We have determined the Hf isotopic compositions of 12 samples associated with the giant El Teniente Cu-Mo megabreccia deposit, central Chile. The samples range in age from ≥8.9 to 2.3 Ma and provide information about the temporal evolution of their magmatic sources from the Late Miocene to Pliocene. Together with previously published data, the new analysis indicates a temporal decrease of 10 εHf(t) units, from +11.6 down to +1.6, in the 12.7 m.y. from 15 to 2.3 Ma. These variations imply increasing incorporation of continental crust through time in the magmas that formed these rocks. The fact that the samples include mantle-derived olivine basalts and olivine lamprophyres suggests that these continental components were incorporated into their mantle source, and not by intra-crustal contamination (MASH). We attribute the increase, between the Middle Miocene and Pliocene, of crustal components in the subarc mantle source below El Teniente to be due to increased rates of subduction erosion and transport of crust into the mantle. The deposit formed above a large, long-lived, vertically zoned magma chamber that developed due to compressive deformation and persisted between ~7 to 4.6 Ma. Progressively more hydrous mantle-derived mafic magmas feed this chamber from below, providing heat, H2O, S and metals, but no unique “fertile” Cu-rich magma was involved in the formation of the deposit. As the volume of these mantle-derived magmas decreased from the Late Miocene into the Pliocene, the chamber crystallized and solidified, producing felsic plutons and large metal-rich magmatic-hydrothermal breccias that emplaced Cu and S into the older (≥8.9 Ma) mafic host rocks of this megabreccia deposit.
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