveins and veinlets that cut all Early


and Transitionalveins as well as all rock types except latite are known as "D" veins (Fig. 15B and
Table 2).

with chalcopyrite.Sphaleriteand galenaoccurtogether and commonlywith coppermineralsin "D"

veinsthroughout
the depositto the deepest
levelsof
exposure. No zoning of lead and zinc relative to

copper has been noted. Relatively rare occurrencesof stibnite,realgar,arsenopyrite,


andmarcasite

896

L. B. GUSTAFSONAND J. P. HUNT

TRENDS
OF
LATE
("D")
SULFIDE
COMPOSITE 2600-,660

LEVEL

EL SALVADOR
o

mo

oo

LEGEND

SUBORDINATE
TREND

MINOR TREND

"A"
PPHY

"

"A"
FELDSP
RPHYRY
QUARTZ
GRAIN
PORPHYRY
"K"PH

QUARTZ
EYE
POR

esfi
of tren for all "D"veinl
map wiin ch lOOmuare
duringrti
i:500
mepping.
T Mest l
prinanfly cupy

theradiallet,as mo tline

'

FIG. 22. Trendsof Late "D" sulfideveins,2600and2660levels.

are found in "D" veins containingsphaleriteand


galena.
The proportionof sulfidesotherthan pyrite in "D"
veins tends to increaseupward. With this increase
in other sulfides,there is an increasein the apparent
degreeof replacement
of pyrite by thesesulfides.The
elevation at which "D" veins begin to contain significant copper-bearingsulfides is qt/ite variable.
Somesort of wall-rockcontrolmay be important,as
"D" veins in "L" Porphyry are barren pyrite well
abovethe elevationat whichthey containsignificant
copperin "K" Porphyry.
Consistentand mappable"D" vein trends are apparent undergroundand 'havebeen recordedin the
routine1: 500-scalegeologi.c
mapping. Larger veins
were mappedas individualstructures,and manymore
smaller veins were mapped schematicallyto show
their generalabundanceand orientationtrends. _An
imperfect but definite radial pattern is present,
centeredroughlyat 20,300N, 8300 W (Fig. 22). A
conjugateradial-circumferentialset and other minor
trends are much more strongly developedby the
smallveins than .by the large veins. The radial set
is emphasized
by the larger veins. This patternpersiststhroughoutall the levelsof exposurein the mine.

Large tourmalineveinsgenerallyconformcloselyto
the radialcomponent
of the sulfideveinpattern.
Peripheralsericiticand pyritic assemblages
Peripheral backgroundalteration zones surround
thecentralsulfidezones(Fig. 20) and are characterized by abundantsericiteand pyrite. _Atlowermost
elevations,preservedin the sulfate zone, the characteristic
assemblage
in theperipheralzoneis sericitechlorite-quartz-anhydrite--pyrite.Residual alkali
feldsparand biotite are most abundantin the inner
portions,where chalcopyriteis also most abundant.
Rutile is the only iron-titanium oxide in areas of
strongsericite-chlorite
alteration(Fig. 23). In the
inner portionsof the peripheralzone, there is textural evidenceof chlorite replacingbiotite and of
sericitereplacingfeldspars,suggesting
superposition
on earlier K-silicate alteration.

_At the outer limits

of the peripheralzone, sericite-chlorite-pyrite


assemblages
fade out in propyliticassemblages,
which,
as described
above,are olderat the point of overlap.
There is a good generalcorrelationbetweenthe
abundance
of pyrite and the intensityof sericitechloritealteration,both on a zonal scaleand locally
aboutstructures. Both the strongestsericite-chlorite

THE PORPHYRY COPPER DEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR, CHILE

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

897

898

L. B. GUSTAFSON

AND

J. P. HUNT

Fig. 24. Textural evidenceof sequencein andalusiteassemblages.

A, Typical habit of unalteredandalusitein andalusite-sericite-quartz


assemblage. Andalusite replaces
plagioclase,K-feldspar,and biotite,along with sericite,whichcommonlyfringesthe andalusite.In underlying andalusite-K4eldsparassemblages,
the andalusiteoccursmostly as small anhedralgrains, usually
within alkali feldspar replacing plagiodase. (Plane polarized light)

B, Pseudomorphic
replacement
of andalusiteby low-indexamorphousmaterial. Remnantandalusite
(A) and intergranularsericiteemphasizethe pseudomorphic
texture. (Cross-polarizedlight)
C, Pseudomorphic
r'eplacement
of andalusite(A) by diaspore(D) with intergranular
whitemicarims.
Pyrophyllite accompanies
diaspore,apparentlydirectly replacingsericite. (Cross-polarizedlight)
Photographsby O. R. Eckstrand.

alterationand maximumpyrite intensityare seenin Insidetheperipheralsericitezone,lowerlevelalteraare dominatedby feldsparand biothe centralportionof the peripheralzone. There is tion assemblages
blanket,
an increasedstructuralcontrol of pyrite as lacing tite. At upperlevelsabovethe enrichment
veinlets with sericite-chlorite alteration halos in the
alterationassemblages
are dominatedby sericiteand
outer half of the zone where minor chalcopyriteis andalusite.
disseminated in the rock rather than on veinlets.
The andalusite-sericite
assemblage
containsabundDespite extensive search during detail mapping, ant quartzbut, at most,minor to trace amountsof
inno structures.withpyritic mineralizationand sericitic pyrophyllite,diaspore,or alunite. Accessories
alteration

have been found that are older than "B"

quartz veins. Although age relationsinvolving the


discontinuous
lacingveinletsin the pyritic zone are
commonly
obscure,manyof thesestructureshavebeen
seenthat clearly crosscut"B" veins. Age relations
betweenwell-defined"D" veinsand the lacingpyritic
veinletsthat comprisethe backgroundmineralization
in the zoneare usuallyambiguous.Althoughsome
larger and more continuousveins retain obvious"D"
vein characteristics
and contrastwith the small lacing
veinlets which never have zoned alteration halos, it

is impossibleto make consistentdistinctionsbetween


thesetypesof mineralization. We suspectthat they
are contemporaneous
and part of the same mineralization-alterationstage.
Minor calciteis associatedwith the usually weak
sericitic"dusting" of plagioclaseand alteration of
biotiteto chloritesuperimposed
on K-silicateassemblagesin the upper part of the sulfatezone.
Upper level alteration zones

A striking verticalzonationof alterationand mineralizationis presentat El Salvador (Fig. 20B).

clude pyritic sulfides(or their oxidizedlimonitic


equivalents),
zircon,and rutile. Inclusions
of relict
anhydritelockedwithin andalusitecrystalsare convincing evidencethat the andalusitewas formed
within the formerupwardextentof the sulfatezone.
In this zone, the andalusitecharacteristically
occurs
as clustersof lath-shaped
crystals(Fig. 24) and is
generallymore coarselycrystallinethan it is in the
K-feldspar-andalusite
"root" zonesbelow,whereincipientcrystallization
as smallisolatedanhedralgrains
is more common. In some specimens,
particularly
of quartzporphyry,andalusitemakesup as muchas
40 percentof the rock volume. Where the rock texture is discernible,
andalusiteappearsmostcommonly
in altered plagioclasephenocrysts.Sericite occurs
fringing the andalusiteand as a replacementof all
rock silicatesexceptquartz. Sericite-andalusite
assemblages,
like K-silicatealterationassemblages,
producea recrystallization
of the rock texture which
tendsto obliterateoriginal porphyrytextures. In
contrast, most sericitic alteration assemblagestend
to preserveoriginalrocktexture,althoughcommonly
renderingit hard to discernmegascopically.

THE

PORPHYRY

COPPER

DEPOSIT

AT EL SALVADOR,

899

CHILE

cp

;05
m,m
.O,
5m,m
bnPY
Fro. 25.

Sulfide textures.

