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Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina

versión impresa ISSN 0004-4822versión On-line ISSN 1851-8249


PONS, Josefina M. et al. Alteration,Cu mineralization and bitumen in the Barda González prospect, Neuquén. Rev. Asoc. Geol. Argent. [online]. 2009, vol.64, n.3, pp.501-513. ISSN 0004-4822.

Barda González is a stratiform sedimentary copperprospect hosted in the Cretaceous rocks of the Portezuelo Formation (NeuquénGroup) and located in the Dorsal de Huincul fault zone, near the BardaGonzález, Bajo Barda González and Puesto Espinosa oil fields. The Cumineralization occurs in coarse sandstone and conglomerate layers along fluvialpaleochannels 600 m wide by 2000 m long with a NNE strike. These rocks arebleached, altered and very permeable. They lack iron oxides and hydroxides andshow total to partial dissolution of their cement and their feldspar andvolcanic lithics that are also altered to clay minerals (illite>kaolinite).The copper minerals are disseminated, in tubes or nodules always in contactwith bitumen. They consit of chalcocite, covelline, trace of chalcopyrite and avariety of supergene minerals (malachite with chrysocolla, brochantite,azurite, turquoise, atacamite, volborthite). There are also disseminated pyriteand traces of psilomelane. Mineralized sandstone samples with the highest Cuconcentration (16%) have Mo (810 ppm), U (9.43 ppm), Th (40 ppm) and V (127-221ppm) anomalies. The geochemistry of bitumen indicates that it is a residue ofhydrocarbon migration generated from a Jurassic marine rocks (Los Molles orVaca Muerta Formations). Upwelling chlorine-rich brines that accompanied thehydrocarbon migrations could have stripped Cu from the thick red bed sequenceand S from the evaporites within the basin; S could have been also transportedby hydrocarbons. The migration of these fluids from the source rocks to thereservoir through the faults and permeable layers would have played animportant role in copper extraction from leaching iron oxides and hydroxides ofthe red beds, its transport and alteration of the sandstone (PortezueloFormation) with the resulting increase of permeatibility and the copper-ironsulfides precipitation in the water/hydrocarbon interface.

Palabras clave : Huincul High; Permeable sandstone; Oil migration; Formation waters; Cu sulfides.

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