Exploration geological and hydrometallurgical applications of Cu isotope fractionation: Examples from porphyry copper deposits in the Southwestern US

R. Mathur, S. R. Titley, W. J. Schlitt, M. Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Cu isotope fractionation in low temperature aqueous environments has been well documented. Here we apply Cu isotopes to two distinct, yet related mining problems. First, an exploration geological application where we measured copper isotope fractionation in oxidized leach caps, chalcocite enrichment blankets and hypogene mineralization in 4 porphyry copper deposits located in South western USA. Cu isotope patterns exist in the lateral and vertical distribution within the mines coupled with distinct relationships with Cu grade. Second, a hydrometallurgical application where we measured the leach fluids, feed and residues from a quick leach text of Cañariaco ores. The results indicate the relative proportions of the minerals providing Cu during leaching. Interpretations of the QLT test measurements indicate covellite is the dominant ore mineral providing Cu during leaching. Both applications clearly demonstrate the power and ability of using the Cu isotope technique to understand low temperature aqueous processed involving copper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSME Annual Meeting and Exhibit 2010
Pages532-534
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventSME Annual Meeting and Exhibit 2010 - Phoenix, AZ, United States
Duration: Feb 28 2010Mar 3 2010

Other

OtherSME Annual Meeting and Exhibit 2010
CountryUnited States
CityPhoenix, AZ
Period2/28/103/3/10

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Cite this

Mathur, R., Titley, S. R., Schlitt, W. J., & Wilson, M. (2010). Exploration geological and hydrometallurgical applications of Cu isotope fractionation: Examples from porphyry copper deposits in the Southwestern US. In SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit 2010 (pp. 532-534)