A, "Separateor tangent" texture, typical of chalcopyrite-pyriteassemblages


on deep levels. Chalcopyrite and pyrite occur usuallyas separategrains and whenin contact,seldomrim or vein one another.
B, "Inclusion"texture, a type of "reaction"texture typical of pyrite-chalcopyrite-bornite
assemblages
on upper levels. Pyrite is usually confinedto larger grains of chalcopyrite-bornite.At least in some
halos about "D" veinlets within the chalcopyrite-bornitezone,the pyrite is formed by the reactionchalcopyrite + bornite+ S '-->pyrite q- bornite + chalcopyrite.
C, "Reaction"texture, typical of "D" veins and pyritic assemblages
on upper levels. "Chalcocite"replacingchalcopyriteand bornitein this texture commonlygives the erroneousimpressionthat it is replacing pyrite.

Sericite-andalusiteassemblages
appearto be gradational, both zonallyand paragenetically,
with underlying K-feldspar-andalusiteassemblages.Both the
proportionof sericiteandthe abundance
of andalusite
appearto increaseprogressively
upward. It is impossibleto say unequivocally
whethersericitein the
upperexposureswas formedcontemporaneously
with
the andalusiteor whether it replacedK-feldspar in
K-feldspar-andalusiteassemblages.Although this
latter retrograde reaction is clearly evidencedat
lower elevations,we favor contemporaneity
at higher

very small (0.005 to 0.1 mm) relict sulfidegrains


can.beidentifiedin nearlyall specimens
of leached
capping. Thesegrainsare usuallylockedin quartz,
whichprotectsthemfrom supergene
oxidation,leaching, and enrichment.Point countingof the relict
sulfides at E1 Salvador has allowed us to detect and

reconstruct
the originalprimary sulfidepatternsthat
existedat high levelsprior to supergene
leachingand
enrichment.

The deepsulfidepatternswith antitheticpyrite and


bornite,formedby Early mineralization,
are abruptly
elevations.
truncatedbetweenthe 2,700- and 2,900-m elevations
Andalusite reachesits deepestlevels around the by a groupof high-sulfursulfidepatternsformedby
pyrite-bornite
edgesof "L" Porphyry (Fig. 20B). Andalusitealso Late mineralization.A very extensi.ve
occurswithin igneousbrecciadikescutting "L" Por- zone caps all deep zones. It containscontactasof pyriteandbornitewith variableamounts
phyry. Late "A" Porphyry dikesin "K" Porphyry semblages
also have been seen to contain sericite-andalusite
of chalcopyriteor "chalcocite."The pyrite-bornitetends to be zonally above
alteration. In pre-"L" Porphyry exposuresthat are "chalcocite"assemblage
directlyabovestrongK-silicatealterationand contain and is possiblyyounger than the pyrite-bornitealthoughthese subpatterns
abundant"A" quartz, the original K-silicate altera- chalcopyriteassemblage,
tion assemblages
are replacedby sericite-andalusite are not well defined. In the "roots" of the pyriteassemblages.It is probablethat most andalusitewas bornite zone, pyrite first appearsin the assemblage
as inclusionswithin chalcopyrite-bornitegrains. A
formed after the intrusionof "L" Porphyry.
very closespatialassociation
of pyrite with the other
Upper levelsulfidezones
sulfides forms textures that have been classed as
Direct evidencefor sulfidezoningat highereleva- reaction textures (Fig. 25). The pyrite tends to
tions is largely basedon the study of relict sulfides occuronly in contactwith other sulfidesrather than
in the leachedcappingabovethe enrichmentblanket. separatelyas it doesin lower level assemblages
with
We have foundthat at higher magnification(600x)
chalcopyrite.
The distributionof pyrite in the "roots"

900

L. B. GUSTAFSON AND J.P. HUNT

is clearly related to the proximity of small veinlets


containingpyrite with chalcopyriteand borniteand
commonlyalso sphalerite. ,Theseveinlets are not
major structuresor even well-defined"D" veinlets.
Many do not appearto have strongor well-defined
hydrolyticalterationhalosand are the type of lacing
veinlets that would contain only chalcopyriteand
.bornitein deeperzones. A few "roots" of the pyrite-bornite

zone extend below the 2600 level within

"K" Porphyry.
Thesesulfidepatternsreflectin onlya very general
way the patternsof rockalteration.Althoughpyriteborniteassemblages
aremostlyassociated
with sericitic or advancedargillic alteration,the "roots" seen
in the sulfide zone reach down into assemblages

characterized
by alkali feldspar,sericite,and chlorite.
At lowest elevations,there are a few occurrencesof
pyriteandbornitein K-feldspar-biotitealteration.
The occurrenceof disseminated
enargitewith pyrite appearsto be the resultof late hydrothermalreworkingof chalcopyrite-pyrite
and pyritic fringe as..
semblages
at high elevations(Fig. 20A). The pyriteenargite subzonedoes not extend into the present
leached capping, where the transition of pyritechalcopyrite
assemblages
directlyinto pyrite-bornitechalcopyriteassemblages
is seenin the relict sulfide
grains. Enargite is very rarely preservedas relict
sulfides, and we therefore do not know its true

original extent. A reasonableinterpretationseems


to be that the relativelyyoungenargitemineralization wasnot accompanied
by significantprecipitation
or recrystallization
of quartz,in contrastwith sulfides
from earlier mineralization. Only sulfide grains
trapped in quartz, analogousto secondaryfluid inclusionswhichthey resemblein shape,are preserved

and are suspectedof being primary, althoughwe.


have never seen this habit in the sulfide zone.

We

speculatethat a pyrite-covellite assemblagecould


have formedwith upward increasingsulfur activity
as an uppermostprimary sulfidezone.
Advancedargillicassemblages

T,he red line in Figure 20B, for the most part


within the presentleachedcapping,encloses
advanced
argillic assemblages
containingpyrophyllite and a
variety of associat.ed
minerals,suchas diaspore,primary alunite, amorphousmaterial, andalusite,sericite, and local corundum. Kaolinite is not present.
In almost all occurrences,advancedargillic assemblagesappear to be superimposed
upon sericitic or
sericite-andalusiteassemblagesrather than formed
directly from fresh or K-silicate-alteredrock (Eckstrand,1966). Andalusiteand probablesericiteare
partially replacedby diasporeand pyrophyllitein
theseassemblages.Andalusiteis generallyunaltered
in areaswith little or no pyrophyllite. There is clear
textural evidenceof the replacementof andalusite
by amorphousmaterial and by diaspore(Fig. 24).
The evidencefor replacementof sericite by pyrophyllite and locally by alunite is not conclusive.
There is a general inverse correlation between the
abundanceof sericite and that of pyrophyllite or
coarse-grainedalunite. Pyrophyllite and alunite
have the same habit as sericite in the altered rocks.

Small mica crystalsfilling a rug in one specimen


provedto be a mixture of both sericiteand pyrophyllite.

Diasporeoccursas an alterationproductof andalusite and only in rockswith abundantpyrophyllite.


as relicts. Therefore, we believethat the mineraliza- Where present,coarse-grained
micaceous
alunitemay
tion associatedwith quartz was protectednot only be seenin any and all sitesin which sericiteoccurs
from supergeneoxidationand leachingbut alsofrom in sericitic assemblages. Alunite is particularly
late hydrothermalreworking. In a few placesat the abundantin rhyolitic intrusiveand pyroclasticrocks.
highouterfringeof the ore zone,in what is now pyri- Where alunite is the major constituent,there is
tic waste,corresponding
relictsulfidesincludebornite usuallyabundantpyrophylliteand diaspore,yet some
and chalcopyritewith pyrite. The inferenceis that sericite-aluniteassemblages
with little pyrophyllite
locallythe outer and upper portionsof the original are found. No systematicpatternsfor the distribucoppersulfidezoneswere convertedto pyritic waste tion of alunite have been detected.
during advancedargillic alterationof the rock.
Corundum has been seen in surfaceoutcropsof
The pyrite-sphalerite subzonemarks the appear- rhyoliticrock in only a few restrictedlocalities, Its
ance of very minor sphaleriteas part of the back- habit is irregular, generally like that of diaspore
groundmineralizationon tiny cracksand seams. In after andalusite with which it is associated,and the
the main mineralizationzones,sphaleriteis only seen grains are very cloudy with a parallel parting genin definite "D" veins. Interestingly, it appearsin erally well developed.It is seenonly near the outer
the backgroundassemblage
in a normal peripheral limit of andalusiteoccurrencesand is presumably
position. The purple line in Fig. 20A encloses formedas an alterationproductof andalusiteor diaoccurrences
of relatively abundantcovellitein relict spore, although the textures are not diagnostic.
sulfides. Although some of this covellite has a Quartz, whichis abundantin theserocks,is separated
matted multicrystallinehabit typical of supergene from corundumonly by a murky microscopicrim
corellite, euhedralsinglecrystal bladesare common aboutthe corundumgrains.

