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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

Distal alteration around carbonate replacement deposits formed at shallow


crustal levels: Matagente zone of Cerro de Pasco, central Per

Introduction
Alteration of carbonate rocks surrounding skarn and carbonate replacement deposits is zoned
away from the magmatic sources along stratigraphic and structurally controlled fluid flow
pathways (Morris, 1968; Beaty et al., 1990; Megaw, 1999, 2002; Megaw et al., 1988, 1996;
Freihauf and Pareja, 1998; Bendez et al., 2003; Titley, 1993, 1996). Dolomitization, calcite
precipitation, and silicification are common and ubiquitous alteration forms exterior to the
deposit in response to thermally driven circulation of a combination of meteoric water, non-
metalliferous connate brines derived from various sources, and magmatic-derived but metal-
depleted hydrothermal fluids. On the gross scale as the low temperature hydrothermal fluids
leave the sulfide-deposition environment, carbonate rocks are varyingly recrystallized to marble
and dolomite, decarbonated or sanded, silicified and converted to jasperoid depending upon the
composition of the sedimentary strata as well as the location within the alteration halo. Calcite
and argentiferous manganese oxide minerals are common in veins, with ankeritic or dolomitic
carbonate minerals forming veins closer to the sulfide bodies. Water-rock exchange also alters
the stable isotopic signature of carbonate host rocks over much broader areas in limestone-
dominated terranes (Beaty et al., 1990; Kesler et al., 1995) than in dolomite-dominated ones
(Freihauf and Pareja, 1998). In carbonate-poor rocks, veins with argillized or silicified margins
define the distal fringes of the magmatic-hydrothermal systems, and some can carry gold
resources (e.g. Theodore et al., 1998; Alvarez and Noble, 1988). Pervasive alteration effects
may extend as little as 1 meter away from a massive sulfide bodies in primary dolomitic
sedimentary rocks, but may extend tens to hundreds of meters away in calcitic limestone, with
localized alteration extending kilometers along highly channelized fluid pathways (Beaty et al.,
1990; Freihauf and Pareja, 1998).
Central Per is host to a wide range of carbonate-hosted polymetallic deposits (Peterson,
1965; Noble and McKee, 1999). These formed at a variety of depths within the upper few
kilometers of the crust. Polymetallic sulfide deposits formed at the shallowest crustal levels are
represented by the Miocene Cerro de Pasco and Colquijirca deposits (Fig. 1). Cerro de Pasco,
along with the Colquijirca deposit about 8 km to the south, are also considered to be examples of
the Cordilleran base-metal lode and replacement deposits (Einaudi, 1977, 1982; Bendez et al.,
2002, 2003), which form late in the evolution of porphyry-related hydrothermal systems
emplaced in a carbonate host rock terrane. These two deposits are associated with Miocene (10-
12 Ma) volcanic complexes (Bendez et al, 2003, 2004). A reconnaissance visit to the distal
parts of the Colquijirca deposit was made during Year 1 of the project, and a follow on visit to
map the distal alteration adjacent to a small part of Cerro de Pasco was undertaken during Year
2. This chapter describes the study at Cerro de Pasco and incorporates observations from the
visit to Colquijirca.

Geological setting
The historic Cerro de Pasco deposit, located on the Andean Plateau in Central Per (Fig 1), is
one of the largest polymetallic resources in the world. Past production plus known resources
include a minimum of 100 Mt at about 7% Zn, 2% Pb and 3 oz/t Ag. In addition, mining has
produced 1.2 billion ounces silver, 2 million ounces Au, and Cu ores with an equivalent of
around 50 Mt at 2 % Cu, largely prior to 1950. Mining of carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb (-Bi-Ag) ores

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

has most recently taken place on the eastern part of the open pit, immediately west of the study
area (Fig. 2).

Figure 1. Location map for Cerro de Pasco in relationship to sites of other


detailed studies on the distal alteration.

