Western Mineral Resources

U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2008-1155
version 1.0

Porphyry Copper Deposits of the World: Database and Grade and Tonnage Models, 2008

By Donald A. Singer, Vladimir I. Berger, and Barry C. Moring


Tonnage of porphyry copper deposits versus average copper grades (from figure 1).

This report is an update of earlier publications about porphyry copper deposits (Singer, Berger, and Moring, 2002; Singer, D.A., Berger, V.I., and Moring, B.C., 2005). The update was necessary because of new information about substantial increases in resources in some deposits and because we revised locations of some deposits so that they are consistent with images in Google Earth. In this report we have added new porphyry copper deposits and removed a few incorrectly classed deposits. In addition, some errors have been corrected and a number of deposits have had some information, such as grades, tonnages, locations, or ages revised. Colleagues have helped identify places where improvements were needed. Mineral deposit models are important in exploration planning and quantitative resource assessments for a number of reasons including: (1) grades and tonnages among deposit types are significantly different, and (2) many types occur in different geologic settings that can be identified from geologic maps. Mineral deposit models are the keystone in combining the diverse geoscience information on geology, mineral occurrences, geophysics, and geochemistry used in resource assessments and mineral exploration. Too few thoroughly explored

mineral deposits are available in most local areas for reliable identification of the important geoscience variables or for robust estimation of undiscovered deposits—thus we need mineral-deposit models. Globally based deposit models allow recognition of important features because the global models demonstrate how common different features are. Well-designed and -constructed deposit models allow geologists to know from observed geologic environments the possible mineral deposit types that might exist, and allow economists to determine the possible economic viability of these resources in the region. Thus, mineral deposit models play the central role in transforming geoscience information to a form useful to policy makers. The foundation of mineral deposit models is information about known deposits. The purpose of this publication is to make this kind of information available in digital form for porphyry copper deposits. The consistently defined deposits in this file provide the foundation for grade and tonnage models included here and for mineral deposit density models (Singer and others, 2005: Singer, 2008).

Download the text of this report as a 45-page PDF file. (of2008-1155.pdf; 456 kB).

go to the data folder (9 files; 6.5 MB total). See the text (linked above) for explanation of files in this data folder.

For questions about the content of this report, contact Don Singer.

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