The Gold-Rich Dizon Porphyry Copper Mine in the Western Central Luzon Island, Philippines: Its Geology and Tectonic Setting

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The Dizon open pit mine of Benguet Corporation in western Central Luzon, Philippines has yielded some 182 000 t copper, and about 26 000 kg gold and 48 000 kg silver as by products since it started operation in November 1979. The 140 million tonne orebody is associated with a small quartz diorite porphyry stock emplaced in volcanic rocks on the basal slope of a stratovolcano complex as stockworks, fracture fillings and disseminated sulphide mineralization averaging 0.43% Cu, 0.93 g/t Au and 2.5 g/t Ag. Intense hydrothermal alteration accompanied the mineralization that developed fairly distinct mineral assemblages within and around the intrusive. Post-ore volcanic activity later gave birth to an upward-flaring diatreme which broke out south of and adjacent to the orebody and partially destroying it. Subsequent volcanic activity buried the mineralized area along with the rest of the stratovolcano's surrounding slopes under a thick deposit of pyroclastic and laharic debris. Erosion eventually removed the volcanic cappings over Dizon and also exposed the quartz diorite porphyry stock which might have resulted in the truncation of a sizeable section of the Dizon deposit. The chain of stratovolcanoes that comprise southeastern Zambales range hugging the southeastern edge of the Zambales ophiolite is part of a west-facing volcanic arc that extends for some 300 km along the western margin of central and southern Luzon whose development has been correlated to the subduction in the Manila Trench located off the west coast of Luzon. Prominent WNW-trending lineaments that cut across the ophiolite appear to be splays of the Philippine Fault whose intersection with the Mt. Pinatubo stratovolcano complex might have localized the emplacement of a number of intermediate stocks along with the gold-rich porphyry copper mineralizations associated with some of them.
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