Mineral deposit models are important in exploration planning and quantitative resource assessments for two reasons: (1) grades and tonnages among deposit types are significantly different, and (2) many types occur in different geologic settings that can be identified from geologic maps. Mineral deposit models are the keystone in combining the diverse geoscience information on geology, mineral occurrences, geophysics, and geochemistry used in resource assessments and mineral exploration. Far too few thoroughly explored mineral deposits are available in most local areas for reliable identification of the important geoscience variables or for robust estimation of undiscovered deposits—thus we need mineral-deposit models. Globally based deposit models, such as those presented here, allow recognition of important features because the global models demonstrate how common different features are. Well-designed and -constructed deposit models allow geologists to know from observed geologic environments the possible mineral deposit types that might exist, and allow economists to determine the possible economic viability of these resources in the region. Thus, mineral deposit models play the central role in transforming geoscience information to a form useful to policy makers. The foundation of mineral deposit models is information about known deposits—the purpose of this publication is to make this kind of information available in digital form for a group of porphyry copper deposits.
This publication contains a computer file of information on porphyry copper deposits around the world. It also presents new grade and tonnage models for three subtypes of porphyry copper deposits, maps showing locations and general ages of these deposits, and a preliminary analysis with a number of figures summarizing many of the properties of these porphyry-style deposits. These summaries can be considered a new, quantified, form of most parts of descriptive models such as those in Cox and Singer (1986). The value of this information and analyses depends critically on the consistent manner of data gathering. For this reason, we first discuss the rules used in this compilation. Next the fields of the data file are considered. Finally, we discuss some of the things that can be done with the data.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Porphyry copper deposits of the world: database, maps, and preliminary analysis
U.S. Geological Survey
Geology, Minerals, Energy and Geophysics Science Center