Slightly metamorphosed Devonian shales and sandstones of the Excelsior Group are the
oldest rocks outcropping in the Cerro de Pasco District (Fig. 2). Overlying them unconformably
are Permian to Triassic red sandstones and conglomerates of the Mit Group. These rocks
dominate west of the Falla Cerro de Pasco, a major northerly striking fault that separates the
district into two halves. East of the fault, the Mit Group is overlain by a several hundred meters
of Upper Triassic to Lower Jurassic limestone and dolomitic limestone of the Pucar Group. The
sedimentary rock formations have been folded during Eocene to Miocene shortening events and
juxtaposed along the Falla Cerro de Pasco (Angeles, 1993).
Miocene volcanic activity in the Cerro de Pasco District is localized along the Falla Cerro de
Pasco where intrusions related to a diatreme neck are localized. Base-metal sulfide minerals
were deposited near the diatreme-intrusive complex along the eastern side of the Falla Cerro de
Pasco in the carbonate rocks of the Pucar Group (e.g. Einaudi, 1977). Alteration distal to these
sulfide ore bodies is the subject of the study reported herein. West of the fault, quartz-enargite
veins striking easterly are localized within the diatreme complex.
The variety and sequence of ore deposition at Cerro de Pasco is well established (Graton and
Bowditch, 1936; Lacy, 1949; Ward, 1961; Einaudi, 1977; summarized in Baumgartner et al.,
2003). The oldest stage formed an extensive replacement body of quartz-pyrite on the eastern

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

margin of the vent. Minor sphalerite was deposited at this time. Pyrrhotite replaced the central
portions of the pyrite-quartz body in steep, pipe-like zones and grades outward to ore dominated

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

by Fe-rich sphalerite with galena and chalcopyrite; replacement was probably part of the quartz-
pyrite stage. Westerly striking enargite-pyrite veins in the western area truncate the early
mineralization stage. Some of these veins, largely those emplaced in the Excelsior phyllites, are
rich in Au. Einaudi (1977) also distinguished a younger Fe-poor sphalerite.
Iron-poor sphalerite galena - pyrite ores replace carbonate rocks of the Pucar Group
mainly in the eastern part of the open pit, including the area occupied by the ancient Matagente
mines and the new Diamante, Cuerpo Nuevo and Manto V orebodies (Fig. 2). This area lies
immediately west of the study area. The sulfide minerals were accompanied dominantly by
mixtures of argillic to advanced argillic alteration minerals including the alunite supergroup as
well as by abundant quartz, kaolinite, dickite, and barite, a typical mineral assemblage formed by
low temperature acidic and oxidized hydrothermal fluids.

The Diamante, Cuerpo Nuevo, and Manto V areas are zoned (Fig. 3). They have inner cores
rich in Cu (1-5 wt%), with famatinite and tetrahedrite as the principal Cu minerals. The Cu-
cores grade outward into pyritic zones rich in Bi-Ag-Sb. Zinc-Pb ores (sphalerite and galena) lie

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

predominantly outside the Cu-Bi core. In a more marginal position, hematite, magnetite, and
siderite-ankerite are present as well as Mn-Fe-Zn carbonate minerals that are usually adjacent to
the host Pucar Group carbonate rocks. These characteristics, including the presence of the
alunite group minerals and Fe-poor sphalerite, are similar to those of the sulfide rock at San
Gregorio and Colquijirca (Fontbot and Bendez, 2000; Bendez and Fontbot, 2002;
Baumgartner et al., 2003).
Three fracture and fault meshes control the distribution of sulfide rock bodies at Cerro de
Pasco: 045 (San Alberto), 130 (Manto V and Cuerpo Nuevo), and 170 (southern part of
Diamante). Subvertical, sulfide rock bodies recognized east and south of the open pit (2004),
along 130 and 170 directions (Baumgartner et al., 2003) are concentrated along fault and
fracture meshes that cut the host rocks of the Pucar Group prior to mineralization. These
fabrics acted as fluid conduits for the lateral flow of cooling hydrothermal fluids. Bedding
locally provided subordinate control on the geometry and distribution of the sulfide ore bodies.