THE PORPHYRY COPPERDEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR,CHILE

901

Fit;. 26. Types of fluid inclusionsat El Salvador.


A, Type I: characterized by a moderate-size 'bubble (b), a colorless isotopic cube
of halite (h), and one or more opaque phases (o). Only rarely is a second cube,
presumably sylvite, seen. The largest opaque occasionally displays red internal reflection and tends to have a trianglar outline. It is probably hematite. Other
minute solid phaseshave not been identified,but a rare secondtriangular opaquemay
be chalcopyrite. (Plane polarized light)
B, Type II: characterizedby a large bubble (b), usually 40 to 80 percent by
volume,and a single opaquesolid (o). The opaqueis probably hematite. Both types
I and II inclusionsinvariably occur together as secondaryor pseudo-secondary
inclusionsin Early and Transitional quartz veins. (Plane polarized light)
,C, Type III:
characterizedby a small to moderable bubble and no solid phases.
These are seen in quartz, anhydrite, and sphalerite of Late "D" veins, but types I
and II inclusionsdo not occur in theseveins. (Plane polarized light)

That advancedargillic alteration was formed later and do not seemto occur in a systematicposition
than practicallyall alteration and-mineralizationat within the orebody.
lowerelevations
is provedby the-factthat manynearOn the heating stage,both types I and II fluid
surfacepebbledikesare the loci of the most intense inclusionshomogenizedover a temperaturerange
sericite-diaspore
alteration.Thesesamepebbledikes between360C to greater than 600C, even within
crosscut
Late "D" veinsat depthbut hadto havebe- a singlehealedfracture. The heatingbehaviorof a
come inactive before delicate crystalsof diaspore single inclusion, which contained both halite and
and pyrophyllitegrew in the matrix betweenpebbles. sylvite,confirmsestimates
from volumetricconsideraHowever, advancedargillic alteration seemsto have tions that type I fluids contain35% to 40% NaC1
ceased before the final formation of the last seriand lessthan 12% KC1. Attemptsto freezethe fluid
citic pebble dikes, describedpreviously,that cut in types I and II inclusionswere unsuccessful,
but
pebble dikes with strong advancedargillic assem- the salinityin type II inclusionfluid is presumedto
blages.
be low. The immediatecollapseof the bubblereleasedon crushingtype I inclusionsin oil indicates
Fluid Inclusions
a very small vapor pressure. The behaviorof the
Three distincttypesof fluid inclusionsin E1 Sal- bubblereleasedfrom type II fluid inclusionscrushed
vadorrocksare illustratedin Figure26. Type I in- in Hb40 oil (Roedder, 1970) suggestsa CO. conat roomtemclusionsare foundin "A" and "B" quartz veinsbut tent of roughly1/8 to 8 atmospheres
never in "'D" veins. They contain a very high perature. Although only rough calculationis pos-

salinityfluid and are invariablyand intimatelyassociated


with typeII inclusions,
whichcontaina very
low densityfluid. Type III inclusions
containrelatively low salinityfluids and are found in all age
veins,including"D" veinswherethey are the only
type of fluid inclusion,occurringwithin quartz,
anhydrite,and sphalerite. Fluid inclusionsare relativelysparsein "D" vein quartz,but typesI and II
inclusions are never seen in "D" veins.
Fluid inclusions with characteristics intermediate

sible,this probablymeansan aqueousfluid low pH


(lessthan4) andlessthan4% CO.by weightin the
inclusions.

Type III inclusions(from two specimens)homogenizedbetween175C and 3,10C. Their freez-

ing behaviorindicatesan "equivalentNaCI" content


of 5 to 20 percent,but the CaC12contentof the solution is not known. Attemptsto determinethe CO.
contentof type III inclusionsfrom "D" veins containing carbonatewere unsuccessful.The single
specimencontainingtype II-III inclusionsthat was

betweentypesII andIII are alsopresent. They are


lesscommon
thanthethreemaintypesin mostrocks examinedwas from a drusy quartz-pyritevein,

902

L. B. GUSTAFSON

AND

]. P. HUNT

whichprobablyrepresents
a relativelyold "D" vein closeinspectionindicatesthat the texturesare inheritedfrom primary chalcopyrite
or chalcopyritebornitewhichreplacedpyrite. Similar texturesare
peraturessuggest"equivalentNaCI" of 12 to 15 seenin the protorebelow(Fig. 25C).
The uppersurfaceof the enrichment
blanketis for
percent, and crushingbehavior indicates1 to 30
the most part a sharplydefinedboundarybetween
atmospheres
partial pressuresof CO9..
The evidence from fluid inclusions indicates a
leachedcappingand secondarilyenrichedsulfides
changein the characterof the fluids trappedbefore ("top of sulfides"). The enrichment
blanketranges
type. Homogenizationtemperaturesrange from
300Cto slightlygreaterthan 350C,freezingtem-

the end of the time of formation

of "B"

veins and

those trapped in "D" veins. This change can be


seenwithin a single"B" vein in whichcleancrystalline quartz is formedas an overgrowthon the typical
granular-columnar"B" vein quartz to form a vuggy
center line. Growth zones are marked by abrupt
stepwisedecreasesin abundanceof types I and II
fluid inclusions.The youngestgrowth zonenear the
centralrug containsonly type III inclusions.
It is impossibleto determine time breaks or sequenceof trappingof typesI and II fluid inclusions

in thickness from a few meters to as nmch as 300

meters. In general,the thickestenrichmentcolumn


formed in areas of richer primary mineralization.
The bottom of enrichmentis gradual and in many
placesdefinedonly by arbitrary grade limits imposedby mining. The bottomof strongenrichment
lies a few meters to more than 300 meters above the

presenttop of the sulfatezone.


