La Colosa Au Porphyry Deposit, Colombia: Mineralization Styles, Structural Controls, and Age Constraints

Naranjo, Andrés; Horner, Johannes; Jahoda, Rudolf; Diamond, Larryn William; Castro, Adriana; Uribe, Aura; Perez, Carolina; Paz, Hermel; Mejia, Carlos; Weil, Jonas (2018). La Colosa Au Porphyry Deposit, Colombia: Mineralization Styles, Structural Controls, and Age Constraints. Economic geology - bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists, 113(3), pp. 553-578. Economic Geology Pub. Co. 10.5382/econgeo.2018.4562

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The La Colosa porphyry Au deposit is located on the eastern flank of the Central Cordillera of Colombia, within the Middle Cauca metallogenic belt. The deposit contains more than 800 t (22.37 Moz) Au at grades up to 0.8 g/t and is hosted by a composite porphyry stock of dioritic to tonalitic composition, which was emplaced into Triassic-Cretaceous schists of the Cajamarca Complex in the late Miocene (~8 Ma).

The country rocks underwent two ductile deformation events, including development of shear zones, folds, and penetrative foliation, prior to emplacement of the stock. Subsequent brittle deformation reactivated preexisting N- and NNE-trending structures and formed secondary faults due to a change from right- to left-lateral shear sense on regional faults. This switch in stress orientations is attributed to a new plate configuration in the mid-Miocene. The left-lateral movement along regional faults favored emplacement of intrusive centers in dilational pull-apart zones, including the La Colosa stock within the regional Palestina fault zone.

Three gold mineralization events are recognized at La Colosa. The first was of porphyry style, during which hypersaline fluids (40–50 wt % NaCl equiv) formed predominantly A- and S-type veinlets and caused multistage wall-rock silicification accompanied by potassic and sodic-calcic alteration. The early-stage intrusions contain the highest gold grades varying from 0.75 to 1 g/t Au, associated with pyrite and minor chalcopyrite, molybdenite, and magnetite in the porphyries and with pyrrhotite-pyrite-melnikovite in the country rocks. In the intermineral-stage intrusions the gold grades drop to 0.5 to 0.75 g/t Au, and pyrrhotite and pyrite are the major sulfides. Gold grades reach low values of <0.3 g/t Au in the late-stage porphyries.

The second gold-precipitating event formed sheeted veinlets of drusy quartz and pyrite with centimeter-wide halos of albite-sericite-pyrite overprinting all other alteration types at the deposit. A ~200°C hydrothermal brine (21–28 wt % NaCl equiv) deposited gold at high grades (>1.5 g/t Au over >10 m drill core intervals) within N-striking normal faults that developed during and after emplacement of the porphyry stock. The third mineralization event was supergene, with Au enrichment confined to late porphyries and characterized by sulfide boxworks, resulting in gold grade increases from 0.3 to 1.2 g/t Au.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Diamond, Larryn William


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Economic Geology Pub. Co.




Larryn William Diamond

Date Deposited:

19 Nov 2018 16:39

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 21:13

Publisher DOI:





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