Yanacocha Gold Mine
Yanacocha Gold Mine
Location: Cajamarca, Peru.
It is the largest gold mine in Latin America, and The second largest gold mine in the world, producing over US$7 billion worth of gold to date.
Deposit Type: High sulfidation- type epithermal gold deposits.
Geological Settings & Mineralization:
The high-sulfidation epithermal gold deposits are hosted by volcanic rocks that occur at the southern terminus of the northern Peruvian volcanic belt, a continuous sequence of a north-northwest trending Miocene-Pliocene suite of bimodal andesite to rhyolite volcanic rocks that extend into southern Ecuador. In the Yanacocha district, the volcanic pile has been subdivided into three groups: (1) the lower andesite sequence, consisting of an intercalated sequence of block and ash flow tuffs, flow sequences with rare, associated flow domes, and an upper zone dominated by ignimbrites and fine-grained, laminated epiclastic sequences that show a transition into the overlying Yanacocha pyroclastic sequence; (2) the Yanacocha pyroclastic sequence, a variable sequence of lithic to lithic crystal tuffs, extensively altered in the central portion of the district and primary host to the majority of gold deposits within the district; (3) the upper andesite-dacite sequence, consisting of intercalated units of andesite to dacite flows, dominated by multiple flow dome complexes in its upper portion. Ar-Ar age dating within the district has yielded ages ranging from 19 Ma (basal lower andesite) to >12 Ma (upper andesite sequence). The entire volcanic pile has been crosscut by multiple phases of phreatic (vapor phase dominant), phreatomagmatic (intrusive component) and hydrothermal breccias, and intruded by multiple late-stage phases of andesite dikes and dacite to quartz dacite plugs, dikes and stocks (10–8 Ma), the latter of which are associated with shallow Au-Cu porphyry-style mineralization that underlies the high-sulfidation epithermal deposits.
|Schematic map showing the geology of western Peru and general location of the Yanacocha mining district.|