Super#en,e
alteration

Supergenewatershavenot penetratedthe present


sulfate zone. This has allowed us to distinguish
and "B" veins. In eachtype of vein, both types of supergene
fromprimaryalterationassemblages.
The
secondaryor pseudo-secondary
inclusionsare found absenceof kaolinite in the sulfate zone, except for
within any given healedfracture. The temperatures that clearly relatedto "D" vein halos,and of fineof homogenizationof both types within any small grainedalunite and montmorillonite
claysindicates
area of a singlespecimen
appearto vary over a wide that they are all supergene
products.
range. Fluid inclusionsin "B" veinsare practically
The zone of kaolinite-sericitealteration, shownin
as abundantas they are in "A" veins in any given Figure20B, lyingbetweenthe top of the sulfatezone
area of the deposit. Apparentlyfluidswere trapped and the baseof pervasivesericiticalteration,is the
over a range of temperatureand time, but it is not zoneof strongestsupergene
effects. With increasing
certainthat preservedfluid inclusionsrepresentany- intensityfrom bottom to top within this zone, kaothing trapped earlier than "B" vein time.
linite replacescalcic plagioclaseand chlorite, then
sodicplagioclase
and biotite,and finally K-feldspar.
SupergeneEffects
The accompanying
sericiteoccursexactlyas it does
The patternsformedby the supergeneprocesses
of throughoutthe sericitezone aboveand is thoughtto
oxidation,leaching,andsecondary
enrichmentof pri- be all of hypogeneorigin. Fine-grained,low-biremary sulfideshavebeenpresentedin Figure 21.
fringent alunite, texturally distinctfrom the coarse
aluniteof the advancedargillic assemblages,
is locally
Super#erieenrichment
abundant,especiallyin kaolinitic,moderatelypyritic
The E1 Salvadormine was developedto exploit andesiteswith strongsulfideenrichment. Veins of
the secondaryenrichmentblanketbeneathTurquoise fine-grainedalunite are rather commonthroughout
Gulch. Although the enrichedores are describedas the supergenezone. Amorphousclay ("allophane")
part of a "chalcocite"blanket, they are in fact com- is locally abundantin the zone of supergeneenrichposedof a group of coppersulfidemineralsreplacing ment, especiallyin alunite-bearingandesites.
primary sulfides. The principal secondarysulfide
Kaolinite is conspiciouslyabsent from the highassemblages
are chalcocite-djurleiteand djurleite- level sericiticassemblages
that characterizesiliceous
digenite. Covelliteis locally a minor constituent, rocksabovethe Hornitosunconformity.There is no
especiallyin djurleite-digenite assemblages
and in evidencethat primary sericite has anywhere been
areasof weak or incipientenrichmentbelowthe main alteredto supergene
kaolinite,evenin zonesof most
enrichmentblanket. Cuprite and native copperare intensesupergeneactivity. However, andalusitein
rare but also locally present.
high-levelassemblages,
where it has not beenaltered
Practically all supergenesulfideswere formed as to diasporeduring superimposedadvancedargillic
direct replacements
of chalcopyriteor bornite. Al- alteration,is more or lessaltered to amorphousmathoughsomehavebeenformedas coatingson pyrite, terial. It is mostprobablethat this amorphousmawe have seen no evidence to indicate extensive reterial was alsoformedby supergenealteration.
placementof pyrite. Thick coatingsand veining of
Traces of montmorilloniteare widespreadin the
pyrite by "chalcocite"
are seenin someareas,but zone between the top of the sulfate zone and the
within

the earlier

times of formation

of "A"

veins

THE PORPHYRY COPPER DEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR, CHILE

903

bottomof strongkaolinitealteration,but it is only jarositic cappingas well as cappingwith abundant


locallyabundant. It occursas an alterationof inter- sulfidecavitiesbut very sparselimonite. Exposed
mediateplagioclaseand as smallveinsor coatingsof only in drill coreandunderlyingjarositicand altered
openfractures. It is most stronglydevelopedalong jarositic cappingon surfaceare an outer zone of
late faults and pebbledikescutting relativelyfresh goethite-hematiteand an inner zone with mostly
rock and along the marginsof latite dikes, where it empty sulfidecavitiesand minor hematite-goethite.
is usuallynontronite.
Limonitein thesezonesis largely indigenouswithin
Magnetite is oxidizedto hematiteby supergene sulfide cavities and is not found disseminated in
alteration.

This oxidation extends below the base


plagioclasesites as is someof the hematite-goethite
of strongsupergene.
enrichmentbut stopswell above in the "alteredjarositic"cappingabove. No jarosite
the top of the sulfatezone (Fig. 23). The slightly occursin this lowerleachedcapping,althougha zone
magnetichematitethat is formed has a characteristic of jarosite, lessthan one meter thick, is seenat the
texturereflecting
replacement
alongoctahedral
zones immediatetop of pyritic sulfideon the easternfringe.
in the parentmagnetite. This texture contrastswith
There is evidenceof at leasttwo stagesof limonite
that of the tracehematiteseendeepwithinthe sulfate development. Only rare occurrencesshow jarosite
zone. This tracehematiteevidentlywas formedby partially replacedby hematite-goethite. However,
hypogeneoxidationof magnetiteas singlecrystal the habitof hematite-goethite
disseminated
in plagiorims on magnetiterather than as octahedralinter- clase sites suggestsreplacementof jarosite. At E1
growths.
Salvador,this characteristic
habit of jarositeis only
Supergenekaolinitic alterationtendsto reducethe very rarely duplicatedby pyrite in plagioclase
sites.
porosityandpermeability
introduced
by the leaching Most convincing
is thepenetration
by a diamonddrill
of sulfatesfrom the rock. Kaolinire,alunite, and hole of a residualsulfideblock within the jarosite
amorphous
clay tend to fill the open spacesand zone. Surrounding the residual, which contains
producerock whichis soft but relativelytoughand pyrite-"chalcocite,"is a shell a few meters thick of
shock resistant.
hematite-goethite. This shell is similar to the lower
Apparently very late oxidation effectsare seen cappingbelowandtypicalof what onewouldexpect
ore following
penetrating
the zoneof relativelyhighpermeability to be derivedfrom pyrite-"chalcocite"
at the baseof the supergeneenrichment. It is here "classic"leachedcappinginterpretation(e.g., Tunell,
and not at the top of the enrichmentblanket that 1930). Both this shelland the lower cappingimnativecopperand cupriteare locallyabundantre- mediatelyabovethe top of sulfideapparentlyrepreplacingsupergene"chalcocite."
sent a second-stageoxidation of sulfide which had

Leachedcappin7

previouslyproduceda jarositiccappingduring an
earlierperiodof oxidation. Presumably,the altera-

Most of the importantcharacteristics


of the limo-

tion of jarositeto hematite-goethite


occurredat this

more or less earthy jarosite. It containsareas of

in the Turquoise Gulch area culminateda long vol-

nitezonesare summarized
in thelegendof Figure21. time.
Copper is reduced to low backgroundlevels
In the fringinggoethiticzone,most of the limohire
capping
is in lacingveinlets.Dissemination
increases
inward, (mostlylessthan0.05% Cu) in nonreactive
especially
in the volcanics
and quartzporphyry,as alteredto sericiteor advancedargillic assemblages.
does the abundance of hematite. Most of this limoComparison
of manyassaysimmediately
aboveand
nite is indigenous
ratherthantransported,
in that it belowthe top of sulfideconfirmsthat molybdenum
lines sulfide cavities.
and gold are relativelyimmobileduring supergene
In the morecentraljarositezone,jarositeforms leachingand enrichment. Silver tends to be leached
abundant
disseminations
aswellasveinlets,
especiallyfrom the oxidecapping,but not nearlyas efficiently
in porphyry.
Jarosite
ischaracteristically
disseminatedas copper. Iron, on the other hand, tends to be
in the sitesof originalplagioclase
phenocrysts
now slightlyenrichedin the leachedcappingrelativeto
alteredto sericiteassemblages.
Crystalline
jarosite the underlying sulfide zone. Although there is
is usuallythe onlylimonitemineralin the jarosite local redistributionof iron by supergeneprocesses,
zoneexceptlocallywherehematite-goethite
is abund- the overalliron contentof the leachedcappingapant. In one tunnel,pyritic sulfidewastealternates pears to reflect fairly well the iron content of the
with jarositiclimonitecut by occasional
veinletsand rocks before oxidation.
haloswith hematite-goethite.There is no difference
Interpretations
in sulfideor silicatemineralogy
to accountfor the
localizationof the hematite-goethite.The large Volcaniceventsand depthoI eraplacement
centralzonedesignated
"alteredjarositiccapping"is
The formationof porphyry coppermineralization
a mixed zone dominatedby hematite-goethite
with

