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TitleAn overview of the economic and geological contexts of Canada's major mineral deposit types
AuthorLydon, J W
SourceMineral deposits of Canada: a synthesis of major deposit-types, district metallogeny, the evolution of geological provinces, and exploration methods; by Goodfellow, W D (ed.); Geological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division, Special Publication no. 5, 2007 p. 3-48
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20070188
PublisherGeological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division (St. John's, NL, Canada)
Mediapaper; DVD; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Mineral deposits of Canada: a synthesis of major deposit-types, district metallogeny, the evolution of geological provinces, and exploration methods
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut; Canada
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -50.0000 90.0000 41.7500
Subjectseconomic geology; metallic minerals; mineral deposits; mineral occurrences; mineralization; mineral potential; magmatic deposits; volcanogenic deposits; sulphides; sulphide deposits; nickel; copper; greenstone belts; gold; porphyry deposits; Mississippi Valley deposits; uranium deposits; uranium; diamond; Archean; Precambrian; Proterozoic
Illustrationssketch maps; tables; graphs; cross-sections; histograms
ProgramConsolidating Canada's Geoscience Knowledge
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-3), 2005-2010
Released2007 01 01
AbstractSeven mineral deposit types have contributed over 90% of the value of non-ferrous metalliferous mineral production in Canada. Based on average 1996 to 2005 inflation-adjusted metal prices, to the end of 2005 the most productive mineral deposit types have been 1) magmatic Ni-Cu deposits (>$372 billion), mainly from Proterozoic rocks in the Sudbury and Thompson areas; 2) volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits ($192 billion), mainly from Archean greenstone belts of Quebec and Ontario, the Proterozoic volcanic belts of Manitoba, and Paleozoic volcanic rocks of New Brunswick; and 3) lode gold deposits ($132 billion), mainly from quartz-carbonate veins of Archean greenstone belts of Quebec and Ontario. Collectively, porphyry, sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX), Mississippi Valley, and uranium deposit types have contributed about $140 billion, and diamonds, a relatively new but growing mineral commodity for Canada, has contributed $8 billion. The dollar equivalent of metal contents per tonne of ore mined over the past five years range from about $130/t to about $350/t for most underground base metal and diamond mines, and $90/t to $300/t for most underground Au mines. Dollar equivalent of metal contents exceed $450/t only in a few metal mines. The average ore dollar equivalent of metal contents range from $10/t to $45/t for open pit metal mines. The most valuable ores are those of U deposits of the Athabasca Basin, where past production has averaged dollar equivalent of metal contents of $540/t, and current reserves are worth $1,000/t to $11,000/t, based on the ten year average value for U, or over three times these values based on the average 2006 uranium price.
About 50% of production and 57% of the $1.57 trillion of the non-ferrous metal and diamond content of total mineral resources are associated with volcanic arcs and back-arcs that were accreted to, or built upon, continental margins during the assembly of supercontinents. Deposit types include VMS, porphyry, komatiitic Ni-Cu deposits, and intrusion-associated Au, as well as orogenic lode gold deposits associated with collisional tectonism. Mineral deposits of mafic-ultramafic magmas, whose emplacement is associated with structures that dislocate or perforate continental crust and penetrate the mantle, and include magmatic Ni-Cu and kimberlite diamond deposits, account for 40% of production and 33% of total mineral resources. Mineral deposits associated with intracontinental or epicontinental sedimentary basins account for the remaining 10% of both production and total mineral resources.

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