Geodynamic influences on the genesis of Archean world-class gold-rich VMS deposits: examples from the Blake River Group, Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Canada

AUTHORS: Patrick Mercier-Langevin, Mark Hannington, Benoît Dubé, Vicki McNicoll, Jean Goutier, Thomas Monecke

ABSTRACT: The Archean gold-rich VMS deposits of the Abitibi greenstone belt occupy a stratigraphic position and volcanic setting that differs from other base metalbearing VMS deposits in the belt in terms of interpreted tectonic setting and evolving geodynamic architecture in the inferred arc–back-arc–style environment. Specifically, the first gold-rich VMS-forming episode was related to early extension-subsidence and major transitional felsic volcanism in the central part of the Blake River group at about 2702-2701 Ma. Extension and associated transitional to calc-alkaline migrated eastward to form the gold-rich VMS deposits of the Doyon-Bousquet-LaRonde camp at 2698-2697 Ma, at which time the Cu-Zn deposits of the Noranda Mine Sequence were being deposited in the more mature, tholeiitic to transitional mafic-dominated extensional setting. Defining the specific timestratigraphic intervals, the geological settings and the footprint of the gold-rich VMS deposits of the Abitibi are key aspects of exploration models for these valuable polymetallic deposits.

KEYWORDS: Abitibi, gold-rich VMS, Archean

EAN: SGA_2011_A028
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