The Mollehuaca and San Juan de Chorunga deposits are hosted in the poorly explored gold and copper trends of the Nazca-Ocoña metallogenic belt in Arequipa, Perú, which extends from Trujillo (9◦S) to Nazca-Ocoña (14◦S). The aim of this study is to characterize the age, occurrence, and distribution of quartz vein-hosted Au-Ag mineralization and associated trace elements (e.g., Hg, Pb, Cu, Zn, and Bi) in these deposits. Here, we present geological mapping, geochemical whole rock inductively coupled plasma (ICP)-MS data of the veins, petrographic observations, backscattered electron images, quantitative SEM-based automated mineralogy, and electron microprobe analyses (EMPA). Despite the fact that there are numerous small-scale gold mines in the Nazca-Ocoña metallogenic belt, there have been few studies that document the origin and geological evolution of these deposits or the implications for decision-making in exploration, metallurgical processing, and environmental management. In this research, we document the host rock age of the mineralized veins (129.2 ± 1.0 Ma; U-Pb in zircon), the mineralization age (95.86 ± 0.05 Ma;40Ar/39Ar in secondary biotite), the occurrence and distribution of Au-Ag in the veins, the mineral zonation present in the vein system, and the zircon geochemistry, in order to provide tools for natural resource management in the metallogenic belt.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This study was funded by the Center for Mining Sustainability (Universidad Nacional de San Agustín, Arequipa, Perú and Colorado School of Mines).
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- Gold veins
- Small-scale mining