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AreportpreparedforMineraYanacochaS.R.L.

COMMENTSONGEOLOGYANDEXPLORATIONOFPORPHYRY COPPERGOLDMINERALIZATIONINTHEYANACOCHA DISTRICT,PERU

RichardH.Sillitoe

September2000

CONTENTS SUMMARY INTRODUCTION KUPFERTALPROSPECT Porphyryintrusions Quartzrextures Alterationmineralizationfeatures LASORPRESAPROSPECT MAQUIMAQUIPROSPECT CERRONEGROPROSPECT EXPLORATIONPROGRAM Porphyrytargets Explorationmethodology Explorationrecommendations Training FIGURES Fig.1Preliminaryinterpretationofquartztextures,Kupfertal Fig.2Schematicsectionoftelescopedporphyrycoppergold systemapplicabletoKupfertalsector Following4 Following4 3 4 4 4 4 5 6 6 7 7 7 8 9 10

SUMMARY Thepredictedpresenceofporphyrytypecoppergoldmineralizationbeneaththe highsulfidationgoldhorizonintheYanacochadistricthasbeenconfirmedby recentmappinganddrilling. Thehighsulfidationandporphyrysystemsareextensivelytelescoped,aprocess thatcausedtotalreconstitutionoftheupperpartsofthechalcopyritebearingK silicate alteration zone at Kupfertal by covelliterich highsulfidation mineralization.Theprocessenhancedcoppercontents,butconservedthegold tenor. TheunusualpatchyquartztexturedrockatthetopoftheKupfertalsystemis transitional downward through buckled (wormy) to stockwork Atype quartz veinletsemplacedduringKsilicatealteration.Thereforepatchyquartzmaybea latemagmatic product rather than an advanced argillic alteration texture. Nevertheless, it may still be used to indicate the top of porphyry centers at Yanacocha. PorphyryexplorationwouldbebestfocusedontheKupfertalsectorinorderto determine if one or more discrete porphyry centers is present, if economic coppergoldmineralizationexistsinearlyporphyryphases,andifthevolumeof barrenlatemineralporphyryisappreciable. Additional geologic, geochemical, and petrographic studies at Kupfertal are recommendedalongwithdrillingofafenceofinclinedcoreholesacrossthe2 kmwidetargetarea. OtherporphyrycentersatMaquiMaquiandLaSorpresameritreconnaissance drilling as an aid to geologic understanding, despite the fact that the latter appearslikelytobeasubeconomicsystem. Geologicandgeochemicalparametersarepreferredtogeophysicalanomaliesas ameansofsitinginitialdrillholesonporphyrytargetsatYanacochabecauseof thecomplextelescopedenvironment.

INTRODUCTION AttherequestofCarlSchnell,thewriterspent3.5fielddays(1115September2000) intheYanacochagolddistrictonbehalfofMineraYanacocha.Theaimofthevisit wastocommentonthenewlydiscoveredporphyryprospectsandtheirongoing exploration. FieldinspectionsweremadeofporphyryprospectsatKupfertal,MaquiMaqui,La Sorpresa, and Cerro Negro, and were supplemented by observation of drill core fromKupfertal,YanacochaSur,MaquiMaqui,andCerroNegro. Thisreportbrieflysummarizessalientgeologicobservationsandinterpretations,and commentsontheexplorationmethodologyandprogram. TheworkwascarriedoutwithmostoftheYanacochaexplorationteamandseveral minegeologists,allofwhomarethankedforinstructionanddiscussions. KUPFERTALPROSPECT Porphyryintrusions ObservationofcorefromtheupperpartsofDDHCLL5atKupfertalrevealsthe presenceofhighlyalteredporphyryofuncertaincompositionthatwassubjectedto severaldifferentalterationmineralizationevents(seebelow).Atadepthof557m, however, this early, wellmineralized porphyry is in fault contact with a late intermineral porphyry, apparently of quartz dioritic composition, that displays remnant,weaklydevelopedKsilicatealterationandonlyverysparseAtypequartz veinlets;itcontainsonly0.14%Cuand0.1g/tAu.Thislateporphyryphasewas coredtothebottomofthehole,butitsdimensionsremaincompletelyunknown. Quartztextures TheupperpartsoftheKupfertalprospect,inandbeneaththeEncaj nvalley,are characterizedbyunusualquartztexturesthathavebeenattributedtotheeffectsof advancedargillicalterationimmediatelyabovetheporphyryenvironment.Similar texturesareobservedinthevicinitiesofotherporphyryprospectsintheYanacocha district. In contrast to the current interpretation, evidence is presented here that preliminarilysuggeststhatthequartztexturesmaybeoflatemagmaticoriginand mayhaveformedpriortodevelopmentofwidespreadhydrothermalalteration. Three quartz textures are widely recognized at Kupfertal: stockwork veinlets at depth,wormyquartzveinlets,andpatchyquartzattheshallowestlevels(Fig.1). These three quartz textures are demonstrably transitional. The quartz is gray in color, translucent, and granular and is enveloped by pervasive advanced argillic alteration,typicallydominatedbypyrophyllite.

