Generation and evolution of ore fluids for porphyry Cu-Au mineralization of the Santo Tomas II (Philex) deposit, Philippines

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The Santo Tomas II (Philex) deposit is a porphyry Cu-Au deposit, located in the southern part of the Baguio mineral district, Benguet Province, northern Luzon, Philippines. The Santo Tomas II deposit is associated with an intrusive complex consisting of four rock types that are distinguished based on petrography. They are 1) post-ore clinopyroxene-bearing hornblende andesite porphyry, 2) ore-generating hornblende andesite porphyry, 3) hornblende quartz diorite porphyry and 4) porphyritic hornblende quartz diorite. K-Ar age of hydrothermal biotitization was estimated to be 1.5±0.4 Ma. A number of intrusive bodies having broadly similar petrography and K-Ar age occur in the vicinity of the Santo Tomas II deposit, such as at Clifton, Ligay (Binang), Bumolo (Waterhole) and Philex Main Camp areas. The intrusions at the Santo Tomas II deposit and in the vicinity are characterized by high XMg (Mg/[Mg+Fe] atomic ratio, about 0.7 or higher) of mafic silicate phenocrysts such as hornblende, and high sulfur contents (> 0.2 wt% as SO3) in accessory microphenocrystic apatite, suggesting a highly oxidizing condition. Sulfur is accommodated dominantly as oxidized species since the crystallization of phenocrysts. Sub-dendritic rim of tremolitic amphibole on hornblende phenocryst in the ore-generating andesite porphyry at the Santo Tomas II deposit suggests interaction of magma and aqueous fluid(s) exsolved due to decompression during intrusion. Dissemination of magnetite is associated with hydrothermal biotitization and is followed by sheeted and stockwork quartz veinlets having silician magnetite and rare titanohematite instead of Cu-Fe sulfides. The silician magnetite-rich quartz veinlet was formed at fO2 near the hematite-magnetite buffer at nearly magmatic temperature, where sulfur dominantly existed as oxidized species such as SO2. Chalcopyrite and bornite, which commonly exhibit micrographic texture often accompanying Pd telluride and native gold/Au-rich electrum, are associated with subsequent anhydrite (-quartz) veinlets and stringers. Both intermediate solid solution (iss) and bornite solid solution (bnss) are thought to have coprecipitated primarily at above 500°C based on fluid inclusion microthermometry and sulfur isotope thermometry applied for anhydrite and associated chalcopyrite and bornite. The initial iss is considered to have converted to chalcopyrite partly replacing bnss during cooling. The hypersaline polyphase fluid inclusions abundantly found in the sheeted and stockwork quartz as well as anhydrite veinlets with scarce gaseous inclusions suggest that they have been trapped in the two aqueous fluid immiscible region. The western Luzon arc associated with porphyry Cu mineralization is characterized by oxidized hydrous magmatism and shallow emplacement, and by the source of sulfur enriched in 34S.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-96
Number of pages26
JournalResource Geology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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