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TitlePorphyry Cu indicator minerals in till: a method to discover buried mineralization
AuthorPlouffe, AORCID logo; Ferbey, T
SourceIndicator minerals in till and stream sediments of the Canadian Cordillera; by Ferbey, T (ed.); Plouffe, AORCID logo (ed.); Hickin, A S (ed.); Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper vol. 50, 2017 p. 129-159
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20170129
Alt SeriesMineralogical Association of Canada, Topics in Mineral Sciences 47
PublisherGeological Association of Canada
PublisherMineralogical Association of Canada
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS92H/05; 92H/06; 92H/07; 92H/10; 92H/11; 92H/12; 92H/13; 92H/14; 92H/15; 92I/07; 92I/08; 92I/09; 92I/10; 92I/15; 92I/16; 92O/01; 92O/02; 92O/07; 92O/08; 92O/09; 92O/10; 92O/15; 92O/16; 92P/02; 92P/03; 92P/04; 92P/05; 92P/06; 92P/07; 92P/10; 92P/11; 92P/12; 92P/13; 92P/14; 92P/15; 93A/02; 93A/03; 93A/04; 93A/05; 93A/06; 93A/07; 93A/10; 93A/11; 93A/12; 93B/01; 93B/02; 93B/07; 93B/08; 93B/09; 93B/10
Lat/Long WENS-122.5833 -120.7300 52.6667 50.2711
Subjectseconomic geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; mineral deposits; mineral exploration; mineral occurrences; prospecting techniques; drift prospecting; porphyry deposits; copper; gold; molybdenum; ore mineral genesis; mineralization; alteration; glacial deposits; tills; glacial history; glaciation; deglaciation; sediment transport; sediment dispersal; glacial features; glacial striations; glacial flutings; crag and tail; glacial landforms; drumlins; till samples; chalcopyrite; gold; epidote; jarosite; tourmaline; zircon; rutile; andradite; titanite; pyrite; apatite; bedrock geology; lithology; igneous rocks; intrusive rocks; size fractionation; scanning electron microscope analyses; Canadian Cordillera; Intermontane Belt; Quesnel Terrane; Cache Creek Terrane; Gibraltar Mine; Hihgland Valley Copper Mine; Mount Polley Mine; Woodjam Prospect; Burgess Creek Stock; Sheridan Stock; Granite Mountain Batholith; Ste. Marie Plutonic Suite; Mount Polley Intrusive Complex; Takomkane Batholith; Guichon Creek Batholith; ice-flow directions; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary; Tertiary; Mesozoic; Cretaceous; Jurassic; Triassic
Illustrationsgeoscientific sketch maps; models; tables
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-5) Porphyry systems
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4)
Released2017 01 01
AbstractPorphyry Cu indicator minerals (PCIM) can be used to detect bedrock mineralization covered by glacial sediments. PCIM recovered from unconsolidated, transported sediments like tills are traced back to their bedrock source by reconstructing their transport history using ice-flow indicators like striations, drumlins, and crag and tails. We provide an overview of PCIM, and potential PCIM, that occur in bedrock and have been recovered from tills in central British Columbia. We present their spatial distribution and abundance in till in the region of three porphyry Cu mines (Gibraltar, Mount Polley and Highland Valley Copper) and one prospect (Woodjam) and classify them into two simple categories. Group 1 minerals (e.g., chalcopyrite, gold, epidote, jarosite) can be directly linked to porphyry Cu mineralization or associated alteration, based on their spatial distribution and abundance in till. Group 1 PCIM are more abundant in till near mineralization and decrease in abundance with increasing distance down-ice from the source. In contrast, the spatial distribution and abundance of Group 2 minerals (e.g., tourmaline, zircon, rutile) may not be obviously linked to porphyry Cu mineralization and such links may be better established by mineral chemistry. The two-group classification of PCIM is site specific and dependant on the ore and alteration mineralogy in each deposit. Future research on PCIM should be prioritized on resistate minerals that can survive glacial erosion and comminution, are stable to para-stable in the oxidizing surficial environment, and are abundant enough to be routinely detected in unconsolidated sediment samples.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
A porphyry copper (Cu) deposit consists of Cu enrichment in an intrusive rock of the earth crust, such as a granite. Such enrichment can be turned into a mine. A porphyry Cu indicator mineral is a mineral that can be indicative of the presence of a porphyry Cu deposit. This paper describes a suite of porphyry Cu indicator minerals that can be identify in sediments deposited by glaciers (till) and can serve to detect buried mineralization.

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