Exploration and geologic evaluation of the Los Bronces copper-molybdenum deposit, Chile

Stoiser, L. R.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The mineral resource potential of the Los Bronces deposit was successfully evaluated by an intense, coordinated field program over a 37-month period (April 1978 - May 1981). This project was part of a much larger study to determine the economic feasibility of expanding the open-pit, mine-mill operation 10-fold to 80 kt/d (88,000 stpd). The resource project included more than 120 km (74 miles) of core drilling and 64 km (40 miles) of drill rig access way construction under adverse topographic and climatic conditions, detailed geological mapping, and other related activities. The Los Bronces deposit is composed of an earlier mineralized porphyry-type body intruded in part by a large complex of mineralized hydrothermal breccia pipes. The mineralization is hosted by intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks. Various stages of erosion, oxidation, leaching, and supergene enrichment of copper are present. Drill hole indicated geologic reserves are estimated at 1.3 Gt (1.4 billion st), averaging 0.81% copper and 0.016% molybdenum at a cutoff grade of 0.6% copper equivalence decreasing to 0.25% over the life of the mine. Trace amounts of silver are also present.
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