Generalized alteration
Similar visible alteration envelopes are developed around the sulfide bodies at Cerro de
Pasco and Colquijirca (Staff de Compania Volcan Minera, 2000a,b; Bendez and Fontbot,
2002; Baumgartner et al., 2003). The massive sulfide bodies are surrounded by an envelope of
dickite and alunite rich rock that overlaps the fringes of the sulfide bodies (Fig. 3). Dolomitized
rock surrounds the ore bodies (Fig 4). At Cerro de Pasco, dolomitized rocks dominate the
eastern pit wall, and extend to about 500-600 m beyond the edge of the open pit (~ 1 km from
core of sulfide ore body). At Colquijirca, dolomitized rock extends about 1 km along strike from
the northern limit of massive sulfides. Dolomitization has recrystallized the host carbonate rocks
resulting in a featureless rock from a sedimentologic perspective. Bleaching of the gray
limestone to a lighter grey on fresh or beige color on weathered surfaces marks the transition
from visually unaltered limestone to dolomite (Fig. 5a). At Cerro de Pasco, Pb-Zn sulfides in
small carbonate veins are common outside of the sulfide bodies cutting the dolomitized rocks,
and also filling the matrix in brecciated silicified bodies (see below), as well as cutting unaltered
limestone outside of any evidence of pervasive alteration. Baumgartner et al. (2003) reports that
dolomite is the dominant vein mineral within the dolomitized halo.
Silica flooding and replacement of carbonate rocks forms isolated bodies on the fringes at
Cerro de Pasco (Figs. 4 and 5b). These silicified rocks are also a principal host for sulfide
minerals at Colquijirca (Bendez and Fontbot, 2002). The rock resulting from silica
replacement of the host carbonate rocks is termed jasperoid after Lovering (1972). At
Colquijirca and Cerro de Pasco, the jasperoid bodies are also completely enclosed within the
dolomitized country rocks (Bendez et al., 2003; Staff de Compania Volcan Minera, 2000a,b).
These bodies form prominent topographic highs and are mapped as far as 1 km beyond the
sulfide ore bodies (this study; Compania Volcan Minera, 2000a, b). Jasperoid ranges in color
from the most distal cream (Fig 4c-d) that grade into beige (Fig 5e-f) and finally dark brown to
black jasperoid where abundant sulfides are present (Fig. 5g-h). The darker jasperoid are
commonly brecciated, and re-cemented by sulfide minerals. The color changes correlate with
the increasing presence of sulfide minerals, as shown by the progressive increase of visible
sulfide minerals or Fe-oxide minerals coating the weathered surfaces. At Cerro de Pasco, the
transition occurs over the distance of meters in which the jasperoid varieties are intermixed. In
contrast at Colquijirca, the transition is gradual, and is visible over distances of hundreds of
meters to a kilometer. The difference in transitional distance between the two sites is likely a

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

function of fracture-controlled flow of hydrothermal fluid at Cerro de Pasco versus bedding


controlled flow of hydrothermal fluid at Colquijirca.

At Cerro de Pasco, a narrow (50-100 m thick), elongate band of coarse-grained white calcite
marble separates the host limestone from the dolomitized limestone (Fig. 5). In contrast, the lack
of the marble transition at Colquijirca presumably reflects the marly composition of the host
rocks. To the east beyond the marble at Cerro de Pasco and across a relatively abrupt contact,
unaltered blue grey limestone dominates. Narrow, calcite vein networks locally cut the unaltered
limestone, and are hosted in the fracture and fault meshes. Geochemical data indicate these are
of hydrothermal origin and contained some Pb-Zn sulfides in addition to pyrite (see below).

Elemental changes with alteration


Sixty-three samples were collected across and along the strike (100-120) of the fault and
fracture mesh representing the fluid-escape structures east-southeast of Matagente (Fig. 5). All
rock and alteration types were sampled. At a few sites, both carbonate and jasperoid material
was sampled from the same outcrop. For the most part, the sampling avoided gossanous oxide as
these rocks were obviously hydrothermally altered.
The rocks were submitted to ALS Chemex for standard analytical packages typical of those
used during an exploration program. Gold was analyzed by fire assay, but is at or below the 5
parts per billion (ppb) detection level in all samples and is not reported formally herein. Mercury
was analyzed by cold vapor following an aqua regia digestion. The remaining elements were
analyzed by 4-acid digestion, which does not fully dissolve refractory minerals such as zircon.

