Amphibole and apatite insights into the evolution and mass balance of Cl and S in magmas associated with porphyry copper deposits

Cyril Chelle-Michou*, Massimo Chiaradia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
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Chlorine and sulfur are of paramount importance for supporting the transport and deposition of ore metals at magmatic–hydrothermal systems such as the Coroccohuayco Fe–Cu–Au porphyry–skarn deposit, Peru. Here, we used recent partitioning models to determine the Cl and S concentration of the melts from the Coroccohuayco magmatic suite using apatite and amphibole chemical analyses. The pre-mineralization gabbrodiorite complex hosts S-poor apatite, while the syn- and post-ore dacitic porphyries host S-rich apatite. Our apatite data on the Coroccohuayco magmatic suite are consistent with an increasing oxygen fugacity (from the gabbrodiorite complex to the porphyries) causing the dominant sulfur species to shift from S2− to S6+ at upper crustal pressure where the magmas were emplaced. We suggest that this change in sulfur speciation could have favored S degassing, rather than its sequestration in magmatic sulfides. Using available partitioning models for apatite from the porphyries, pre-degassing S melt concentration was 20–200 ppm. Estimates of absolute magmatic Cl concentrations using amphibole and apatite gave highly contrasting results. Cl melt concentrations obtained from apatite (0.60 wt% for the gabbrodiorite complex; 0.2–0.3 wt% for the porphyries) seems much more reasonable than those obtained from amphibole which are very low (0.37 wt% for the gabbrodiorite complex; 0.10 wt% for the porphyries). In turn, relative variations of the Cl melt concentrations obtained from amphibole during magma cooling are compatible with previous petrological constraints on the Coroccohuayco magmatic suite. This confirms that the gabbrodioritic magma was initially fluid undersaturated upon emplacement, and that magmatic fluid exsolution of the gabbrodiorite and the pluton rooting the porphyry stocks and dikes were emplaced and degassed at 100–200 MPa. Finally, mass balance constraints on S, Cu and Cl were used to estimate the minimum volume of magma required to form the Coroccohuayco deposit. These three estimates are remarkably consistent among each other (ca. 100 km3) and suggest that the Cl melt concentration is at least as critical as that of Cu and S to form an economic mineralization.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number11-12
Early online date21 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Amphibole
  • Apatite
  • Chlorine
  • Magma volume
  • Porphyry copper deposit
  • Sulfur


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