Project: A Test of Fe-Ti Oxides as Porphyry Cu Deposit Indicator Minerals in Glacial Tills
Mineral exploration for porphyry Cu deposits in the Canadian Cordillera is largely focused on prospective Mesozoic calc-alkaline and alkaline intrusive igneous rocks, some of which are overlain by an extensive unconsolidated sediment cover. Magnetite, an abundant mineral in all porphyry systems, is known for its resistance during supergene weathering. Trace element analysis of ore-related magnetite from various porphyry deposits in British Columbia indicate that individual ore deposits show unique trace element signatures in hydrothermal magnetite that differ from typical magnetite in igneous or metamorphic rocks.
A rigorous quantitative assessment, such as discriminant functions or multivariate analysis, will test correlations of magnetite chemistry to barren or prospective igneous sources. Ultimately, the aim of this project is to investigate if the trace element signature of ore-derived magnetite in basal till can provide a unique exploration vector for effectively identifying mineralized porphyry systems.