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

Elements in refractory minerals such as Zr, Hf, Ta, and Nb are thus of uncertain value and are
not reported herein. Major elements are reported as weight percent (wt %) and are semi-
quantitative values. All other elements are reported in parts per million (ppm). In addition, a
large subset of the carbonate rocks and veins were analyzed for their oxygen and carbon isotopic
composition. Isotopic samples were collected from cut slabs by micro drilling and replicate
analyses were completed on a subset of the samples. In addition, multiple samples were
obtained from different parts of the same sample, and these provide an internal check on the
isotopic heterogeneity in the rocks. Four jasperoids were also analyzed for their oxygen isotopic
compositions. Brief descriptions of the samples and the elemental data separated by alteration
zone are presented in the appendices, along with the complete analytical data. Oxygen and
carbon isotopic data for carbonate rocks separated by sample type are also in the appendices as is
the bulk analytical data. Table 1 contains measured and calculated fluid compositions for
jasperoid samples. Analytical procedures for the stable isotopic analyses are presented in chapter
on Antamina.
As the goal of the project was to develop criteria and techniques applicable for the
exploration environment, only analytical packages widely used in the exploration were utilized.
Thus, quantitative analysis of major elements, particularly SiO2, CaO and MgO by XRF and
CO2, which have been used in other studies of distal alteration in carbonate rock terrane (Large
and McGoldrick, 2000; Large et al., 2000), were not collected during the study. In the case of
SiO2, this lack of major oxide concentrations hinders the analysis of the data, as an elemental
proxy for silicification or jasperoid formation needs to be defined. Clearly, a better
understanding of the element distribution and patterns formed during superposed hydrothermal
events would result from the availability of major oxide data. Such an analysis of the samples
using other techniques could be a topic of following research. Nonetheless, the available data do
provide conclusions about the elemental changes that are part of the distal expression of the
hydrothermal alteration around a high-level carbonate replacement ore body.

Geochemical changes
There are 3 mapable alteration changes on the large scale (Fig. 4) in addition to the formation
of the massive sulfide bodies and veins. In addition, carbonate sulfide veins extend outside the
mapable alteration front, and samples were collected from 2 of these veins. The large scale
changes are, in paragenetic sequence at any one site: 1) dolomitization of the Pucar Group
carbonate rocks and formation of the marble front; 2) silicification of the dolomitized rocks and
the formation of jasperoid; and finally 3) introduction of Pb-Zn and associated elements during
influx of metalliferous hydrothermal fluid into the brecciated jasperoid bodies and also along
thin fracture hosted veins.

Dolomitization
Dolomitization is accompanied by recrystallization of the host limestone. From a
geochemical perspective, the dolomitization process is best detected by the loss of Ca and
increase in Mg over the host rock, as is evident from the map-scale distribution of Ca and Mg
(Fig 6a,b) as well as their elemental relationship (Fig. 7a). Accompanying dolomitization is the
near complete removal of Sr (<100 ppm) from the host carbonate rocks (>2000 ppm; 2 samples
with ~1250 ppm Sr have pre-hydrothermal chert nodules which act to dilute the whole rock
analysis) (Figs. 6c and 7b). Strontium removal extends into the coarse white marble that forms
the transition from dolomitized rock to unaltered grey limestone. Thus, Sr appears to be the best

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

proxy for pervasive hydrothermal dolomitization as it forms a depletion halo extending as much
as 1 km away from the core of the sulfide ore body.