904

L. B. GUSTAFSON

AND

]. P. HUNT

pressuresin the intruding viscousmelt at an estimated depth of about 2 km were somewhatgreater


eralization is associated was intruded into a volcanic
than lithostatic. As the depthis not preciselyknown,
much greater than lithostaticare not
centerwhichhad producedtwo previousperiodsof overpressures
inferred,but pressures
muchgreaterthan
elsic
volcanismroughly9 m.y. and 4 m.y. prior to necessarily
the main ore-forming event. The early rhyolite hydrostaticare clearlyrequired.
Obviously, some kind of aqueousfluid was redomeswereformedduringa periodof volcanismthat
had apparentlybuilt up a thick volcanicpile in the quired to accomplishbulk transport of metals and
region. The geometriesof the quartz rhyolite and other elementsdepositedor removedduring Early
quartzporphyryintrusionsindicatea shallow,near- mineralization and alteration. Possible sources of
surface emplacementfollowing possiblysignificant this fluid are the melt itself or meteoric water from
erosionof the early volcanicpile. Minor copperand surroundinghost rocks. Meteoric water, driven by
molybdenum
mineralizationwas associated
with the hydrostaticpressureof cooler,denserwater in the
volcaniccentersof this secondvolcanicstage. We do outer part of a convectivesystem,such as that ennot know how large a volcanicedificewas built dur- visionedby White (1968), is not a likely sourcefor
ing this secondvolcanicevent or how much erosion the simplereasonthat it couldnot get into the highprecededthe intrusion of the main porphyry se- pressureregion where Early mineralizationat E1
quence. It seemsimprobablethat much more than Salvadorwas accomplished.This is not to say that
1 to 2 km of cover above the present topography somemeteoricwater may not have enteredby difwere presentwhen the porphyrieswere intruded, fusionor by bulk transportinto the outer or upper
but we do not havea precisemeasureof this thick- portionsof the K-silicate-alteredzonebeforethe end
ness.
of Early mineralizationor that this might not be a
The 0.704 value of initial s7Sr/S6Srin all rocks moreimportantprocessin other deposits. It is very
analyzedis more similar to valuesin oceaniccrust significant that not all of the several and otherand island arcs than to values in thick sialic crust, wise similar porphyry intrusionswere accompanied
suchas that whichapparentlyunderliesE1 Salvador by K-silicate alteration and copper mineralization.
(Munizagaet al., 1973;Lomnitz,1962). This indi- Therefore, somethingmore than just heat for driving
catesthat the porphyrymelts did not assimilatea meteoricconvectivesystemsmust havebeeninvolved
significantamountof this crust during their passage to explainwhy neitherthe early rhyolitesand quartz
throughit, althoughincorporationof overlyingTerti- porphyrynor the late "L" and "A" Porphyry intrusionsinto this area accomplished
important Earlyary volcanics
cannotbe excluded.
type mineralizationand alteration. At least some
Early intrusion,alteration,and mineraligation
water capableof transportingvery large quantities
Most of the copperat E1 Salvadorwas emplaced of dissolvedelements(Burnham, 1967) must have
during the Early period of alteration-mineralizationbeen releasedfrom the crystallizingporphyry melt
that accompaniedthe emplacementof the first two and underlying magma chamber. Even though we
major intrusions("X" and "K" Porphyries). The do not know the massof this magma,its water content, or many of the other factors necessaryfor
formation of K-silicate alteration assemblages,"A"
quartz veins,and chalcopyrite-bornite
mineralization quantitativeevaluation,it seemsto us that magmatic
occurredrepeatedly,eachtime closelyrelatedin time water is the major componentof the Early minand spaceto multiple individual intrusive surges eralizingfluids.
We haveobservedthat K-silicatealterationappears
within each of the intrusive units. The irregular
with propylitic fringe mindiscontinuous
structureof the very early quartzveins to be contemporaneous
suggestsfracturing of a plastic rather than a brittle eralizationand zonally relatedto it, while both are
rock. The silicates,sulfides,and anhydrite in these older than sericiticand pyritic assemblages.ThereEarly assemblages
are integral parts of the Early fore, we believethat prior to the intrusionof the last
veinsand their halosand must havebeenformed-very ,major ("L") porphyry, a central zone of K-silicate
shortly after consolidationof the porphyry melt. alteration and chalcopyrite-bornitemineralization
patternbuilt aroundsuccessive
These samealterationassemblages
and textures have (possiblya composite
intrusive
surges)
was
surroundedby a broadzoneof
also been locally seenforming thin reactionzones
within the intruding rock at intrusivecontacts,ap- weak propyliticalterationinto whichit gradedwith
parently by alterationof phenocrystswithin a still decreasingabundanceof sulfidesand proportionof
unconsolidated
melt. The pressureand temperature bornite. At that time, there were no more than
of this Early type of alteration-mineralization
were sparsepyrite and little or no sericitic or argillic
very closeto that of the final crystallizationof the alterationat presentlevelsof exposure. During the
the lastmajor
melt itself. As illustratedin Figure 27, the inferred waningstagesof Early mineralization,

canic history in the Indio Muerto district. The


granodioriticporphyrycomplexwith whichthe min-

THEPORPHYRY
COPPER
DEPOSITAT EL SALVADOR,
CHILE

905

The nature of the fluids associatedwith this


porphyry
stock("L" Porphyry)wasintruded,
deTransitional
time of mineralizationmay be reflected
stroying
thenorthwesterly
quarterof thepreexisting
in
the
fluid
inclusions
trappedin "A" and"B" quartz
Earlypatternofmineralization.
Someof thecopper,
veins.
These
appear
to havebeenboilingsaline
sulfide,potassium,
and volatilesassimilated
by the
rangingfromabout
"L" Porphyrymagmaat lowerlevelsmovedupward fluidstrappedat temperatures
presandfinallysettled
in thecoolerportions
of the"L" 350Cto greaterthan600C. Corresponding
Porphyry
intrusion
itself,as shown
by theincreasesuresalongthe liquidvaporcurvefor 40% NaC1
in intensityof mineralization
upwardwithinthis brinerangeroughlyfrom200 to greaterthan900
curveapproximates
thepresporphyrystock. Stronglytelescoped
patternsof bars.This liquid-vapor
environment
of Transitional
minmineralizationand alteration about the margins of sure-temperature
(Fig. 27), althoughKC1 in the brine
"L" Porphyryalsosuggest
lateralremobilization
and eralization

would lower the indicatedpressuresomewhat(R.


the "L" Porphyrymassduringsubsequent
cooling. Fournier,pers.commun.,1973).
The evidenceindicatesa progressivechangein
Hydrogenand oxygenistotopic
evidence
(Shepthe influenceof the thermal and chemicalregime of

pardand Gustafson,
in prep.) supports
theseinterpretations.Solutions
responsible
forEarlyK-silicate
alterationappearto haveequilibrated
isotopically
at
magmatic
temperature
with a largereser.voir
of igneous silicates. We have no evidence to indicate

physicalconditions
duringthe Transitional
period.
This changeis interpreted
as markingthe first significantinflowof groundwater into the coolingintrusive center. This inflow was made possibleby
the cessation
of magmaticactivityand attendantde-

creases
in pressure
andtemperature.
Contraction
of
intrusivecolumnon cooling
complished
by magmatic
or meteoricsolutions,
but the verticallyelongate
belowlithostatic
Taylor's (1974) studiesin the westernCascadesmay well haveloweredpressures
flat fractures
with localandprobably
suggestby analogythat meteoricwater is more andproduced
whether the fringing propyliticalterationwas ac-

transient'hydrostatic
pressures.Ratesof influxprobgreatly,but the rate of coolingof the
Possiblyas muchas 109tonsof oxidizedsulfur ablyfluctuated
were fixed as anhydriteduringthis Early stageof intrusive center would have increased. The ranges
and pressures
of fillingof fluid inalteration-mineralization.
The argumentspresented of temperatures
aboveas well as the isotopicevidencemakeit most clusionsin "B" veinsapparentlyreflectthis period
unlikelythattheoxygenrequired
wasintroduced
with of decliningand probablyfluctuatingpressuresand
oxygenated
groundwater.Althoughit is conceivabletemperatures.During the Transitionalperiod,con-

probable.

that oxidized sulfur was introduced with the por-

ditionsshiftedfrom near-magmatictemperaturesand

able that sulfur was oxidized at sh.


