Stable isotope and fluid inclusion study of sediment-hosted stratiform copper deposits from the Neuquén Basin, Argentina

Rainoldi, A. L., Franchini, M. B., Boyce, A. J. , Giusiano, A., Cesaretti, N. N., Pons, J. and Ríos, F. J. (2019) Stable isotope and fluid inclusion study of sediment-hosted stratiform copper deposits from the Neuquén Basin, Argentina. Mineralium Deposita, 54(3), pp. 415-436. (doi: 10.1007/s00126-018-0815-3)

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The Los Chihuidos and El Porvenir deposits of the Neuquén Basin are examples of sediment-hosted stratiform Cu deposits generated by interaction of hydrocarbons and formation water with host red beds and metal-charged basinal brines. During early diagenesis of red beds precipitated hematite, kaolinite at 60 °C from meteoric water followed by calcite 1 (δ13C − 8 to − 3.3‰) and barite (δ34S + 4.1‰) with increasing temperature (75–85 °C) from an evolved surface fluid (δ18Ofluids + 0.9 to + 2.7‰). During the Tertiary Andean orogeny, hydrocarbons and formation water migrated and reacted with the red beds resulting in bleaching of the sandstone. Smectite (fluid δ18O − 2.2‰ and δD − 73.7‰), chlorite-smectite mixed-layer minerals (fluid δ18O − 6.9‰ and δD − 84‰), pyrite (δ34S + 10.2‰), and calcite 2 (δ13C − 12.9 to − 6.8‰) formed as by-product of the redox reactions. Calcite 2 formed from low-salinity fluids (0.4 to 5.9 wt% NaCl equiv.) at slightly higher temperatures (125–145 °C) at El Porvenir and at Los Chihuidos deposit (80–105 °C). During subsequent uplift, metal-charged basinal brines flowed into the bleached sandstone and precipitated chalcopyrite-bornite (δ34S + 12.3‰) followed by chalcocite-spionkopite (δ34S − 64 to + 4.1‰). Calcites 3a (δ13C − 19 to − 10.1‰) and 3b (δ13C − 31.4 to − 9.5‰) that accompanied Fe-Cu and Cu sulfides, respectively, formed from saline fluids (up to 21.3 wt% NaCl equiv.) at temperatures of 159–70 °C. The δ18O values (+ 5.6 to + 11.4‰) of fluids in equilibrium with calcite 3a are similar to oilfield and basinal brines. Fluids in equilibrium with calcite 3 in Los Chihuidos and calcite 3b in El Porvenir show much lighter δ18O values (− 7.3 to − 4.6‰ and − 0.6 to + 2.3‰, respectively), which suggests the involvement of methane as the main reductant and possibly meteoric water interaction.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The research was supported by FONCyT (PICT n° 2010-2608), CONICET (PIP n° 6043, PIP n° 1083, and PIP n° 330), Universidad Nacional del Comahue (PIP n°04/I167), a Student Research Grant awarded by the Society of Economic Geologists, and the Universidad Nacional del Sur (SECyT through its Internship program in Research and PGI 24/H128). AJB acknowledges funding by NERC (F14/G6/11/01) of the NERC Isotope Community Support Facility and SUERC. Francisco Javier Rios acknowledges financial support by the CNPq 308781/2014-7 and FAPEMIG PPM-00493-15 projects.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyce, Professor Adrian
Authors: Rainoldi, A. L., Franchini, M. B., Boyce, A. J., Giusiano, A., Cesaretti, N. N., Pons, J., and Ríos, F. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Mineralium Deposita
ISSN (Online):1432-1866
Published Online:28 June 2018

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