The Río Blanco-Los Bronces deposit is the largest Cu-Mo porphyry deposit in the world in terms of contained Cu metal. It is the product of protracted superposed magmatic and hydrothermal activity associated with multiple intrusive and brecciation events, with simultaneous regional uplift, erosion and unroofing, and decompression. Magmatism resulted in three major mineralization-alteration stages. The premineralization stage occurred during the emplacement of the San Francisco batholith, resulting in late magmatic and early hydrothermal events. The synmineralization stage corresponds to the main hydrothermal events associated with the Río Blanco-Los Bronces porphyry and breccia complexes, which were related to three intrusion phases, widespread brecciation, and an epithermal-style advanced argillic alteration. Late-stage magmatism, followed by hydrothermal activity, was associated with the emplacement of subvolcanic rhyolite complexes and late-stage porphyry intrusions. The synmineralization intrusions are associated with high-grade breccia bodies that have well-defined alteration-zonation patterns.

Compilation and analysis of the historical Río Blanco structural data sets from the different mines, tunnels, and pits have allowed the assignment of all mapped structures to four hierarchical orders based on their continuity, crosscutting relationships, and infill compositions. The larger structures (orders 0 and 1) have along-strike continuity, correlate between drifts and/or mine levels, whereas smaller structures (orders 2 and 3) were grouped according to their dimensions and distributions within the larger-order structure-defined panels. All orders 0 and 1 structures were modeled in three dimensions, while orders 2 and 3 were in two dimensions. The structures mapped at Río Blanco have an intimate relationship with the pre- to the late-stage geologic evolution of magmatism and mineralization. The regional-and to a lesser extent district-scale structural evolution was related to premineralization basin-opening and subsequent tectonic inversion, whereas at the camp scale, syn- to late mineralization intrusions and related hydrothermal features were superimposed on this inherited structural architecture.

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