The PhD project aims to answer a number of key questions relating to the transportation and deposition of Cu within the Mount Polley and Lorraine alkalic porphyry deposits. At both deposits Cu-Fe sulfides occur in association with apatite, and whole rock geochemistry from the Mount Polley deposit demonstrates that there is a strong positive correlation between phosphorous and copper, suggesting that these elements may couple during transportation and deposition. The study has demonstrated that apatite in Cu-Fe sulfide ore at Mount Polley crystallized with Cu-Fe sulfide ore and that apatites have εNd and εSr values consistent with a depleted mantle source.
The study also shows that apatite associated with Cu-Fe ore have S-rich cores and comparatively S-poor rims suggesting that there was a decrease in the activity of S+6 during the crystallization of apatite and/or an increase in the activity of P, which are important clues towards understanding the relative activity of oxidized species during mineralization. Future work will focus on sulfate and primary and secondary fluid inclusions within apatite to better understand the composition and trapping temperature of fluids that were associated with apatite crystallization and ore-deposition. This work should improve our understanding of processes occurring during ore deposition and thus lead to better exploration models.