ThequartzveinletsatdepthconstituteaclassicAtypestockworkcharacteristicof zones of Ksilicate alteration in porphyry coppergold deposits. The overlying wormyveinletsarealsoofAtype,butmusthavebeenemplacedundermoreductile conditions while the host porphyry remained plastic. Such wormy veinlets are observedinporphyrysystemselsewhere.Theunusualpatchyquartztextureabove the wormy quartz zone is tentatively interpreted as a feature confined to the uppermostpartsoftheporphyrystockandtobebroadlycomparabletoquartzrinds andunidirectionalsolidificationtextures (USTs;"brainrock")atthetopsofsome felsicporphyrystocks.Intergrowthofroundedpiecesofadvancedargillicaltered rock with gray, translucent quartz may even suggest immiscibility between a residualsilicatemeltandanendstage,silicasaturatedmagmaticfluidphase. Interpretationofthepatchyquartzasamagmaticratherthananalterationproduct gainssupportfromtwoobservationsmadeatitsupperlimitintheEncaj nvalley. First,dikelikebodiesofpatchyquartzintrudeoverlyingvolcanicrocksand,second, angular blocks of volcanic rock are enclosed in patchy quartz and appear to be xenoliths. If this interpretation proves to be correct, two corollaries are apparent. First, the wormy and patchy quartz textures should be confined to the roof zone of the porphyrystock(s),althoughthequartzveinletsmaypassoutwardintoitshostrocks (Fig. 1). Second, the rock displaying the three quartz textures was originally subjectedtoKsilicatealteration,whichwasdestroyedbysubsequentoverprinting ofsericiticand,finally,advancedargillicalteration. Alterationmineralizationfeatures ThealterationandmineralizationcutbyDDHCLL5iszonedvertically:advanced argillic(mainlypyrophyllite)atthetop,thensericitic,andfinallyKsilicatewitha partial intermediate argillic (especially chlorite) overprint (Fig. 2). The sericitic alteration clearly overprinted the Ksilicate zone, although the contact is exceptionallysharp.Incontrast,thecontactbetweenthepyrophylliteandsericite dominatedzonescouldbeeitheroverprintedortransitional,althoughtheformeris favored. The sulphide mineralogy in the Ksilicate zone comprises pyrite and chalcopyrite,whichwerereconstitutedtoahighersulfidationstatepyritecovellite (enargite)assemblageintheoverlyingsericiticandpyrophylliticzones(Fig.2).This processalsocausedcompletesulfidationofhydrothermalmagnetitepresentinthe Ksilicate zoneand adoubling ofthecopper content. Incontrast,thegoldtenor remainedessentiallythesame. ThepatternofalterationmineralizationzonesrevealedbyDDHCLL5istypicalof telescopedporphyrysystemsinwhichthelithocapissuperimposedontheupper parts of the underlying porphyry stock. As a consequence, the acidic, high sulfidationconditionsofthelithocapenvironmentsupplantthemorenearlyneutral, lowsulfidation porphyry environment, giving rise to total reconstitution of pre existing Ksilicate alteration and its contained opaque minerals. Similar vertical alterationmineralization sequences to those displayed by core from DDH CLL5 5