allow levels during

derivedfrom the magmato Late environments


under
hydrostatic
pressures
andrelativelylow temperatures
dominated
by meteoricwaters. The shift in isotopic
composition
of the fluidsresponsible
for Transitional

phyrymeltfroma verydeepsource,
it is moreprob- lithostaticpressuresdominatedby aqueousfluids
mineralization. The likely mechanismis the dissociation
of magmaticwaterin response
to leakageof
highlymobilehydrogengas from the magmaticsystem. The accompanying
productionof hydrogen

and Late mineralization(Sheppardand Gustarson,


in prep.) is compatiblewith this interpretation.
of meteoricwater at E1
2H + probably contributed to extensive hydrogen However, the composition
Salvador
before
the
uplift
of
the Andes was probmetasomatism
in higherand coolerparts of the deably
not
sufficiently
light
isotopically
to be unamposit.The probableduteriumenrichment
in the remainingfluidsmay be responsible
for the calculated biguously identified as meteoric. The observed
8D shift in the hydrothermalfluids (Sheppard and isotopicshift suggestsfurther modificationof this
water through evaporation, exchange with rock
Gustafson,
in prep.).
silicates,and possiblehydrogenleakage.Quantificaions from reactions such as H2S + 202--> SO4 = +

Transitional

mineralixation

tion of the relative abundance of magmatic and

meteoric-hydrothermal
water at differenttimes durAs consolidation
and coolingof the intrusivecom- ing mineralizationat E1 Salvadoris not possible.
plex progressed,the structuraland chemicalchar- Late mineraliation and alteration
acter of the accompanying
mineralizationshifted.
After the intrusive complex had sufficiently
Randomlyoriented,discontinuous,
irregularveining
gave way to continuousveins with systematicori- cooled,probablybelowabout350C, meteoricwaentationsand internal symmetry. At about this ters worked inward along fractures and reacted
time, a set of flat vein structuresappeared,suggest- with previouslymineralizedwall rock to produce

ing a verticalreleaseof pressures


throughoutthe intrusivecomplex.

pyritic mineralizationand K-feldspar-destructive


alteration ("D" veins and the peripheralzone of

906

L. B. GUSTAFSON

AND J. P. HUNT

ently due both to higher lateral permeabilitiesand


to
more reactiveand alkali-richvolcanicglassin the
G
siliceouspyroclasticsthan in the underlying ande100.
j ----___vD"VEINSSRICITIZATION
-- PHYc,
Ros'rA'l'lC
(!Km)
sites. The quartz porphyry dikes also appear to
/
X,t
PYRIT[-BORNITE-JARTZ-5RICITf-- m
havebeenpermeablezonesutilizedby inflowingwaSURFIClAL "' I
PYROIIYLLITE-
"
ters circulating at depth around the cooling "L"
300.
misP
I-TEE
I
TRANSITION
AL
ALUNITE-PYRITE
-
VEINS-NO ALTERATION
Porphyry stock.
o :)
QUARTZ-MOLYRDENITECHALCOPY
RTE: ac
ANHYDRITE-TOURMALINE
The patterns of high-sulfurassemblages
(pyritebornite,pyrite-"chalcocite,"and pyrite-covellite) at
high levelscorrespondonly generallywith patterns
600of strong sericiticalteration. Roots of thesesulfide
assemblages
extend below into the K-feldspar-bear800ing assemblages.The texturesof pyritic assemblages
900(Fig. 25) are interpretedas resultingfrom a reworking
of Early assemblages
by additionof sulfur.
1000This probablyoccurredwith little or no additionof
1100
copper,althoughin someareasa significantincrease
1200
in the protoregradecanbe inferredpassingupward
from pyrite-chalcopyrite
into pyrite-bornite-chalcopyrite assemblages
with reactiontextures.
During the relativelyearly part of the Late minFiG. 27. Pressure-temperatureenvironmentsof intrusion
T (.c) ------

100

200

00

400

500

600

700

800

900

700-

eralization,lowerlevel sericite-chlorite-pyrite
fringe
mineralizationwas probablyoverlainby a zone of
sericite with or without andalusite,with pyritetime of formation.
bornite-chalcopyrite
(or "c.halcocite").We believe
sericiticalteration). T.hiswater was probablypart that this upper zone cut acrossthe "L" Porphyry
of a large, deep convectivesystemdriven by the intrusive complex above the present erosionlevel
heat from the intrusive center. A final magmatic of TurquoiseGulchand drapeddownwardaroundit.
surgelocalized
in the northeastern
lobeof the "L" Still later, solfatarichot-springactivity causedadvancedargillic alteration,reworkingof sulfides,rePorphyrystockapparently
opened
a radial-concentric patternof fractures
for Late ("D") veinmin- movalof copper,and formationof additionalpyritic
eralization. Mineralizationduring this Late period waste. The local formation of corundumthrough
is muchmore obviouslycontrolledby throughgoing leaching of silica from andalusitesites is evidence
fractures than during the Early period. This is for the presenceof a shallow convectivesystem,
probablydue to the brittlenatureof the cooled becauseinward-movingand warming water would
porphyrystocks
as well as to the reduced
perme- have a tendencyto becomeundersaturatedand to
abilitiesof the rocksresultingfrom earlier anhydrite leach silica from the siliceous rocks. The absence
of pyrophyllitein the
and other alteration and mineralization. Relatively of kaoliniteandthe abundance
are noteworthyand
unfracturedLate vein quartz contrastswith in- advancedargillic assemblages
tenselyfracturedquartzin olderveins,reflecting
a suggesta relativelyhigh temperatureand high silica
The
marked decrease in the intense local stresses that activityin the very late hot-springenvironment.
widespreadoccurrenceof a diaspore-pyrophylliteattendedintrusionof the porphyries.
whichapparentlyis not an equilibUpperandperipheral
zonesof Latealteration
and quartzassemblage,
mineralizationwere progressively
formedby inward rium assemblage(Hemley, 1969), suggestsvery
and downward encroachmentof meteoric waters re- localcontrolof silicaactivityin the rockand probworkingearliermineralization.Late patternsof ably low pressure.
alteration and mineralization were strongly influThe Late vein environment(Fig. 27) is a natural
extension
of the evolutionarytrend initiated when
encedby the "L" Porphyrymass,whichwas the
and Early, Transitional,and Late min)eralization-alteration
at

E1 Salvador. Lithostatic and hydrostatic pressuresare noted


for 2 km, the approximatedepth of presentexposuresat the

principal
source
of heatduringLatemineralization.meteoricwaters beganto encroachon the mineralThe Hornitos unconformityalso influencedthe

ized center during Transitionaltime. Important

patternof Latealteration
andmineralization
(Fig. from the standpointof hypogenealterationis the

20). There is muchmore pervasivedevelopmentfactthat K+/H +valuesalongthe P-T path (Fig. 27)
of disseminated
pyritic sulfidesand associated
hy- beganin the vicinity of the K-feldspar-andalusite
drolyticalterationabovethe generallevel of the boundary. Althoughtotal KC1/HC1 relationsare
Hornitosunconformity
than at lower elevationsin not shown,this impliesa significantreservoirof total
boththe porphyries
andvolcanics.This is appar- acidityas unionizedHC1 in the brinesat high tem-

THE PORPHYRY COPPERDEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR, CHILE

907

andsuppression
by build-upof
peratureto be consumed
by alterati9nwith falling preventcondensation
temperature
(MeyerandHemley,1967). The fact hydrostaticpressure. The effect was probably
that abundantquartz was depositedbut practically a short-livedgeyserfield at the surfaceof what is
no wall-rock alteration was accomplishedduring
Transitional "B" vein formation suggests rapid
dumping of silica in responseto very rapid decrease in temperature and pressure rather than
continued solution flow along the vein structures.
Pressureprobablyfluctuatedbetweenlithostaticand
hydrostaticas waningmagmaticforcesand thermal
stresseswere active,and temperaturerespondedto

now TurquoiseGulch. This may have occurredin


two distinctperiods,producingthe two radial setsof
pebbledikes of different ages. Each radial set may
reflect a separateadvanceof latite magma causing
doming and tensionalopeningof shallowfractures.
It is noteworthy that pebble dikes, although extremely commonin porphyry copper deposits,have

not beenreportedin volcanichot-springsareas,such


sporadicinflowof coolermeteoricwaterandthermal as YellowstonePark. Perhaps this is partly due

effects
ofboilingbrinesolutions.
Widespread
seric[- to poor exposureand they have been overlooked.
tic alteration about "D" veins began with the continued influx of meteoricwater but probably with
continuingsupplyof volatile magmaticconstituents
and someoxidationof H2S. Fluid inclusionstrapped
during this time have relatively low salinity.
As relativelycool meteoricwater encroached
inward and downward on the mineralized zone, it
probably dissolvedEarly-formed anhydrite in upper
and peripheralparts of the orebody,contributingto
the pervasivereplacementof Early assemblages
by
Late assemblages. Pyrite and anhydrite were depositedin halos of deep "D" veins where there is
also evidenceof extractionof copper. This and an

apparentshift to isotopicallyheavy sulfur in Late


assemblages
(Field andGustarson,
in prep.) supports
speculation
that a processof dissolution
of Early mineralization at levels below present exposure may
have been the sourceof most of the sulfur (and
presumablyalso the copper) emplacedduring Late

On the other hand, the absenceof pebbledikesmay


indicatethat the waning or terminal stageof volcanism and magmaticactivity has not yet been
reached.

