Geophysical imaging and studies of mantle-derived xenoliths in ore-productive areas show that the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) may play a fundamental role in their genesis. For example, studies have suggested that an anomalous SCLM or the unusual nature of the subducting slab might also account for the large size of ore deposits and/or fertility of particular crustal blocks.

At the NMTM we test the particular role of the SCLM mantle in controlling metal ratios and volatile budgets along the Andes. In particular, our aim is to evaluate the existing relation between main events of melt production in the mantle and crustal growth, and its link to metal enrichment in selected metallogenic belts and districts.