characterize theWafi(PapuaNewGuinea),Guinaoang(Philippines),andseveral othertelescopedporphyrysystems. ThemainYanacochalithocap,quartzalunitealterationpassingupwardtomassive and vuggy quartz (Fig. 2), is believed to have been eroded at Kupfertal during glacialincisionoftheEncajnvalley.Preserved lateral extensionsofthelithocap constitutetheYanacochaandSanJoshighsulfidationgolddeposits.Therefore,the annular array of gold zones around the Kupfertal system may be more a consequenceoferosionratherthanofhypogenemetalzonation. DDH YS569, drilled through the base of the Yanacocha Sur silicified horizon, peripheraltothegoldorebody,intersectedseveralhundredmetersofaluniteand pyrophyllitealtered dacite porphyry, probably part of a dome. Covellite and enargitearetheprincipalhypogenecoppermineralsobserved,andoccuralongwith goldinveinlet,disseminated,andbrecciafillingforms.Thismineralizationisnot consideredtobeofporphyrytype,buttobeanintegralpartofthehighsulfidation environment.Furthermore,theabsenceofaporphyrystockandassociatedAtype quartzveinletsmaybetakentosuggestthattheholeiscollaredperipherallywith respecttoaporphyrysystem. LASORPRESAPROSPECT Severalconcentrationsofthin,translucentquartzveinletswereinspectedintheLa Sorpresa Norte sector, most of them hosted by a dacitic/quartz dioritic unit of possibleintrusiveorigin.Alterationoftheveinedunitisdominatedbysupergene kaolinite,althoughlocalilliteand,possibly,sericitewerealsonoted,inconformity withtheresultsofPIMAanalysis.TheLaSorpresaquartzveinletsarereminiscentof thosepresentintheporphyrygolddepositsoftheMaricungabeltofnorthernChile, althoughthecharacteristicveinletbandingisdevelopedonlylocally. Thedaciticunitappearstobeintrudedbymediumandcoarsegrainedhornblende diorite porphyries that contain few, if any, quartz veinlets. The mediumgrained phase displays weakly developed biotitization and contains veinlets and disseminated grains of magnetite, some of it associated with minor amounts of chalcopyrite. A partial illite overprint of plagioclase phenocrysts in the medium grainedporphyryisreadilyvisible. The relatively weakly developed quartz veining at La Sorpresa Norte may be interpretedintermsofeitheralowgradeporphyrygold(copper)systemorthetop ofasystemthatbecomesbettermineralizedatdepth.Inviewoftheevidencefor relativelydeepexposureofLaSorpresaNorte,especiallytheabsenceofalithocap andtheoutcroppingKsilicatealteration,theformeralternativeispreferred. MAQUIMAQUIPROSPECT Core from DDHs CSU5 and MM314 (beneath the Maqui Maqui pit) reveals similaritieswiththatfromCLL5atKupfertal.Bothholescutpatchytexturedquartz 6

which,inMM314,displayslocaltransitionstoAtypequartzveinlets.Alterationin both holesisadvanced argillicwithpyrophyllite,alunite, and/or kaolinite being present interstitial to the patchy quartz. Pyritecovelliteenargite is the dominant sulfideassemblagewhich,incorefromCSU5,reportedsubstantialcopper(0.25%) andgold(0.93g/t)grades. Itisagreedthattheevidencefromthesetwoholessuggeststhataporphyrycopper center may be located beneath the northeastern side of the Maqui Maqui gold orebody,withitsadvancedargillicoverprintedtopbeingexposedinthevicinityof theDDHCSU5drillsite.Incontrast,DDHMM346appearstobelocatedonthe marginofthisinferredporphyrycenter,judgingbythesubstantiallylowercopper (0.1%)andgold(0.2g/t)values,scarcityofquartzveinlets,high(510vol.%)pyrite contents,anddominanceofkaolinitealteration. CERRONEGROPROSPECT ThezonewithperceivedporphyrypotentialatCerroNegroischaracterizedbya series of siliceous ledges separated by supergene kaolinized andesitic rocks, including tuffs and flows and/or plugs. Rock displaying patchy quartz texture appears to occur as halos to the siliceous ledges and, at least locally, to be transitional to them. The patchytextured rock is characterized by pyrophyllite and/orkaolinitealteration. Bothsurface anddrillcore(DDSCN10and18)inspectionsuggeststhatatleast someofthepatchytexturedrockatCerroNegroisanalterationfeaturedifferent fromthatobservedatKupfertalandMaquiMaqui.Nevertheless,someexamplesof thepatchytexturearedifficulttodistinguishfromthatinterpretedtobeofpossible latemagmaticoriginatKupfertal,exceptperhapsforthefinergrainednatureofthe quartz. This difficulty emphasizes that further work is required to clarify the origin(s)andsignificance(s)ofthepatchytexture. Theposition(s)ofanyporphyrytypemineralizationatCerroNegroisnoteasyto determineuntiltheoriginofthepatchytextureisbetterdefinedor earlyAtype (includingbanded)quartzveinletsarerecognized. EXPLORATIONPROGRAM Porphyrytargets WorktodateintheYanacochadistricthasdemonstrateddefinitivelythatporphyry type centers exist, as predicted, beneath the goldrich advanced argillic lithocap. Furthermore, it is evident that the lithocap and porphyry environments are extensively telescoped, thereby raising the possibility that porphyrytype mineralizationmayexistcloseenoughtothesurfacetobeeconomicallymineable. TheclearestexampleofaporphyrycoppergoldcenteristhatdrilledbyDDHCLL5 atKupfertal.Nevertheless,thepresenceofAtypequartzveinletsincorefromDDH 7