Supergeneprocesses

Supergeneoxidationand leachingof copperfrom


the surficialzoneand its depositionin an enrichment
blanket were responsiblefor the formationof the
commericalorebody. SecondaryCu-S minerals
extensivelyreplacedchalcopyriteand bornite but
coatedpyrite with little or no replacement.
The earlyjarositiccappingoverthe orebodymust
have been formed under different physical and
chemical conditions than those under

which the

underlyingjarosite-freecappingwas formed. Both


cappingsrepresent oxidation of the same sulfides
in the same generallynonreactivegangue assem-

mineralization.

blage. The lower cappingis interpretedin the


usualwayas a productof an attackby an oxidizing,

Mechanismo1
t ltormationo) pebbledikes

acid, relatively cold ground water on mineralized


rock. The upper jarositiccappingmay have been

Langerfeldt (1964a) suggesteda mechanismof


fluidization for the origin of pebble dikes at E1
Salvador. The probableexistenceof an overlying
hot-springsystemat E1 Salvadorduring the time of
pebble-dikeformation suggeststhat the medium of
fluidization was ground water. The pebble dikes
were probably formed when fluidizing steam
columns in fractures were generatedwhen latite
magma rising in fractures encounteredground water. Becausethe thermal gradient in the hot-spring
systemwas already closeto the boiling curve, boiling even around"blind" dikesat depthwas able to
expel steamfrom the fracturesto the surface. Pressure in individual fractures was thereby lowered
well below liquid hydrostaticand well below the
boilingpoint for the temperatureof the wall rocks.
Spontaneousboiling of water from the walls promoted spread of the upward fluidizing flow of
steam in the interconnected fractures.

Fluidization

was sustainedas long as the thermal gradient and


the rate of outflow of stream were high enough to

formedearlier and at highertemperatureduring


the waningstagesof the acidgeothermal
hot-spring
systemabove the coolingintrusions. During the
formationof eachcapping,downwardcopperenrichment probablyoccurred. The presentenrichment
blanketis in effecta composite
of bothsupergene
environments.

Chemicalgainsandlosses

Hundredsof thousands
of analyses
for copperand
thousands
of analyses
for selected
elements
(Mo, Au,
Ag, Fe, S, K, Na, and others) as well as several
dozenwhole-rockanalyseswere made. Although
variousempiricalchemicalpatternshave emerged,
we cannotgive quantitativeestimatesfor the chemi-

cal gainsand lossesduring alterationand mineralization because fresh rocks are not available for

comparison. Even the andesitesin the mine area


are so obscuredby alteration that correlation of

individualunits with unalteredequivalents


outside
the mine area is impossible.Moreover,in addition

908

L. B. GUSTAFSON AND .l'. P. HUNT

to significantoriginal chemicalvariation in both

blages, and the same general evolutionarytrend


can be seen in many deposits. Yet each deposit
many complexitiesintroducedby the sequenceof is unique in detail. We suggestthat these differalteration assemblagesthat we have detected and ences result principally from differencesin the
described.
degree of developmentof Early vs. Lat.e types of
Quantitative estimates of chemical grains can mineralizationand alteration and in the degree of
therefore be made only for those elementsthat were distortion of geometric patterns relative to those
In some deprobably entirely added to the rocks during min- we have described for E1 Salvador.
eralization. Thus, for example,it is reasonableto posits,Late assemblages
may be more weaklydevelestimatethat mineralizationin the TurquoiseGulch oped than Early assemblages(e.g., Yerington,
center alone introduced 107 tons of Cu, 105 tons of Atlas-Lutopan). In others, the central K-silicate
Mo, and between108 and 10tons of S, depending zonemay containvery low concentrations
of sulfides,
on assumptionsabout the original extent of the whilethe ore is largelyconfinedto the fringingsericianhydrite zone. Comparisonbetween fresh and tic andrelativelypyriticzone(e.g., San Manuel). In
alteredrocksshowschangeson the order of 10- g/
still other examples,the Early mineralizationmay
cc, or 10* tons per kma, for most elements. Howextendwell beyondor aboveany exposureof a large
ever, for mostmajor elementsit is difficultto deter- porphyrymass(e.g., Ray), or Late pyritic and serimine whether the net chemicalchangesrepresenta citic assemblages
may be superimposed
acrossthe
gain or a losswhen the whole depositis considered. central part of an exposedpattern where evidence
For example,the total volumeof porphyryand ande- for Early alteration and mineralizationmay be
site affectedby strongK-silicate alterationwas ap- maskedor almostlacking(e.g., Cananea). Calcium
proximately 6 kma. Approximately 20 kma of may be partly fixed as carbonateas well as anhyof
andesiteand porphyry were altered to sericiticas- drite or insteadof it in the alterationassemblages
semblages. Thus, possiblelossesin FeO and MgO
somedeposits(e.g., Ajo, Bingham). Late intrusive
and gainsin Na20, K20, and probablySiO2during activityor pebblebrecciasmay removemuch of the
K-silicate alteration could be on the order of 108
Early pattern in still others (e.g., E1 Teniente).
tons for each element. However, several times Presentlevels of exposurealso influencehow much
as much rock was affected by later base-leaching of the true patternsare observed.
alteration processes(hydrogen-ionmetasomatism),
Many other variationsexist, but we suggestthat
whichcouldeasilyreversechemicalchangesresult- they are only "variations on a theme." We see
ing from Early alteration and mineralization. essentially
similarprocesses
and evolutionarytrends
Chemical gains and lossesmust therefore be char- at work in each case. The essential elements are
acterizedin an appropriatetime framewith the evolu- (1) relativelyshallowemplacement
of a usually
tion of the mineral assemblages. For example, complex series of porphyritic stocks and dikes in
sodiumand then potassiumwere progressivelyre- and abovethe cupolazone of an underlyinglarger
moved as sericiticand then advancedargillic assem- batholithicbody, (2) metasomati
introductionof
blages were superimposed. Calcium appears to copperand other metals, sulfur, alkalis, and hydrohave been largely fixed as anhydrite in K-silicate gen ions from the solidifyingmelt into both the
and sericitic alteration but was removed by super- porphyriesand the country rock, usually during
gene solutionsand probably also during advanced onlypart of the intrusiveprocess,and (3) the interargillic alteration. Magnesiumwas apparentlyre- reactionof ground water with the coolingmineralmoved in eachsuccessive
alteration assemblage.Iron
ized center. The inevitableevolutionarytrends at
was reducedby supergenekaolinizationof biotite the site of mineralizationfollowing each main inand chloriteand by "chalcocite"replacementof chal- trusive stageare decreasingtemperatureand prescopyrite and bornite. Copper was extracted from sure, transition from alkali to hydrogen-ionmetaEarly assemblages
in deep "D" vein halos and em- somatism,and increasingsulfide-ionactivityin the
placed higher in the veins. A dissolutionof anhy- mineralizingfluids. The major variablesrelate to
drite and sulfides from still deeper Early assem- the geometries and time factors of the intrusive
blages may have been the source of most of the processand includedifferencesin depthof emplacesulfur fixed as Late pyrite-anhydrite.
ment, degree of availabilityof ground water, size
and timing of successivemagma advances,and
Genetic model--variations
on a theme
abundanceof metals and mineralizingelementsin
Porphyry copperdepositsfrom many parts of the the fluids evolved from the melt.
The deeper the emplacementof a mineralizing
world displaymany featuressimilar to those at E1
Salvador. Very similar rock textures, types of porphyryor the drier the countryrock due to prior
veining,patternsof alteration-mineralization
assem- intrusivehistoryo aridity of climateor other hyintrusive rocks and andesitic host rocks, there are

