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Geological and metallogenetic characteristics of the porphyry copper deposits of México and their situation in the world context

By
Martín Valencia-Moreno
Martín Valencia-Moreno
1
Estación Regional del Noroeste, Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Apartado Postal 1039, Hermosillo, Sonora 83000, México
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Lucas Ochoa-Landín
Lucas Ochoa-Landín
2
Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora 83000, México
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Benito Noguez-Alcántara
Benito Noguez-Alcántara
3
Servicios Industriales Peñoles S.A. de C.V., Blvd. Navarrete 277, Hermosillo, Sonora 83170, México
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Joaquin Ruiz
Joaquin Ruiz
4
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
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Efrén Pérez-Segura
Efrén Pérez-Segura
5
Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora 83000, México
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Published:
January 01, 2007

The sustained magmatic activity along the North American Cordillera during late Mesozoic and Paleogene times produced the emplacement of numerous porphyry copper deposits. This activity extended by most of western México, particularly along the northwestern part of the country. This region, along with Arizona and New Mexico in the United States, contains one of the most important centers of copper mineralization on Earth. Most of the Mexican deposits lie in the eastern part of the Laramide magmatic belt (90–40 Ma) and were formed predominantly between 75 and 50 Ma. The largest deposits occur in northeastern Sonora and are represented by Cananea (∼30 Mt Cu) and La Caridad (∼8 Mt Cu). The copper ores are locally accompanied by molybdenum, tungsten, gold, and other metals. However, the metal distribution is apparently coupled with major changes in the basement of emplacement, which can be roughly separated into three domains: a northern domain characterized by Proterozoic crystalline rocks of North American affinity; a central domain composed of Paleozoic deep-marine basin rocks underlain by the Proterozoic North American rocks; and a southern domain, represented by Mesozoic island-arc–related sequences of the Guerrero terrane. Sr and Nd isotopic data from Laramide plutons along these domains suggest that the basement modified the final composition of the Laramide magmas. Also, the basement seems to have partly controlled the metal commodities along the porphyry copper belt, with relatively larger deposits characterized by Cu-Mo-W mineralization in the northern and central domains, and smaller and more Cu-Au dominated systems in the southern (more oceanic) domain.

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GSA Special Papers

Geology of Me´xico: Celebrating the Centenary of the Geological Society of Me´xico

Susana A. Alaniz-Álvarez
Susana A. Alaniz-Álvarez
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Ángel F. Nieto-Samaniego
Ángel F. Nieto-Samaniego
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Geological Society of America
Volume
422
ISBN print:
9780813724225
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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