The Copper Creek mining district, southeastern Arizona, contains more than 500 mineralized breccia pipes, buried porphyry-style, copper-bearing stockworks, and distal lead-silver veins. The breccia pipes are hosted by the Copper Creek Granodiorite and the Glory Hole volcanic rocks. The unexposed Mammoth breccia pipe, solely recognized by drilling, has a vertical extent of 800 m and a maximum width of 180 m. The pipe consists of angular clasts of granodiorite cemented by quartz, chalcopyrite, bornite, anhydrite, and calcite. Biotite 40Ar/ 39Ar dates suggest a minimum age of 61.5??0.7 Ma for the host Copper Creek Granodiorite and 40Ar/39Ar dates on hydrothermal sericite indicate an age of 61.0??0.5 Ma for copper mineralization. Fluid inclusion studies suggest that a supercritical fluid with a salinity of approximately 10 wt.% NaCl equiv. condensed to a dilute aqueous vapor (1-2.8 wt.% NaCl equiv.) and a hypersaline brine (33.4-35.1 wt.% NaCl equiv.). Minimum trapping temperatures are 375??C and trapping depths are estimated at 2 km. Sulfur isotope fractionation of cogenetic anhydrite and chalcopyrite yields a temperature of mineralization of 469??25??C. Calculated oxygen and hydrogen isotope values for fluids in equilibrium with quartz and sericite range from 10.2??? to 13.4??? and -60??? to -39???, respectively, suggesting that the mineralizing fluid was dominantly magmatic. Evidence from the stable isotope and fluid inclusion analyses suggests that the fluids responsible for Cu mineralization within the Mammoth breccia pipe exsolved from a gray porphyry phase found at the base of the breccia pipe. ?? Springer-Verlag 2008.
Additional publication details
Geology and geochemistry of the Mammoth breccia pipe, Copper Creek mining district, southeastern Arizona: Evidence for a magmatic-hydrothermal origin