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The Saindak porphyry copper deposit is located in Balochistan, far western Pakistan, 90 km WNW of the Reko Diq porphyry copper-gold cluster, ~125 km south of the Afghanistan border and 15 km NE of Iran.
(#Location: 29° 15' 4"N, 61° 36' 42"E).

The Saindak and Reko Diq deposits are located in the Chagai magmatic belt of the greater Tethyan magmatic arc that extends from SE Asia, across Eurasia to North Africa. For background on the regional setting, see the Reko Diq record. The Chagai belt continues west to incorporate the Sar Cheshmeh deposit in southeastern Iran.

Systematic geological mapping was first undertaken in area in 1952 to 1956 under a Canada-Pakistan Colombo Plan project. Subsequently from 1956 to 1970, a cooperative project between the Geological Survey of Pakistan and the US Geological Survey, mapping and appraising the geological resources in Pakistan resulted in the discovery of the copper mineralised quartz diorite stocks at Saindak. Follow-up exploration during the 1970s resulted in the discovery of porphyry people Cu, Au and Mo resources in three deposits totalling 440 Mt @ 0.41% Cu, 0.5 g/t Au. Between 1991 and 1993, the Metallurgical Construction Corporation (MCC) of China constructed an open pit mine and the treatment plant for Saindak Metals Limited based on the South Orebody which had a resource of 78 Mt @ 0.43% Cu, 0.5 g/t Au. The facility was successfully tested with a trial operational run to produce 1550 t of blister copper in 1996. However a shortage of working capital led to the mine being put on care and maintenance until 2003 when it was recommissioned under the management of MMC. The South Orebody was mined first and by late 2017 was near exhaustion, with mining have commenced on the North Orebody.

The country rocks in the Saindak valley comprises a series of marine and terrestrial sedimentary and intermediate to mafic volcanic rocks of Cretaceous to Holocene age. In and around the Saindak deposit, these rocks are mostly NW trending, folded and well faulted, and comprise Tertiary sandstone, mudstone and intermediate-basic volcanic rocks, mainly the result of intermediate to basic volcanic eruptive activity, but dominated by Oligocene siltstone. These rocks are intruded by a large number of Late Cretaceous sills and by porphyry stocks of Oligocene calc-alkaline series rocks emplaced at shallow depths. These stocks are tonalite porphyries (Ghaffar et al., 2016; Bilgrami, 1988).

The tonalite porphyry stocks occur as three clusters, the East, South and North porphyry centres. The alteration zoning and mineralisation style is strongly influenced by wall-rock lithology and structural fabric. Each of the stocks and enclosing country rocks display a well developed concentric pattern of hydrothermal alteration that comprises a strongly altered and mineralised potassium silicate core, surrounded by an outer low grade propylitic chlorite-epidote periphery. A zone of moderately mineralised retrogade phyllic quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration has been superimposed over most of East and part of the South ore body. The chalcopyrite:pyrite ratio decreases from core to the outer alteration zones of this alteratio pattern. At the North ore body, the main mineralisation is developed within a skarn alteration zone in contact with the porphyry stock (Ghaffar et al., 2016; Bilgrami, 1988).

Copper mineralisation predominantly occurs as dissemination and along fracture planes. Locally stockwork mineralisation is well developed in the South ore body. In addition to the skarn alteration and mineralisation, the North ore body is cut by a network of quartz-tourmaline veins, some of which have a pipe shape with higher gold and Cu grades (Ghaffar et al., 2016; Bilgrami, 1988).

U-Pb zircon geochronological data, supported by published U-Pb ages from tonalite/quartz diorite porphyry intrusions at Saindak, indicate the three porphyry Cu-Au centres were emplaced during the Miocene at ~22.02 Ma. Intrusive events in the South and East porphyry clusters began with the emplacement of quartz diorite with the low grade North porphyry Cu centre from 22.02 ±0.16 to 22.50 ±0.26 Ma, and the peak of magmatism more concentrated over an interval of <0.5 Ma (Ghaffar et al., 2016).

The East, South and North porphyry centres, have estimated combined pre-mining resources of:
    412 Mt @ 0.45% Cu, 0.34 g/t Au at a cut-off of 0.25% Cu (Ghaffar et al., 2016).
The resources of the individual deposits at a 0.25% Cu cutoff in 1988 (Bilgrami, 1988) were:
    North orebody - 28 Mt @ 0.440% Cu, 0.514 g/t Au
    South orebody - 111 Mt @ 0.426% Cu, 0.460 g/t Au
    East orebody - 273 Mt @ 0.334% Cu, 0.010 g/t Au.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2016.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.

  References & Additional Information
   Selected References:
Bilgrami, S.A.,  1988 - Evaluation of Saindak polymetallic deposit Chagai District, Pakistan: in   The Second International Conference on Prospecting in Arid Terrain, Perth Western Australia, April 1988, The AusIMM, Melbourne,   Proceedings pp. 13-19.
Ghaffar, A., Xue, C.D., Xiang, K., Xie, Z.P. and Ullah, I.,  2016 - Geological Framework and Evolution of the Saindak Porphyry Cu-Au Deposit, Chagai District, Balochistan, SW Pakistan: in   Tethyan Tectonics and Metallogeny, SEG-MJD 2016 Conference, Cesme, Turkey, 25 to 28 September, 2016, (Society of Economic Geologists and Maden Jeologları Dernegi),   Abstracts, 1p.
Richards, J.P. and Sholeh, A.,  2016 - The Tethyan Tectonic History and Cu-Au Metallogeny of Iran: in Richards, J.P. (Ed.), 2016 Tectonics and Metallogeny of the Tethyan Orogenic Belt, SEG Special Publication 19,   Ch. 7, pp. 193-212.

Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo, its employees and servants:   i). do not warrant, or make any representation regarding the use, or results of the use of the information contained herein as to its correctness, accuracy, currency, or otherwise; and   ii). expressly disclaim all liability or responsibility to any person using the information or conclusions contained herein.

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