SCHEMATIC
GEOLOGIC
CROSS
SECTION
BEFORE TLTING

EARLY
ALTERATION
MINERALIZATION
BEFORE INTRUSION ofond
"L" PORPHYRY

EROSION

./

MAIN
PERIOD
ofLATE
ALTERATION
ondMINERALIZATION
AFTER
INTRUSION
of"L"
PORPHYRY
S I II

VERY
LATE
POST-MINERAL
HOT
SPRING
STAGE
INTRUSION
LATITE

LIZATION

/ MAGMAT1C
HDROTHERId&L
SOLUTIONS
U' /
E1 Salvador

Genetic

L.ATITE
DIKES

" '' / METEORIC


HYDROTH

Model

FIG. 28. E1 Salvador genetic model.

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

Cortesia de
_Geolibros_

THE PORPHYRY COPPERDEPOSIT AT EL SALVADOR, CHILE

drologicfactors,the slowerthe porphyrywill be to

911

oxidationand leachingof near-surfacerocks with

cool, the less telescopedthe temperature gradients formation of the sulfide enrichment blanket and
and mineralizationpatternsaboutit, and the weaker kaolinitic alteration below has already been illusthe Late effectscausedby reworkingwith ground trated on Figure 21 and can be visualizedas the

water. The moremassivethe mineralizedporphyry fourth and last step to the sequenceillustratedin
units and the more closely timed the intrusive Figure 28.
surges, the less chance for cooling of individual
Acknowledgments
porphyry units. This allowsthe evolutionto Transitional or Late mineralization before reintroduction
Although the authors assumefull responsibility
of Early featuresaboutthe secondsurgeand pro- for the interpretationsand conclusionspresented
ducesa composite
evolutionarysequence.The less here, we gratefullyacknowledge
the very important
copperin the parentmagma,the lesschanceof pro- contributionsof many other Anacondageologists.
ducing economicconcentrations
in any stage of As is the case in many discoveries,many persons
alteration-mineralization.
We urge cautionto those sharethe credit for the discoveryof the E1 Salvador
whoapplya "typical"porphyrycoppermodelto the orebody. However, Vincent D. Perry and William
solutionof major geologicproblemsand especially H. Swaynedeservesspecialrecognition.Perry was
to thosewho are responsible
for wisely investing the first to recognizethe significance
of the Turtheir corporation's
explorationfunds!
quoise Gulch mineralizationand as part of AnaThe seriesof diagramsin Figure 28 attemptsto conda'stop managementvigorouslysupportedall
portray our ideas of the evolution of the E1 Salva- stagesof subsequentexplorationand development
dor orebodyin graphicform. In thesediagrams of the orebody.Swayhe'saggressive,systematic,
and
we have extrapolated well .below and above the intelligent detailed mapping of the prospect and
roughly1 km of vertical exposurepresentat E1 directionof the drilling program was a major factor
Salvadorto showan inferredcupolaof a batholithic in the success
of the project. Swayhe'sdeterminamassanda kilometeror moreof overlyingvolcanic tion and confidencein completingthe fifth and
cover. DiagramA showingonly the presentrock crucial discovery hole was especiallyimportant.
pattern servesas a "basemap" for the following Moreovermostof Swayne'smappingand interpretathree sequentialdiagrams.
tions have withstood remarkably well the close
DiagramB showsthe development
of a simple, scrutiny of more than 20 subsequentgeologists.
Frank Trask Jr. deservesspecialcredit for his
thoughprobably
composite
patternof Early mineralization and alteration about the "X" and "K"
highly constructivelea'dershipof the residentgeoPorphyry bodies formed before intrusion of "L" logicaldepartmentduring the period when much of
Porphyryandthe influx of a significant
amountof the present researchwas done. The work of Hans
meteoric water. Although we .have inferred the Langerfeldt, Roger Eckstrand, Alvaro Souriron,
formation
of sericite-pyrite
at veryhighelevationsDavid Heatwole, Julian Hemley, Nick Davis, and
during this stage,we have no direct evidencehere. Howell Williams also was especiallyimportantto
Early sericite-pyrite
is probably
not essential,
par- our understanding
of the E1 Salvadordeposit.Charles
ticularlyin depositswith little or no oxidationof Meyer'spioneeringideason porphyrycopperwere
sulfurto formanhydrite.
a constantstimulationduring our work at E1 SalIn diagramC we showthe subsequent
effectof vador. He has providedparticularlyusefuladvice
intrusion
of "L" Porphyrycausing
upwardremobi- and commentduring the preparationof this manulizationof Early assemblages
and influencing
the script,as did JulianHemley.
inward and downwardencroaching
ground-water Simon M.. F. Sheppard,Cyrus W. Field, and
systemduringLate mineralization.
Pyrite-bornite- ChristopherBrookscontributedisotopicanalysesof
sericite
assemblages
arepervasive
at higherelevationsselectedsuitesof specimens
from E1 Salvador.Edwin
but restrictedto "D" vein structuresbelow. The Roedderand the U.S. GeologicalSurvey provided

peripheral
zoneof pyriticandsericiticmineralization laboratory
facilitiesandassistance
for the study(by
decreases
in intensitybothdownward
and outward. Gustafson)of a group of fluid inclusions.
DiagramD showsthe postmineral
formationof
We also acknowledgewith gratitude the contribupebbledikes,triggeredby the intrusionof latite tion of Anaconda'stop management,who continu-

dikes. This occurred


duringthe furtherencroach-ously supportedour efforts over the decadeduring
mentof anacidgeothermal
hot-spring
system
driven whichthis work wascarriedout and havepermitted
bytheresidual
heatoftheporphyry
center
andshal- its publication. The addedcostof printing colored

lowconvection
in theuppersiliceous
volcanic
pile. illustrationswas underwrittenby the Societyof
EconomicGeologistsFoundation,Inc.
Reworking
of primaryassemblages
by supergene

912

L. B. GUSTAFSON

L. B. G.
2USTILALIAN NATIONAL

Langerfeldt, Hans, 1960, Quartz vein mapping: 'Unpub.


company rept., Andes Copper Mining Company.
-1964a, Pebble dikes at E1 Salvador: unpub. company
rept., Andes Copper Mining Company.
1964b, Quartz vein project--progress report: unpub.
company rept., Andes Copper Mining Company.
Lomnitz, C., 1962, On Andean structure: Jour. Geophys.
Research, v. 67, p. 351-363.
Lowell, J. D., and Guilbert, J. M., 1970, Lateral and vertical
alteration-mineralization zoning in porphyry ore deposits:
Ecoa. GEOL.,V. 65, p. 378-408.
Meyer, C., and Hemley, J. J., 1967, Wall rock alteration, in
Barnes, H. L., ed., Geochemistryof hydrothermal ore deposits: New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., p.

UNIVERSITY

CANBEmA,A.C.T., AUSTRALXA

J.P. H.
SCRIPPS INSTITUTION

OF OCEANOGRAPHY

LA JOLLA,CALIFORNIA92037
December10, 1974,' February 20, 1975
FoR REPRINTS,WRITE:
THE ANACONDA COMPANY
GENERAL MINING
DlVlSlON
P.O. Box 27007

166-235.

Munizaga, F., Aguirre, L., and Herve, F., 1972, Rb/Sr

TucsoN, ARXZONA
85726
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AND J. P. HUNT

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Cortesia de
_Geolibros_