Duration of magmatic, hydrothermal and supergene activity at Cerro Rico de Potosi, Bolivia

Clive Maitland Rice, G. B. Steele, D. Barfod, A. J. Boyce, M. S. Pringle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

New high precision Ar-40/Ar-39 dating of sanidine and biotite from two rhyolitic douses and all ignimbrite, combined with existing fission-thick data and a hydrothermal sericite age, suggests that the world-class Ag deposit at Cerro Rico was emplaced during a protracted period of magma-related hydrothermal activity beginning at 1.3.77 +/- 0.03 Ma and continuing for at least 0.2 m.y. This may have been sustained by a large single injection or repeated injections of fractionated Ag-enriched magma into a high-level magma chamber. K-Ar dating of alunite indicates that supergene oxidation had begun by about 13.5 Ma, soon after dome emplacement, and progressed semicontinuously for at least 7.5 m.y. This oxidation, while not leading to significant enrichment, has significantly enhanced the economic viability of the disseminated part of the orebody.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1647-1656
Number of pages9
JournalEconomic Geology
Volume100
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • AR-40/AR-39 GEOCHRONOLOGY
  • VOLCANIC DOME
  • MINERALIZATION
  • DEPOSITS
  • AGE
  • GEOCHEMISTRY
  • INCLUSION
  • DISTRICT
  • PROVINCE
  • MODEL

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