ABSTRACT

Whole-rock lithogeochemical analyses combined with short-wave infrared (SWIR) spectroscopy provide a rapid and cost-effective method for prospecting for porphyry-type hydrothermal systems. Lithogeochemistry detects trace metals to average crustal abundance levels and allows vectoring via gradients of chalcophile and lithophile elements transported by magmatic-hydrothermal ore and external circulating fluids that are dispersed and trapped in altered rocks. Of particular use are alkalis in sericite and metals such as Mo, W, Se, Te, Bi, As, and Sb, which form stable oxides that remain in weathered rocks and soils. SWIR mapping of shifts in the 2,200-nm Al-OH absorption feature in sericite define paleofluid pH gradients useful for vectoring toward the center of the buoyant metal-bearing magmatic-hydrothermal plume.

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