back to projects

Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project (WTMP Phase 1)

The first Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project contributed pre-competitive geoscience that will impact copper and gold discovery success rates from the Balkans to Iran. Major accomplishments include the completion of MSc and PhD graduate projects which characterize the geologic framework of recent discoveries, as well as large regions of poorly understood arc magmatic rocks. Sponsor companies continue to benefit from the competitive advantage provided for this highly-endowed, under-explored belt.

Project Information

Ore Deposit: ,
Commodity: ,
Turkey, Serbia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Iran, Romania
Project Status:
  • Craig Hart

Start Date: 2012
End Date: 2016

The Western Tethyan Metallogeny Project (WTMP; 2012-2016) tackled a large region spanning the Balkans to Iran.  Major accomplishments included the compilation of geological, geophysical, and geochemical databases, in addition to completion of several deposit- to regional-scale graduate theses.

Kaleb Boucher, MSc Thesis:  The structural and fluid evolution of the Efemçukuru epithermal gold deposit, western Turkey

Paula Brunetti, MSc Thesis:  Magmatic-hydrothermal evolution and post-ore modifications of the Halilağa porphyry Cu-Au deposit, NW Turkey

Graham Leroux, MSc Thesis:  Stratigraphic and petrographic characterization of HS epithermal Au-Ag mineralization at the TV Tower district, Biga Peninsula, NW Turkey

Fabien Rabayrol, PhD Dissertation:  Late Cenozoic Post-Subduction Tectonic, Magmatic and Metallogenic Evolution of the Anatolide – Tauride Orogenic Belt, Turkey

Raja Yarra, MSc Thesis:  Structural, Mineralogical and Fluid Evolution of the Shahumyan Intermediate Sulphidation Vein Deposit, Kapan District Armenia


Project News

Project Documents

Theses - You must be logged in as a member to see these documents

Structural, stratigraphic and temporal constraints of gold mineralization in the Bigar Hill deposit, Timok region, Serbia
Jelena Živanović,

The Timok Magmatic Complex (TMC) is a well-endowed mineral district in Serbia that hosts world-class Cu-Au porphyry (Majdanpek, Veliki Krivelj, Borska Reka) and high-sulfidation deposits (Bor, Čukaru Peki). Recent exploration activities on the northwestern margin of the TMC have led to the discovery of the Bigar Hill sediment-hosted disseminated gold deposit (SHDG). It represents a previously unrecognized style of gold mineralization within the TMC and the Cretaceous metallogenic province of the western Tethyan orogenic belt – although they share many characteristics with the Carlin-type and distal disseminated gold deposits of Nevada, US. Gold distribution at Bigar Hill and associated hydrothermal mineralogical, geochemical and stable isotope alteration features were examined to reconstruct the structural and stratigraphic controls on hydrothermal fluid flow. The Bigar Hill stratigraphy encompasses Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous limestone unconformably overlain by a calcareous clastic sedimentary sequence (unit S1). Late Cretaceous volcanic detritus-rich sandstone package (unit S2) unconformably overlies unit S1. Primary sparry carbonate cement, mainly ferroan calcite is characteristic features of both S1 and S2 units. Marl lies conformably over the S2 unit, and the andesitic sill intruded it. Gold mineralization is principally stratabound, located along two stratigraphic contacts. The contact zone between units S1 and S2 is a major mineralized horizon. The other mineralized corridor lies along the unconformable contact between limestone and the S1 siliciclastic rocks. Acidic hydrothermal fluids likely exploited the enhanced porosity and permeability of preserved weathering crusts, brecciated zones, and karst along the unconformities, further creating secondary porosity by dissolving host rock carbonate cement. Although stratigraphic features are considered highly influential on the spatial distribution of ore, the regional structural framework and syn-mineralization faults reactivations are thought to be necessary to allow mineralizing fluids to permeate favorable stratigraphic horizons. A 3D spatial analysis of stratigraphic contacts and changes in the thickness of sedimentary packages suggests that the controls of the ore body geometry are previously unrecognized sub-vertical structures that channeled upwelling metal-bearing fluids. Fluids then spread laterally along the contact zones between the sedimentary packages. Two recognized structural trends, NW and NE match the major gold mineralization trends.

Late Cenozoic post-subduction tectonic, magmatic and metallogenic evolution of the Anatolide-Tauride Orogenic Belt, Turkey
Fabien Rabayrol ,

Abstract: The termination of the northward subduction of the Southern Neotethyan oceanic slab beneath the Anatolide-Tauride Block in Turkey led to the onset of the Arabia-Eurasia continental collision in the Oligocene. The subducting Southern Neotethyan slab was affected by post-subduction segmentation manifested by slab break-off (central-eastern Anatolia) and tearing (western Anatolia) during the late Cenozoic. Many igneous complexes formed in the late Cenozoic and some of them host gold-rich porphyry and epithermal prospects and deposits.
New temporal (U-Pb, 40Ar/39Ar and Re-Os dates), spatial (field observations and GIS) and geochemical data (elemental and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic analyses) provide robust constraints on the genetic relationship between late Cenozoic slab segmentation tectonic events, Anatolian magmatism and associated gold mineralization.
The newly-defined Eastern Anatolian Magmatic Belt formed in response to the slab break-off initiation at ca. 25 Ma, window opening, westward break-off propagation to central Anatolia and induced asthenospheric flow. The slab break-off-related igneous units were subsequently covered by widespread volcanic products in eastern Anatolia (12 Ma-Present) that resulted from the long-lived asthenospheric heating, destabilization of the thickened Anatolian lithosphere root and its partial removal by convective dripping. Magmatic sources include the shallow melting of the previously-metasomatized Anatolian subcontinental lithospheric mantle and asthenosphere by decompression due to impingement of the Arabian
and African sub-slab asthenospheric mantles.
Late Cenozoic Anatolian magmatism produced porphyry and epithermal prospects and
deposits that cluster in nine isolated mineral districts controlled by graben, transtensional corridors and pull-apart basins. The bulk of gold mineralization (33 Moz Au) peaked at the beginning of the slab break-off event at 25 Ma in central and eastern Anatolia, and slab tear at 15 Ma in western Anatolia.
The late Cenozoic trench-parallel and -perpendicular migrations of slab rupture and
window opening in Anatolia 1) allowed toroidal and poloidal flow of asthenosphere beneath
Anatolia, 2) caused the migration of melting source and associated igneous complexes and mineral deposits in the overriding crust, 3) destabilized the Anatolian lithospheric mantle, which reduced the amount of available volatiles and metals, and therefore 4) increased the production of barren, drier and mantle-dominant volcanism through time that partially covers fertile igneous units.


Late Cenozoic post-subduction tectonic, magmatic and metallogenic evolution of the Anatolide-Tauride Orogenic Belt, Turkey