The origin of chalcocite is explored through a comparison of the copper isotope values of this mineral from supergene enrichment, sedimentary copper/red bed, and high-temperature hypogene mineralization around the world. Data from the literature and the data presented here (n=361) reveal that chalcocite from high-temperature mineralization has the tightest cluster of values of δ65Cu=0±0.6 in comparison to sedimentary copper/red bed δ65Cu=-0.9±1.0 and supergene enrichment δ65Cu=+1.9±1.8. Although the errors of the means overlap, large portions of the data lie in different values, allowing for distinguishing ranges for δ65Cu of <-1‰ for sedimentary copper/red bed, between -1 and +1 for high-temperature hypogene, and >+1 for supergene enrichment chalcocite. The copper isotope values of sedimentary copper/red bed and supergene enrichment chalcocite are caused by redox reactions associated with the dissolution and transport of copper, whereas the tighter range of copper isotope values for hypogene minerals is associated with processes active with equilibrium conditions.
Mathur, R., Falck, H., Belogub, E., Milton, J., Wilson, M., Rose, A., & Powell, W. (2018). Origins of Chalcocite Defined by Copper Isotope Values. Geofluids, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5854829