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LITHOCAPS AND THEIR CONNECTION TO STRUCTURES: FROM OPEN DATA TO TARGETED PROSPECTING OF A SECTOR OF SOUTHWESTERN PERU

Por: Aldo Bendezú Juárez, Maskhay Consultores y Cesar Cabellos Roncal, West Mountain Company.


Abstract

Lithocaps exploration is vectored by identifying its mineralogical, geophysical, geochemical features and critical elements of genetically associated regional scale structures.

Lithocaps of the Miocene metallogenic belts, in the southwestern region of Ayacucho, are mined for Au+/-Ag, present mineral occurrences or important metal anomalies.

A main family of ESE-WNW oriented structures was documented in this region. 

A group of structures in this family outline a ~180 km long corridor whose width is very narrow (<10 km). Within the corridor, the structures are distributed in echelons whose segments measure tens of kilometers. The segments "link" extensive lithocaps (<30 km2) that host advanced argillic alteration bodies and marginal polymetallic veins. 

The advanced argillic bodies consist of silica, alunite, natroalunite, dickite, pyrophyllite and APS minerals. These bodies show structural control, systematic orientations and are analogous among lithocaps. The angular relationship (20°- 40°) between the orientations of the main family of structures and the maximum principal paleostress indicates that the structures were favorably oriented for sinistral movement.

 The orientations of the advanced argillic alteration bodies are consistent with such movement. These features, and the spatial and angular relationships suggest that ESE-WNW structures controlled the development of lithocaps in local zones of transpression under a strike-slip regime.

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