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Predicting Magmatic Fertility & Detecting Hydrothermal Alteration of Porphyry Copper Systems with Porphyry Indicator Minerals (PIMS)

MDRU’s successful porphyry indicator mineral (PIMS) research has established the viability of certain resistate minerals to inform exploration decision-making for the discovery of porphyry copper systems. Our research recognizes opportunities of these minerals to contribute information about both the potential (fertility) or an intrusion to generate a porphyry copper system, and to record interactions with mineralizing porphyry fluids. A research consortium of interested industry collaborators looking to gain a competitive exploration advantage is now being assembled.

Project Information

Ore Deposit: ,
Commodity: ,
Research Themes:
Location:
Global
Project Status:
Researchers:
  • Farhad Bouzari
  • Craig Hart
  • Robert Lee
  • Alan Wainwright

Start Date: 2019
End Date: 2022

 

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Our initial research findings on altered and alteration minerals provide confidence that the specific characteristics of various PIMS can be used, particularly for covered deposits, in both hypogene and supergene environments.

In much the same way that diamond exploration benefited from the understanding of detrital accessory mineral populations and the importance of G10 garnets, we propose that similar indicators of porphyry copper fertility and mineralization can also be established.

This newly-proposed industry-sponsored consortium project will establish porphyry copper fertility and alteration indicators in minerals. Results will be tested with/against other variables within prospective districts to determine those fertility and mineralization features that persist despite the variability of the system. Early and relatively inexpensive screening of exploration areas will improve an explorers’ ability to focus their budgets on the most prospective projects.  This project additionally builds on MDRU’s previous public domain projects, and utilizes MDRU’s sample and mineral separate archives.

 

Objectives
This project will create new tools and screening criteria to generate new strategies for exploration and discovery of unexposed porphyry mineralization. To achieve this, MDRU will first characterize the nature, occurrence, types, compositions and diagnostic properties of a range of resistate minerals such as apatite, titanite, rutile, zircon and magnetite from various settings within the porphyry environment.

There are two key objectives:

  1. Establish those primary magmatic fertility indicators that indicate and record the formation of porphyry copper deposits.
  2. Determine those hydrothermal alteration indicators that indicate porphyry copper deposit related mineralization.

Based on these objectives, a toolkit with practical and applied exploration methods will be developed.

For more information or a full proposal, contact Craig Hart at chart@eoas.ubc.ca

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