Petrological Evolution of the Magmatic Suite Associated with the Coroccohuayco Cu(–Au–Fe) Porphyry–Skarn Deposit, Peru
The petrological evolution of magmatic rocks associated with porphyry-related Cu deposits is thought to exert a first-order control on ore genesis. It is therefore critical to understand and recognize petrological processes favourable to the genesis of porphyry systems. In this study we present new petrographic, geochemical (whole-rock and mineral), and isotopic (Pb, Sr, Nd) data for rocks from the magmatic suite associated with the Eocene Coroccohuayco porphyry–skarn deposit, southern Peru. Previously determined radiometric ages on these rocks provide the temporal framework for interpretation of the data. Arc-style magmatic activity started at Coroccohuayco with the emplacement of a composite precursor gabbrodiorite complex at c. 40·4 Ma. After a nearly 5 Myr lull, magmatic activity resumed at c. 35·6 Ma with the rapid emplacement of three dacitic porphyries associated with mineralization. However, zircon antecrysts in the porphyries show that intra-crustal magmatic activity started c. 2 Myr before porphyry emplacement and probably built a large intra-crustal magmatic body with an associated large thermal anomaly. Our data suggest that all magmas underwent a period of evolution in the deep crust before transfer and further evolution in the upper crust. The gabbrodiorite complex was sourced from a heterogeneous deep crustal reservoir and was emplaced at a pressure of 100–250 MPa where it underwent a limited amount of fractionation and formed a chemically zoned pluton. Its initial water content and oxygen fugacity were estimated to be around 3 wt % H2O and NNO ± 1 (where NNO is the nickel–nickel oxide buffer), respectively. The deep crustal source of the porphyries appears to have been more homogeneous. The porphyries are interpreted to be the product of advanced differentiation of a parental magma similar to the gabbrodiorite. Most of this evolution occurred at deep crustal levels (around 800 MPa) through fractionation of amphibole + pyroxene + plagioclase ± garnet, leading to the development of a high Sr/Y signature characteristic of porphyry-related magmatism worldwide. Subsequent upper crustal evolution (100–250 MPa) was dominated by crustal assimilation, cannibalism of previously emplaced magma batches (proto-plutons) and magma recharge. Water content and oxygen fugacity were estimated to be around 5 wt % H2O and NNO + 1 to NNO + 2, respectively, at the end of the period of upper crustal evolution. This high oxygen fugacity is inferred to have favoured sulphur and metal enrichment in the melt. The high thermal regime generated through 2 Myr of sustained magmatism in the upper crust favoured crustal assimilation, proto-pluton cannibalism, and efficient metal extraction upon fluid exsolution. The Coroccohuayco magmatic suite appears to have acquired its metallogenic potential (high fO2, high Sr/Y) through several million years of deep crustal evolution.