Rosia Poieni copper deposit, Apuseni Mountains, Romania: advanced argillic overprint of a porphyry system - BRGM - Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières Access content directly
Journal Articles Mineralium Deposita Year : 2004

Rosia Poieni copper deposit, Apuseni Mountains, Romania: advanced argillic overprint of a porphyry system


The Rosia Poieni deposit is the largest porphyry copper deposit in the Apuseni Mountains, Romania. Hydrothermal alteration and mineralization are related to the Middle Miocene emplacement of a subvolcanic body, the Fundoaia microdiorite. Zonation of the alteration associated with the porphyry copper deposit is recognized from the deep and central part of the porphyritic intrusion towards shallower and outer portions. Four alteration types have been distinguished: potassic, phyllic, advanced argillic, and propylitic. Potassic alteration affects mainly the Fundoaia subvolcanic body. The andesitic host rocks are altered only in the immediate contact zone with the Fundoaia intrusion. Mg-biotite and K-feldspar are the main alteration minerals of the potassic assemblage, accompanied by ubiquitous quartz; chlorite, and anhydrite are also present. Magnetite, pyrite, chalcopyrite and minor bornite, are associated with this alteration. Phyllic alteration has overprinted the margin of the potassic zone, and formed peripheral to it. It is characterized by the replacement of almost all early minerals by abundant quartz, phengite, illite, variable amounts of illite-smectite mixed-layer minerals, minor smectite, and kaolinite. Pyrite is abundant and represents the main sulfide in this alteration zone. Advanced argillic alteration affects the upper part of the volcanic structure. The mineral assemblage comprises alunite, kaolinite, dickite, pyrophyllite, diaspore, aluminium-phosphate-sulphate minerals (woodhouseite-svanbergite series), zunyite, minamyite, pyrite, and enargite (luzonite). Alunite forms well-developed crystals. Veins with enargite (luzonite) and pyrite in a gangue of quartz, pyrophyllite and diaspore, are present within and around the subvolcanic intrusion. This alteration type is partially controlled by fractures. A zonal distribution of alteration minerals is observed from the centre of fractures outwards with: (1) vuggy quartz; (2) quartz + alunite; (3) quartz + kaolinite ± alunite and, in the deeper part of the argillic zone, quartz + pyrophyllite + diaspore; (4) illite + illite-smectite mixed-layer minerals ± kaolinite ± alunite, and e) chlorite + albite + epidote. Propylitic alteration is present distal to all other alteration types and consists of chlorite, epidote, albite, and carbonates. Mineral parageneses, mineral stability fields, and alteration mineral geothermometers indicate that the different alteration assemblages are the result of changes in both fluid composition and temperature of the system. The alteration minerals reflect cooling of the hydrothermal system from >400 °C (biotite), to 300–200 °C (chlorite and illite in veinlets) and to lower temperatures of kaolinite, illite-smectite mixed layers, and smectite crystallization. Hydrothermal alteration started with an extensive potassic zone in the central part of the system that passed laterally to the propylitic zone. It was followed by phyllic overprint of the early-altered rocks. Nearly barren advanced argillic alteration subsequently superimposed the upper levels of the porphyry copper alteration zones. The close spatial association between porphyry mineralization and advanced argillic alteration suggests that they are genetically part of the same magmatic-hydrothermal system that includes a porphyry intrusion at depth and an epithermal environment of the advanced argillic type near the surface.


Earth Sciences
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hal-03783963 , version 1 (22-09-2022)



Viorica Milu, Jean-Pierre Milesi, Jacques Léon Leroy. Rosia Poieni copper deposit, Apuseni Mountains, Romania: advanced argillic overprint of a porphyry system. Mineralium Deposita, 2004, 39 (2), pp.173-188. ⟨10.1007/s00126-003-0390-z⟩. ⟨hal-03783963⟩
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