Application of fractal models to delineate mineralized zones in the Pulang porphyry copper deposit, Yunnan, southwestern China
The aim of this study is to delineate and identify various mineralized zones and barren host rocks based on surface and subsurface lithogeochemical data from the Pulang porphyry copper deposit, southwestern China, utilizing the number–size (N-S), concentration–volume (C-V) and power-spectrum–volume (S-V) fractal models. The N-S model reveals three mineralized zones characterized by Cu thresholds of 0.28 % and 1.45 %: <0.28 % Cu represents weakly mineralized zones and barren host rocks, 0.28 %–1.45 % Cu represents moderately mineralized zones, and > 1.45 % Cu represents highly mineralized zones. The results obtained by the C-V model depict four geochemical zones defined by Cu thresholds of 0.25 %, 1.48 % and 1.88 %, representing nonmineralized wall rocks (Cu<0.25 %), weakly mineralized zones (0.25 %–1.48 %), moderately mineralized zones (1.48 %–1.88 %) and highly mineralized zones (Cu>1.88 %). The S-V model is used by performing a 3-D fast Fourier transformation of assay data in the frequency domain. The S-V model reveals three mineralized zones characterized by Cu thresholds of 0.23 % and 1.33 %: <0.23 % Cu represents leached zones and barren host rocks, 0.23 %–1.33 % Cu represents hypogene zones, and >1.33 % Cu represents supergene enrichment zones. All the multifractal models indicate that high-grade mineralization occurs in the central and southern parts of the ore deposit. Their results are compared with the alteration and mineralogical models resulting from the 3-D geological model using a log-ratio matrix. The results show that the S-V model is best at identifying highly mineralized zones in the deposit. However, the results of the C-V model for moderately and weakly mineralized zones are also more accurate than those obtained from the N-S and S-V models.