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

Exceptions to the Sr removal from dolomitized rocks are observed in dolomitic rock
collected from the wall of the open pit. The rocks are hydrothermally altered and have elevated
metal contents, but also still have significant Sr contents (200-400 ppm). That they are pre-
hydrothermal dolomitic limestone is also reflected in their stable isotopic compositions being
equivalent to that of unaltered carbonate rocks outside the dolomite halo (see below). Freihauf
and Pareja (1998) have shown that oxygen isotopic re-equilibration of dolomite in the presence
of a hydrothermal fluid in a carbonate replacement environment can be negligible. Implicit in
this observation is a potential discriminator to distinguish hydrothermal dolomititized limestone
from primary sedimentary or diagenetic dolomitic limestone. However, some care should be
taken, as the number of sample is limited. A site to test the chemical changes associated with
diagenetic or sedimentary dolomitization would be outside the limits of a hydrothermal system,
perhaps on the ridge immediately west of Marcapunta in the Colquijirca District.

Other elements show some relationship with the dolomitization process. Barium appears to
generally decrease in hydrothermally dolomitize limestone but it is not completely removed.
Conversely, Cd apparently is elevated in the dolomitized limestone (0.4-18 ppm) over the host
limestone (<0.1 ppm). These are not shown graphically, but are visible in the bulk chemical data
shown on Table 2.

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

Jasperoid
Discontinuous jasperoid bodies, localized along the fracture meshes (Fig. 5b), surround the
Cerro de Pasco sulfide ore body (Staff de Compania Volcan Minera, 2000a,b). These bodies lie
inside the marble front (Fig. 4). Small and narrow silica veins are common in the dolomitized
limestone. Elevated As (11-226 ppm) and Sb (4-141 ppm) with respect to the dolomitized
limestone (<2.5-20 ppm and 1-15 ppm, respectively) are detected in mapable jasperoid bodies.

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

Elevated As is also found in dolomitized rocks that contain small networks of silica veins that
have not coalesced into coherent jasperoid. That As is added during silicification, in view of the
lack of SiO2 concentration data, is supported by the increase in As concentration without any
increase in Mg concentration (Fig. 9a) or Sr. Antimony, Hg (0.08-0.3 ppm) and Tl (1-16 ppm)
generally increase in concentration in parallel with As (Fig. 9b-d) and show a similar inverse
relationship to Mg and Sr. Cesium (1-5 ppm) also increases with As, but is not shown on Figure
9. Cadmium, which was enriched in the dolomitized limestone, has lower levels of concentration
(0.6-10 ppm) in jasperoid; whether this reflects dilution due to silica addition is uncertain. A
distal calcite vein outside the marble zone locally has very high As, Hg, Sb, and Tl, and locally
Cd, thereby indicating that these elements can travel outside the obvious jasperoid bodies along
fracture zones.

Metal introduction
Maps of Zn and Mn show the general introduction of these elements within the dolomitized
zone (Fig. 10). These elements are also detected outside the dolomite zone but only in calcite
veins. There is a general correlation between Zn, Mn, and Pb (Fig. 11a-b), but not with Sr or As
(Fig. 11c-d), the elements used as proxies for dolomitization and jasperoid formation. Zinc and
Mn concentrations are most anomalous (up to 1-3 %) along the two major roads in the study area
where abundant gossanous veins cut the dolomitized limestone. On a local scale, Pb and Zn
values can be greater in the jasperoid than in the relict dolomitized limestone in samples taken

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

from the same outcrop. Lead and Zn presumably reside in the gossanous breccia infill or
disseminated sulfide in the dark brown to black jasperoid (Fig. 5e-h).

Copper and Bi correlate (Fig. 11e), but do not correlated with Zn and Pb (Fig. 11f-g) or with
jasperoid formation as shown by the lack of correlation with As (Fig. 11h). Nonetheless, Cu (2-
22 ppm) and Bi (0.1-7.7 ppm), although present in small amounts, are elevated in jasperoid with
respect to the dolomitized rocks. These relationships imply that Cu and Bi represent a distinct

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

event that post-dates jasperoid formation. Presumably these elements were introduced after
brecciation and were deposited as clast matrix infill. As Cu-bearing sulfide minerals form

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

jasperoid breccia infill in the Cu-rich portions of Colquijirca (Mina Smelter), it is considered
likely that trace Cu-bearing minerals were present as breccia infill in the study area as well. In
the main ore bodies at Cerro de Pasco, Cu-Bi ores occupy the cores of the ore zone (Fig. 3) and
have associated Sb and Ag (summarized by Baumgartner et al., 2003). Copper and Bi likely
reflect higher temperature and an older phase of hydrothermal input focused into the brecciated
jasperoid.

