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Atacocha, El Porvenir
Peru
Main commodities: Zn Pb Cu Ag
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TheAtacochaandEl PorvenirCordilleranpolymetallicepithermalZn-Pb-Cu-Agdepositsarelocatedat Clickonimagefordetails.
~4000 m elevation, ~190 km NE of Lima, and 14.5 and 10 km NNE to NE of Cerro de Pasco
respectively, in the Department of Pasco, Central Peru. The two deposits are ~2 km apart and are
connectedbyundergrounddrives(#Location:Atacocha-1035'3"S,7612'37"W;ElPorvenir-1036'
37"S,7612'34"W).

ThepresenceofmineralisationintheAtacochadistricthasbeenknownsincecolonialtimesduetoits
proximity to Cerro de Pasco deposit, whose rich silver-bearing oxide ores were exploited by the
Spaniards. However, as oxidised ores are relatively scarce in the Atacocha district, and the sulfides
werenotamenabletotreatmentbythepriinitiverecoveryrnethodstheninuse,productionpriortothe
20thcenturywasprobablyinsignificant.Figuresareonlyavailablefrom1940andshowaproductionof
nearly one million tonnes of ore, almost all from the Atacocha mine, which yielded >90000 t of Pb,
65000 t of Zn and 225 t of Ag from 1940 to 1953. The mines are operated (in 2016) by Compaa
MineraMilpo,aPeruviancompanythatwasformedin1949toexploitElPorvenir,andsince2010has
becomeasubsidiaryoftheVotorantimGroupofBrazil.ModernexplorationbeganatAtacochaaround
1910, although successful exploitation did not commence until 1936 when the Compaa Minera
Atacochawasformed,whichwassubsequentlyacquiredbyCompaaMineraMilpoin2008.

Regional Setting

Fordetailsoftheregionalsetting,seetheseparatePeruvian Andes Cu-Au Provincerecord.

District Geology

The sequence within the immediate Atacocha-El Porvenir district is composed of Late Permian to
Cretaceous sedimentary and volcano-sedimentary rocks and is 2400 to 3900 in thickness. The
sequenceinthedistrictisasfollows,fromthebase(afterJohnsonet al.,1955;Johnson,1955;Bendez
andFontbot,2002):
Devonian or older
Excelsior formation-greyphylliteandquartzite.
Angular unconformity
Upper Permian to Lower Triassic
Mitu Groupwhichoccurasanticlinalinlierstotheeastandwestofthedeposits,andcomprises>600
mofredsandstoneandshalewithminoramountsofconglomerate,andlocallyabundantmaficvolcanic
flows.
Late Triassic-Early Jurassic
Pucar Group - 1000 to >2100 m of limestones, dolostones and lesser interbedded shales, which
disconformablyoverlietheMituGroup.Greytoblacklimestoneisthepredominantlithology,withminor
blackshale.Chertnodulesandlensesarecommoninthelimestone.Individualbedsrangeinthickness
from0.1toto1m.
Cretaceous
Goyllarisquisga Group-100to>150mofcrossbeddedwhitequartzsandstonewithadiscontinuous
conglomerate at base and red beds towards the top. This unit disconformably overlies the Pucar Group. In the Atacocha mine area, it
consists of bedded chert and chert-breccia at the base, overlain by dark shale and fine grained sandstone containing charred wood
fragments,overlaininturn,bywhitecross-beddedquartzsandstonethatmakesupthebulkoftheunit.IntheAtacocha-ElPorvenirdistrictit
occursonbothlimbsofagentlysouth-plunging,north-southtrendingsyncline
Basalt flows-thatis0to150mthick,withminoramountsofredshaleandsandstonethatconformablyoverliestheGoyllarisquisgaGroup
andlocallycontainswhitequartzsandstonenearthecentreofthesection.Thesebasaltsformthecoreofthesynclinementionedabove.
Chicrn limestone - that is 80 to 120 m thick and comprises a conformably overlying succession of massive and thin bedded, brown,
unfossiliferouslimestone.
Regionally,additionalCretaceousbasaltsandlimestonesoverliethesequenceabove.
Tertiary
Conglomerate unit that is up to 450 m thick, and is composed of red weathering conglomerate with chert and limestone pebbles and
cobbles,increasingincoarsenessupward,withsomeinterbeddedsandstone,shaleandlimestone.
Intrusive Rocks-dykes,sillsandsmallstocksofdaciticintrusiverocksarecommoninthecentralpartoftheAtacocha-ElPorvenirdistrict.
All but one stock and most of the dykes and sills are near the Atacocha fault which follows the Pucar Group to Goyllarisquisga Group
contactontheeasternlimbofthemainsyncline.ThetwolargestintrusivebodieslienearAtachochaoneithersideoftheAtacochafault.The
westernintrusionismoreirregular,witha1.5kmlongcurvedoutcropthatis100to200mwide.Itisgreenishgreytodarkgreyincolour,
withupto5mmphenocrystsofplagioclaseandquartz,togetherwithsmallerhornblendeandbiotite,enclosedinafine-grainedgroundmass
ofquartzandplagioclase,possiblywithsomeorthoclase.Thestocktotheeastofthefaultislenticular,withmaximumdimensionsof1kmx
150 m, elongated along the strike of the limestone of the enclosing Pucar Group. It is strongly weathered and appears similar in
compositiontotheintrusiontothewest,althoughitprobablycontainsmorequartz.NearElPorvenir,sectionsofalightcoloureddacitestock
areexposed,containingphenocrystsofandesine,hornblende,biotiteandpyrite,inagroundrnassofquartz,feldsparandcarbonate.Other
smallstockarealsoexposedlocally,asaredykesandsills,mostcommonlyadjacenttothelargerintrusivesbutalsosporadicallyoveran
areaofseveralsquarekilometres.
Thesedimentaryrocksandlavashavebeenmetamorphosedforvariabledistancesfromtheircontactswiththeintrusiverocks,andhave
been altered depending on their lithology and the size of the intrusive. The metamorphosed rocks have been modified by the addition of
silica, iron and sulphur. The most intense metamorphism/alteration appears to be in the limestone beds of the Pucar Group west of the
lenticularporphyryintrusionsoutheastofAtacocha,wheretheyarecompletelysilicifiedandimpregnatedwithpyriteforamaximumdistance
of180mfromthewesternmarginoftheporphyry.

