Abstract

A large porphyry molybdenum deposit (Quartz Hill deposit) was recently discovered in the heart of the Coast Range batholithic complex about 70 km east of Ketchikan, southeastern Alaska. Intrusive rocks associated with the mineral deposit form two composite epizonal to hypabyssal stocks and many dikes in country rocks. The stocks are characterized by a variety of textural rock types varying from equigranular or weakly seriate biotite granite to porphyries with aphanitic or very fine grained and aplitic groundmasses. These rocks contain about equal amounts of quartz, albitic plagioclase, and microperthitic microcline and less than 2.5% biotite. Unaltered rocks contain between 0.2 and 1% CaO, less than 1.7% combined Fe2O3, FeO, and MgO, and 74.4 to 77.7% SiO2. Total alkalis are between 8 and 9%, and K2O/Na2O is about 1.1. The range of major-oxide variation is small, but it is systematically related to lithology. Many trace-elements, including B, Pb, Sn, and Li have low concentrations. Intrusive rocks associated with the Quartz Hill deposit are more albitic and possibly trace-element depleted compared to some other rocks associated with porphyry molybdenum deposits.All observed metallization and alteration is within the Quartz Hill stock. Molybdenite forms fracture coatings and occurs in veins with quartz. Alteration is widespread and includes development of secondary quartz, pyrite, K-feldspar, biotite, white mica, chlorite, and zeolite. Field relations indicate that the stocks were emplaced after regional uplift and erosion of the Coast Range batholithic complex, and K–Ar data show that intrusion and alteration took place in late Oligocene time, about 27 to 30 Ma ago. Data from the Ketchikan quadrangle indicate that porphyry molybdenum metallization in the Coast Range batholithic complex is associated with regionally extensive but spotty, middle Tertiary or younger, felsic magmatism.

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