Specialized porphyry copper mineralization zoning was performed, prospects for various ore metallogenic taxons were evaluated. Scientific and methodical basics of the South Urals porphyry copper ore prospecting planning and implementation were established.

Porphyry copper deposits of the South Urals, a region with mature mining industry and infrastructure, are considered as a crucial part of copper industry’s mineral base. To evaluate this region’s prospects for porphyry copper ores, FSUE TsNIGRI compiled the first 1:500 000 prospective-metallogenic map specialized for porphyry copper mineralization on a structural-formational basis.

Two porphyry copper provinces were identified: Tagil-Magnitogorsk (including Irendyksky, Novoalekseyevsky, Gumbeisky and Verkhneuralsky (D2-C1) volcanoplutonic belts) and East Urals (including Altynaisky, Uvelsky-Elenovsky and Kateninsky (D3 and D3-C1) volcanoplutonic belts).

Porphyry copper metallogenic zones within the provinces correspond to productive volcanoplutonic association distribution areas. The identified zones were classified as prospective (Tarutinskaya-Novonikolayevskaya, Uvelskaya and Elenovskaya-Sineshikhanskaya), potentially prospective (Severo-Irendykskaya, Dombarovskaya-Aschebutakskaya, Alapayevskaya-Techenskaya, etc.) and those with unknown prospects (Mednogorskaya, etc.).

Porphyry copper ore districts were outlined as areas where plutonogenic formations productive for porphyry copper mineralization are distributed. Within volcanoplutonic belt structure, ore districts are equivalent to magmatogene rises that have been developed for a long time. 18 areas (ore districts and clusters) were identified and ranked by prospectivity

Inferred copper and associated gold resources were localized and estimated (Fig. 2).

Geological and economic evaluation of typical porphyry copper ore occurrences was made, their economic mining parameters were offered (Fig. 3).

Figure 1. South Urals prospective-metallogenic map outlining porphyry copper provinces

Figure 2. Zelenodolsky forecasted ore district and its porphyry copper mineralization
Figure. 3 Typical porphyry copper deposits

Zelenodolskoe: Inferred resources: 595,000 t copper, 0.42% Cu (average); 7,000 t molybdenum, 0.006% Mo (average); 27 t gold, 0.21 g/t Au (average); 213 t silver, 1.67 g/t Ag (average). Open-pit mining is economic

Salavatskoe: Inferred resources: 990,000 t copper , 0.48% Cu (average).Open-pit mining is economic