Abstract

The Don Manuel igneous complex and associated porphyry copper mineralization in the Andean Cordillera of central Chile demonstrate similarities between intrusive complexes associated with porphyry copper deposits and arc volcanoes that generate porphyritic volcanics. The Don Manuel igneous complex intrusions progressed from quartz monzonite through rhyolite and biotite tonalite to intermediate porphyritic and basaltic andesite dikes, which intrude the older units. Mineralization is associated with the biotite tonalite and intermediate porphyries, which also contain the greatest abundance of mafic enclaves. Zoning patterns within plagioclase phenocrysts suggest that the later intermediate porphyries comprise a hybridized suite formed by magma mixing. New zircon U-Pb ages and whole-rock Ar-Ar ages indicate that the Don Manuel igneous complex was emplaced between ca. 4 and 3.6 Ma. The time scale for the episodic intrusion of the Don Manuel igneous complex units is similar to observed episodicity of eruption and degassing events in active arc volcanoes. Observations from the Don Manuel igneous complex are consistent with the close spatial and temporal association of mineralization with episodic intrusion and interaction between silicic and mafic magmas during emplacement. The observations are also consistent with the hypothesis that mafic magma provides a source of sulfur for porphyry copper deposit formation.

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