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Supergene enrichment: How natural processes have transformed low-grade copper mineralization into economic ores

from Tucson Citizen

The general relationships of the primary alteration and mineralization that are found within porphyry copper systems was discussed in "What is a Porphyry Copper Deposit?" Also known as "hypogene" alteration and mineralization, these assemblages are produced by the circulation hydrothermal solutions (hot water) as a porphyry copper is formed at depth. This article will discuss "supergene" alteration and mineralization assemblages, which are formed when these sulfide-bearing deposits are exposed to near-surface, oxidizing solutions (groundwater) as they are exhumed by erosion and exposed to weathering. more

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