Discovery of the Silver Creek molybdenum deposit, Rico, Colorado

Cameron, D. E. ; Barrett, L. F. ; Wilson, J. C.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Exploration by Anaconda Minerals Co. in the Rico area from 1978 through 1983 resulted in dis¬covery of the Silver Creek molybdenum deposit. The drill-indicated resource is 40 Mt (44 million st) of 0.31% Mo, and projections suggest that the deposit may exceed 182 Mt (200 million st). No source intrusion has been intersected by drilling, but its presence is sugested by intramineral silicic alkali-alaskite porphyry dikes observed at the surface and in drill holes. Age dates and fluid inclusion studies indicate that the deposit was formed 5.2 ± 0.2 m.y. ago and that more than 1200 (3937 ft) of cover has since been removed by erosion. The deposit is hosted by Precambrian quartzite and greenstone, and Paleozoic sediments. Three prominent faults intersect in the vicinity of the molybdenum deposit, and one of these, the Last Chance fault, strongly influenced the shape and location of the deposit. The juxtaposition of host rocks across the Last Chance fault reflects significant offset spanning at least three different periods. Wallrock alteration associated with the deposit includes potassic, phyllic, and propylitic zones in noncalcareous rocks and garnet and anhydrite-diopside zones in the carbonates. All +0.2% Mo mineralization is within the potassic and garnet zones. Premineral faults that intersect the deposit contain the only surface molybdenum, tungsten, and fluorine anomalies. Dispersion halos of the indicator elements were defined by drilling in the discovery phase of exploration, and are particularly well-developed in the hanging wall of the Last Chance fault.
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