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

Stable isotope halo


Depletion halos of d 18O and d 13C relative to the host marine carbonate rocks are well
documented around carbonate hosted polymetallic and skarn deposits (Beaty et al., 1990; Kesler
et al., 1995; Freihauf and Pareja, 1998). Such a halo is found at Cerro de Pasco and transition
corresponds to the marble front that separates dolomitized limestone from grey unaltered
limestone. Oxygen isotope values of >22 per mil VSMOW in carbonate rocks east of the marble
front are typical of marine carbonate rocks (Vezier et al. 1999). Oxygen isotope values west of
the marble front are generally less than 22 per mil, except locally (see below). In contrast to the
very abrupt transition in d18O, values for d13C are >2 per mil VPDB outside the marble front
whereas inside the marble front the values are generally less than 2 per mil (Fig. 12b). Overall,
there is a gradual decrease in d18O with decrease in d 13C values (Fig. 13a) however there are
exceptions to the pattern. The most noticeable exception are hydrothermal veins cutting the
limestone, which have light d18O and d13C values like those found inside the marble front in the
dolomitized limestone. Conversely, there are also samples with d18O greater than 22 inside the
marble front.
As noted earlier, there are a few samples (3PPB696-700; Table 1 and 2) from a transect near
the center of the pit within the marble front that do not show the depletion in d 18O (22.8-25.2)
and have d18O values of Pucar Group carbonate rocks outside the alteration halo. In contrast to
the fresh limestone, these dolomitic rocks generally have lowered d13C (0.26-2.02), elevated Zn
(200-1600 ppm) and Mn (600-6100 ppm) concentrations, and have obviously interacted with a
metalliferous hydrothermal fluid. Furthermore, the whole-rock Sr concentrations (150-380 ppm)
suggest these rocks may not been recrystallized to dolomite during the hydrothermal circulation.
Based on these parameters, we conclude that these dolomitic limestone are pre-hydrothermal and
that they retained their pre-hydrothermal d18O because of the lack of recrystallization and thus
opportunity to undergone isotopic reequilibration with the hydrothermal fluid. Freihauf and
Pareja (1998) noted a similar resistance of dolomitic limestone to isotopic resetting in the
Superior District of Arizona except within 1 m of the massive sulfide lodes. At Cerro de Pasco,
these dolomitic limestone samples are near the lodes but not immediately adjacent to them (Fig.
12).
That the d18O and d13C isotopic shifts are a function of the dolomitization process and not the
influx of silica-bearing or metalliferous fluids is shown by plotting d18O and d13C versus Sr (Fig.
13b-c), As (Fig. 13d-e), and Zn (Fig. 13f-g). Dolomitized limestone is typified by negligible Sr
concentrations but a range of d18O from ~15 to ~21, essentially forming a near vertical array on
the diagram. The pattern for d 13C is more scattered with some otherwise altered samples
retaining values typical of the host Pucar Group limestone. Other samples have extremely
depleted values. Using As and Zn as proxies for the late influxes of hydrothermal fluid, it is
evident that the d18O and d 13C values remain depleted but simply shifted to higher elemental
concentrations.
Table 1. Oxygen isotopic compositions of jasperoid.
Jasperoid silica d18O measured
3PPB644 26.4
3PBB656 19.2
3PBB670 18.8
3PBB684 20.4

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

Four jasperoid samples were analyzed for their oxygen isotopes (Table 4). The measured
values range from 18.8 to 26.4 per mil. These values are less (>30 per mil) than what
characterizes primary chert or diagenetic chert (Rey and Delgado, 2002; Abruzzese et al., 2005).
The values are, furthermore, consistent with silica that would have been deposited at 200C to
250C from a magmatic fluid characterized by 10 per mil values.
Gossanous samples have extremely depleted d13C values (-4 to ~-8 per mil), and locally light
d18O of ~12 per mil. These values likely represent the effect of bacterial activity or more likely
the influence of meteoric water with light d18O during weathering of the sulfides. These values
are interpreted to reflect post-mineral secondary processes and are not a function of the primary
hydrothermal systems.

