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Publication Detail
Tectono-metallogenetic evolution of the Fe–Cu deposit of Dominga, northern Chile
© 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin HeidelbergThe Dominga district in northern Chile (2082 Mt at 23.3 % Fe, 0.07 % Cu) shows a spatial and genetic affinity among distinctive structural elements and Fe–Cu-rich paragenetic mineral assemblages. Deep seated, NE-to-E striking structural elements form a right-lateral duplex-like structural system (early structural system, ESS) that cuts a regionally extensive alteration (stage I) zone. The EES system served as a locus and as path for the emplacement of biotite–magnetite alteration/mineralization (stage IIa) as veins and Fe-bearing layers following altered volcano sedimentary strata. NW-striking actinolite–magnetite hydrothermal breccias, coeval with and part of the ESS, include apatite (stage IIb) crystallized at 127 ± 15 Ma (U–Pb, 2σ). The ESS was also the locus of subsequent alteration/mineralization represented by K-feldspar, epidote, and albite (stage IIIa) and Fe–Cu-rich (vermiculite–anhydrite–chalcopyrite, stage IIIb) mineral associations. Shallowly developed, NNE-striking, left-lateral structural elements defining the El Tofo Structural System (ETSS)—probably part of the Atacama Fault System—clearly crosscut the ESS. Minerals associated with alteration/mineralization stage IIIb also occur as veins and as part of hydrothermal breccias of the ETSS, marking the transition from the ESS to ETSS. Molybdenite associated with alteration/mineralization stage IIIb yielded a Re–Os age of 127.1 ± 0.7 Ma (2σ). Both the ESS and ETSS were cut by left-lateral, NW- to E-striking shallowly developed structural elements (Intermediate Structural System, ISS) on which a hematite–calcite assemblage (stage IV) occurs mostly as infill material of veins and fault veins. The ISS is cut by N-striking, left-lateral, and shallowly developed structural elements (Late Structural System, LSS) showing no evidence of alteration/mineralization. Estimated strain and stress fields indicate an overall NW-trending shortening/compression and NE-trending stretching/tension strike-slip regime probably due to oblique subduction during the Mesozoic. However, the orientations of the stress and strain fields calculated for each structural system suggest a back-and-forth rotation pattern during transition from one structural system to the other—as they change between transtension and transpression—and between alteration/mineralization stages.
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