TheAtacochafaultdividesthedistrictintotwostructuraldomainsandhasadisplacementofasmuchas2000m.Totheeast,theprincipal
structuralfeaturesaresimplefolds.Tothewest,foldingismorecomplex,andtherocksarecutbyaseriesofnorthwesterlystrikingfaults,
andafaultparalleltotheAtacochafault.TheAtacochafaultisareversestructure,dippingsteeplyeastward,theeastsidehavingmovedup
andtothenorthrelativetothewestside.
WithintheAtacochamine,themostimportantstructureisthereverseNo.1faultthatdips45to60E,andonwhichPucarlimestonehas
beenthrustoverquartzsandstoneoftheGoyllarisquisgaformation.Atdepth,itsteepensandjoinsasteepwestward-dippingfault,andmay
bepre-ore,althoughveinsrarelycrossthestructure.

Mineralisation

Atacocha
WithintheAtacochamine,rocksofthePucarandGoyllarisquisgagroupsareintrudedbyanirregulardacitebodyandbyseveraldykes
andsills,alsoofofdacite.BothfoldingandfaultingoftheserocksareimportantorecontrolsatAtacocha.Themajorstructurescomprisean
asymmetric,southplungingsynclineinthesandstones,westofthemine,andacrossfoldinthelimestonedirectlyabovethemineworkings.
ThislatterstructureseemstohavecausedbydragalongtheAtacochafault.OreintheAtacochamineisfoundinveinsandreplacement
bodiesneartheaxisofthefold.ReplacementbodiesaretheprincipalsourceoforeatAtacochabutarenotimportantatElPorvenir.The
veinsatAtacochaandMilposeemtobeformedbyfissurefilling.
Galenaandsphaleritearetheprincipaloreminerals,accompaniedbysmallamountsofjamesoniteandtetrahedrite-tennantiteinagangue
ofpyrite,calcite,clayminerals,quartz,rhodochrositeandfluorite.Cerussiteisanimportantleadmineralintheoxidezonetothenorth.Three
stagesofmineralisationarerecognisedatAtacocha:i).quartz-pyrite;ii).sulphide;andiii).realgar-orpiment.
Themostsignificantfeaturesinlocalisingmineralisationappeartohavebeentheporphyryintrusions,theAtacochafault,andthecontactof
the Mitu and Pucar groups. Virtually all the ore is hosted in limestone of the Pucar Group or in the overlying sandstones of the
GoyllarisquisgaGroup,whilstrocksoftheMitugroupandthoseyoungerthantheGoyllarisquisgaGroupseemtohavebeenunfavourablefor
oredeposition.
LargeirregularreplacementbodiesatAtacochaoccurina50to60mthicksectionofthePucarlimestoneabovetheNo.1fault,andhave
providedmuchoftheoreattheAtacochamine.Theorebodieswereformedbyincompletereplacementoflimestonebysulphidesandclay
minerals,andvarywidelyinsize.Oneofthelargest,hadadownplungelengthof~250m,abreadthof40to70m,andathicknessof4to
10m.Thereplacementorebodiesseemtoberelatedtosomeofthelargerveins,whichmayhaveservedasfeeders.
El Porvenir
As at Atacocha, the sedimentary rocks are primarily limestone of the Pucar Group and quartz sandstone of the Goyllarisquisga Group,
bothstrikingat~340to345.Thelimestonesdipsteeplyorvertically,whereasthesandstonedips10to20W.,exceptneartheAtacocha
