Abstract

At Chuquicamata, Chile, the location of chrysocolla-bearing gravels with respect to the parent ore body indicates lateral migration of some four kilometers. Experiments suggest that through mechanisms of oxidation and hydrolysis, surface waters draining copper ore bodies readily acquire the copper and silica needed to form chrysocolla. The chrysocolla at Chuquicamata may have formed by precipitation of copper and silica on increase in pH of transporting solutions. Alternatively, transported copper may have combined with silica derived from alteration of silicates in the gravel.

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