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Book Chapter

Controls on Copper Distribution at the Bingham Canyon Porphyry Cu-Mo-Au Deposit

By
John P. Porter
John P. Porter
Kennecott Utah Copper, South Jordan, Utah, 84095
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Kim Schroeder
Kim Schroeder
Kennecott Utah Copper, South Jordan, Utah, 84095
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Gerry Austin
Gerry Austin
Kennecott Utah Copper, South Jordan, Utah, 84095
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

A comprehensive look at the closely spaced blast hole samples, exploration drill data, and a resource model interpolated from diamond exploration drilling data show that the distinct molar tooth shape of the Bingham Canyon orebody has strong lithologic controls at depth. At and below the level of current mining Cu occurs in the Bingham stock as a ring approximately 4000 feet in diameter, centered on a barren core located at the eastern end of the quartz monzonite porphyry (QMP). A smaller ring of Cu (about 2500 feet in diameter) is centered on the southwest end of the QMP. The mineralized cylinders are broken where chemical and physical differences between the mineralized intrusive rocks and the barren quartzites on the south and west sides of the Bingham stock cause gaps in the regular Cu distribution, leading to the distinctive root zones of the Bingham porphyry system. These root zones are artifacts of favorable host rock and not products of multiple mineralization centers or structural control.

Blasthole and diamond drill hole assay data show broadly continuous grade through monzonite (MZ), QMP and latite porphyry (LP) dikes, though locally grade changes occur across LP contacts. A drop in grade within quartz latite porphyry (QLP) dikes is common. The overall consistency of grade across intrusive contacts including the LP suggests that the main pulse of mineralization, associated with the QMP, spanned the period of subsequent LP intrusion. Mineralization had notably waned by the time of QLP emplacement, leading to lower Cu grades in the QLP throughout the system.

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Contents

Society of Economic Geologists Guidebook Series

Tops and Bottoms of Porphyry Copper Deposits: The Bingham and Southwest Tintic Districts, Utah

Ken Krahulec
Ken Krahulec
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Kim Schroeder
Kim Schroeder
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
41
ISBN electronic:
9781934969946
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

GeoRef

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