Porphyry Cu deposits are formed by Cu- and volatile (e.g., Cl, S)-rich fluids exsolved from underlying magma reservoirs. Intuitively, higher magmatic Cl and S contents likely correspond to higher magma fertility. However, the Cl contents of syn-ore magmatic apatite, one of the major Cl-bearing mineral phases in magmas, are highly variable among deposits (from <0.1 to >2 wt %). These variations may be controlled by different timing of apatite crystallization relative to fluid saturation among deposits, but the causes of these different relative timings remain obscure. Here we compile existing chemical data of magmatic apatite and amphibole phenocrysts from 25 porphyry Cu deposits worldwide and use these data to calculate magmatic physical-chemical conditions, such as water contents and magma reservoir depths. We find that the porphyry Cu deposits associated with deeper magma reservoirs are characterized by systematically higher magmatic H2O contents and apatite Cl, but lower apatite F contents and F/Cl ratios compared to shallower deposits. These correlations are best explained by early fluid exsolution and Cl loss that predate apatite crystallization in shallower porphyry Cu systems, which leads to elevated apatite F/Cl ratios. This is supported by the common occurrence of primary fluid inclusions in apatite from shallower systems. Postsubduction porphyry Cu deposits are normally associated with lower apatite Cl contents and shallower magma reservoirs, which is attributed to their formation under relatively extensional tectonic regimes. Our results demonstrate that the magma reservoir depth exerts an important control on the timing of fluid exsolution and accompanying Cl loss. In contrast, relatively high and constant apatite S content among deposits is minimally affected by fluid exsolution, possibly due to buffering of early-saturated sulfate in oxidized and S-rich magmas, and therefore might be used as a better potential fertility indicator than Cl.

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