Summary
Manganese elemental halos, dolomitization, and stable isotopic shifts have been documented
to varying degree around many carbonate rock hosted ore deposits including the carbonate
replacement and skarn (Beaty et al., 1990; Megaw, 1998, 2001; Meinert et al., 1997), distal
precious metal deposits (Thompson et al., 2004), and SEDEX deposits (Large and McGoldrick,
2000: Large et al, 2000). These have been noted, particularly in the SEDEX environment as
much as 20 km away from the sulfide ore deposit along the host stratigraphic horizon. Fringing
Mn halos are also seen around porphyry Cu deposits (Jones, 1992) as well as sedimentary rock
hosted volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits (Peters and Goodfellow, 2003).
This study has demonstrated that alteration and elemental zones form halos at Cerro de
Pasco. It furthermore has developed chemical criteria for potentially distinguishing
hydrothermal dolomitized limestone from sedimentary or diagenetic dolomitic limestone as well
as hydrothermal jasperoid from diagenetic chert nodules in areas where there is no other
evidence (veins, gossans, etc) for the introduction of a metalliferous hydrothermal fluid.
We propose the following chemical criteria for distinguishing hydrothermal dolomitize rocks
from primary or diagenetic dolomitic limestone or marly rocks. Dolomitized rocks will be
recrystallized to lighter colors and be depleted in Sr (<100 ppm). Recrystallization might be
viewed as an analogue to the bleaching seen around skarn deposits (this study). In addition,
there appears to be a potential for the dolomitized limestone to contain low but elevated Cd with
respect to the country rocks. This change in Cd content although real at Cerro de Pasco is
relatively subtle because of the low magnitude of changes noted. These geochemical
characteristics will be pervasive in rocks as far as 1 km from the core of the sulfide body, and in
the case of Colquijirca appear to extend as much as 1 km from the end of the sulfide ore body.
The large lateral extent is due to the highly channelized flow of the hydrothermal fluid along the
host stratigraphy. It is not out of the question that in areas of fracture-controlled flow that the
lateral but highly focused escape of the dilute hydrothermal fluid could be recognized along
fracture meshes for a similar distance from the sulfide ore body.
We also propose that the epithermal suite of elements (As, Sb, Hg, Tl with potentially Cs)
is uniquely associated with hydrothermal jasperoid. These elements provide a means for
distinguishing hydrothermal silica concentrations from diagenetic chert nodules. These elements
are also those that are anomalous in distal precious metal prospects, notably the Pursima
Concepin prospect at Yauricocha (Noble and Alvarez, 1988; Noble et al., 2000) or in distal
gold deposits associated with porphyry Cu centers (Theodore, 1998). Unfortunately, at Cerro de
Pasco, no gold was detected at the 5 ppb level in jasperoid.

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Final report: Sources and Exhausts in Polymetallic Carbonate Rock-hosted Ore Deposits

References cited
Abruzzese, M.J., Waldbauer, J.R. and Chamberlain, C.P., 2005, Oxygen and hydrogen isotope
ratios in freshwater chert as indicators of ancient climate and hydrologic regimes:
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 69, p. 1377-1390.
Alvarez, A.A., and Noble, D.C., 1988, Sedimentary rock-hosted disseminated precious-metal
mineralization at Pursima Concepcin, Yauricocha district, central Peru: Economic
Geology, v. 83, p. 1368-1378.
Angeles, C., 1993, Geologa de Colquijirca y alrededores: Informe privado Sociedad Minera El
Brocal S.A., 39p.
Baumgartner, R., Fontbot, L., and Bendez, R., 2003, Low temperature, late Zn-Pb-(Bi-Ag-Cu)
mineralization and related acid alteration replacing carbonate rocks at Cerro de Pasco,
Central Peru, in Eliopoulos, D.G. et al., eds., Mineral Exploration and Sustainable
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