KUP1showsthatpotentiallysimilarporphyrytypemineralizationisalsopresent2 kmfartherwest.Therefore,afundamentalunansweredquestionatKupfertalis:how manyporphyrycentersarethere?Themagnetichighpartiallyencircledbyazoneof enhanced(>50ppm)molybdenumvaluesatKupfertalcouldbetakentoindicatethe existence of a single porphyry system, perhaps as much as 2 km across. Alternatively,twoormorediscreteporphyrycenters,besideslateandpostmineral intrusions,couldbepresent. The potential of the Kupfertal porphyry deposit(s) is currently unknown, but depends critically on the significance of the early porphyry phase intersected in DDHCLL5.Ifthisporphyryistheearliestintrusivephaseofasinglesystem,then Kupfertalislikelytobesubeconomic;itsgradeinCLL5approximates0.32%Cu and0.37g/tAu.However,ifasinglesystemcontainsoneormoreevenearlierand, therefore,probablybettermineralizedporphyryphasesorifseveralsystemsexist, onebettermineralizedthantheothers,thenappreciableuntestedpotentialremains. AdditionalporphyrysystemsoccurbeyondtheKupfertalsector,butnonehasbeen properly tested to date. The veining at Maqui Maqui suggests similarities to Kupfertal, whereas that at La Sorpresa Norte appears to be more typical of the Maricungatypegoldonlysystems.Ifthisisshowntobethecase,theproximityof the two types of system demands an explanation. One possibility worthy of consideration is that the Maricungatype systems are generated at somewhat shallowerpaleodepths,wherelesssalinemagmaticfluidwouldbepredictedtohave beenliberated.Thelowersalinitiesmightbeanticipatedtohavefavoredgoldover coppertransportand,hence,generatedgoldrich,copperpoordeposits.Indeed,the MaricungalikeLaSorpresaquartzveinletscropout>200mhigherinelevationthan thetopoftheAtypeveinletstockworkatKupfertal. Explorationmethodology One of the principal means currently employed at Yanacocha to determine proximitytoporphyrycentersisthepresenceofpatchyquartztexture.Thiscriterion remains valid even if the reinterpretation of the texture's significance proposed herein provestobe correct. Nevertheless, thiswillnotnecessarily be true iftwo typesofpatchytexturedoindeedexist.ObservationofwormyorstockworkAtype veinlets provides even safer evidence and indicates that the porphyrytype mineralizationisdirectlyexposed,albeitpossiblyoverprintedbyadvancedargillic alteration. Given that the hottest and lowest parts of a lithocap are likely to be characterized by the presence of abundant pyrophyllite (Fig. 2), outcropping pyrophyllitedominatedalterationmayalsobetakenasanindicatorofthepossible existenceofanearbyporphyrycenter. Alterationpatternsclearlyprovidepotentialvectorstoporphyrycenters,asmaybe appreciatedfromthecartoonpresentedasFigure2.Alterationmappingshouldbe carriedoutbygeologistsinthefield,withonlycharactersamplesfromthezones that are mapped being checked by PIMA analysis. This approach leads to progressive"calibration"ofthegeologists'visualskills.Thecurrentpracticeofdoing 8