faultwherethedipsteepensto55.Thesequencehasbeenextensivelyintrudedbyastockandaseriesofdykesandsillsofdaciteupto40
mthick.Thelimestonesarecutbyaseriesoftransversefaultsandbyseveralbedding-planefaults.Thetransversefaultsaregroupedintoa
NE-trendingsettothenorth,andaNW-trendingsetfurthersouth.TheNE-trendingsetstrikesfrom60to80anddipat75N,withmostlying
totheeastofa>500mlongbedding-planefault.TheNW-trendingfaultsstrikefrom315to280anddip65to80N.Allfaultsorveinsare
confined to the area east of the Atacocha fault. Both sets cut the intrusives and offset contacts by 5 to 15 m and are probably conjugate
fractures.OrewasdepositedmainlyinopenspacesandisrestrictedtotheNE-strikingfractures,withoneexception,theSanCarlosvein,
whichisthelargestinthearea,withawidthoffrom0.8to3m.Mostotherveinsvaryfrom0.1to1minwidth.
Mineralisationissimplefissurefillingwithveryminorreplacement.Theprincipaloremineralsaregalenaandsphalerite,togetherwithminor
jamesonite and tetrahedrite, and occurwith in a gangue of calcite and pyrite. Some quartz, fluorite and rhodochrosite also occur with the
gangueminerals.Angularsulphidefragmentsinfaultsandground-upsulphidesingougeindicatepost-mineralisationmovement.

Reserves and Resources

Publishedorereservesandmineralresourcesat31December,2014(Milpo,2015)were:
Atacocha
Ore reserves
Proved+probablereserve-6.839Mt@2.79%Zn,1.29%Pb,0.30%Cu,59.4g/tAg;
Mineral resources
Measured+indicatedresource-3.392Mt@3.95%Zn,1.55%Pb,0.34%Cu,68.7g/tAg;
Inferredresource-12.869Mt@3.67%Zn,1.50%Pb,0.43%Cu,67.8g/tAg;
Reserves+resources-23.101Mt@3.45%Zn,1.44%Pb,0.38%Cu,65.3g/tAg.

El Porvenir
Ore reserves
Proved+probablereserve-21.649Mt@3.56%Zn,0.61%Pb,0.25%Cu,42.3g/tAg;
Mineral resources
Measured+indicatedresource-9.948Mt@4.53%Zn,1.04%Pb,0.24%Cu,66.9g/tAg;
Inferredresource-19.700Mt@3.78%Zn,0.89%Pb,0.31%Cu,63.1g/tAg;
Reserves+resources-51.298Mt@3.83%Zn,0.80%Pb,0.27%Cu,55.0g/tAg.

Note:Little recent geological information has been encountered on these deposits, and what us inserted her has been largely derived from
"Johnson, R.F., Lewis, R.W. and Abele, G., 1955 - Geology and ore deposits of the Atacocha District, Departamento de Pasco, Peru;
Geological Investigations of the American Republics; USGS Bulletin 975-E, 56p.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 1955.
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd. Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.

References&AdditionalInformation
References to this deposit in the PGC Literature Collection:
Johnson, R.F.,1955-GeologyoftheAtacochamine,DepartmentofPasco,Peru:in Econ. Geol.v.50,pp.249-270.

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