PIMAgrids,inthesamewayasgeophysicalsurveys,leadstoalterationmapsthat bearlittleresemblancetoreality.Forexample,ifsamplesforPIMAdetermination aretakenfromsiliceousledgesanddifferentpartsoftheirzonedalterationhalos,as occursduringgridsampling,thecontouredresultsrevealacompletelyerroneous alterationpattern. Molybdenum geochemistry holds out the possibility of providing valuable assistance in the location of porphyry centers in the telescoped porphyry environment.Molybdenumanomalieshavebeenshowntoconstituteanannulusto theKupfertalsectorandtocoincidewithgoldandcopperanomalismatLaSorpresa Norte.Moreover,molybdenitewasobservedabundantlyassmearsonfracturesin thepatchyquartzrockatMaquiMaqui.Incontrast,goldandcopperareconsidered to be less useful indicators because of their common presence in both the high sulfidation and porphyry environments. Particular care must be taken when assigningsignificancetoelevatedcoppervaluesdeterminedfromroadcutsampling because of the widespread exposure of the supergene redox front (e. g., Cerro Negro).Evenincipientlydevelopedchalcociteenrichmentimmediatelybeneaththe redoxfrontmayleadtodefinitionofcopperanomaliesthatpossessnosignificance whatsoeverfromthestandpointofporphyrytypemineralization. Thegeophysicalresponseoftelescopedhighsulfidationandporphyrysystemsis complex and poorly understood. Elevated pyrite contents, and hence enhanced chargeability, tend to be widespread, but not necessarily indicative of porphyry centers. Indeed, at Maqui Maqui, the most pronounced chargeability high may define the pyritic periphery of a porphyry center. Depth of sulfide oxidation, in addition to sulfide volume and connectivity, also profoundly influences the chargeabilityresponseindistrictslikeYanacocha,wheresulfidesarewithin1or2m ofthesurface beneath valley bottomsandother topographiclows.Themagnetic responseofaporphyrytypemineralizationinthetelescopedenvironmentislikely todependonthedepthofadvancedargillicandsericiticoverprinting,processesthat causetotalmagnetitedestruction,aswellasthehydrothermalmagnetitecontentof theunderlyingKsilicatealteration.Furthermore,barrenlatemineralintrusions,in whichmagnetiteiscommonlybetterpreserved(e.g.,DDHCLL5),alsotendtobe responsibleforprominentmagnetichighsintheporphyryenvironment.Inviewof theseconsiderations,itisrecommendedthatinitialdrilltestingofporphyrytargets isnotbasedongeophysicalparameters,althoughitisanticipatedthatbothmagnetic andelectricalmethodsmayproveusefuloncethegeologicfeaturesoftheYanacocha porphyrycentersarebetterunderstood. Explorationrecommendations Itisrecommendedthatfurtherworkdesignedtobetterunderstandtheporphyry environmentintheYanacochadistrictisfocusedontheKupfertalsector.Thismight commencewithremappingoftheEncajnvalleywithaviewtodeterminingthe extentanddetailedcontactrelationsofthepatchyquartztexturedrock.Thisexercise mightbecombinedwithrockchipgeochemistryforasuiteofelements(including Zn,Pb,Ag,Bi,andTe)toseeifanyofthem,besidesmolybdenum,actsasauseful 9

vectortotheporphyrycenter(s).Apetrographicandfluidinclusionreconnaissance ofwormyandpatchyquartzwouldalsobevaluable,toseeifsimilartexturesand hightemperature, highsalinity fluid inclusions to those in quartz from the underlyingAtypeveinletsarepresent. FuturedrillingatKupfertalshouldbedesignedtothrowfurtherlightontheextent of the porphyrytype mineralization intersected in DDHs CLL5 and KUP1, especially the number of systems and volume of latemineral intrusions that are present.Thisisprobablybestaccomplishedbydrillingafenceofinclinedcoreholes acrosstheKupfertalsector,internaltothemolybdenumgeochemicalhalo.Drilling toadepthofatleast700mwouldberequired. OtherporphyrycentersintheYanacochadistrict,especiallyMaquiMaquiandLa Sorpresa, merit preliminary drill testing inorder to assemble additionalgeologic informationthatcanbeusedinthesearchforporphyrydepositselsewhereinthe district. Inclined core holes, to at least 600 m in the case of Maqui Maqui, are recommended. Training TheexplorationteamatYanacochaisinthemidstofadifficulttransitionfromhigh sulfidation to porphyry geology. The transition would be accelerated by the opportunitytoinspecthypogeneporphyrysystemselsewhereinthecircumPacific region,especiallythosewherelithocapsarepartiallypreserved.Fundsdevotedtoa fieldbasedshortcoursedesignedtoupgradegeologicknowledgeandskillsinthe porphyryenvironmentwouldbewiselyspent.

Yanacocha,Peru 16thSeptember2000

RichardH.Sillitoe

http://es.scribd.com/doc/67632065/17/AlunitaKAl3SO42OH6

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