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TitleGreenstone-hosted quartz-carbonate vein deposits
AuthorDubé, B; Gosselin, P
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. 49-73
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20070189
PublisherGeological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division (St. John's, NL, Canada)
Mediapaper; DVD; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Goodfellow, W D; (2007). Mineral deposits of Canada: a synthesis of major deposit-types, district metallogeny, the evolution of geological provinces, and exploration methods, Geological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division, Special Publication no. 5
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut
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
AreaTimmins; Kirkland Lake; Val-d'Or; Rouyn-Noranda; Larder Lake; Malartic; Red Lake; Joutel; Matheson; Cadillac; Pickle Lake; Rice Lake; Beardmore-Geraldton; Michipicoten; Mishibishu; Goudreau-Lolshcach; Flin Flon; Lynn Lake; La Ronge; Keewatin; Yellowknife; MacKenzie; Cassiar; Baie Verte
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -50.0000 90.0000 41.7500
Subjectseconomic geology; igneous and metamorphic petrology; geochemistry; mineral occurrences; mineral deposits; gold; mineralization; greenstone belts; greenstones; carbonates; carbonate rocks; quartz veins; veins; tholeiites; komatiites; igneous rocks; volcanic rocks; structural features; faults; deformation; Archean; metamorphic facies; alteration; metamorphism; Destor Porcupine Fault; Superior Province; Slave Province; Precambrian; Proterozoic; Paleozoic
Illustrationssketch maps; block diagrams; tables; photographs; cross-sections
ProgramConsolidating Canada's Geoscience Knowledge
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-3), 2005-2010
AbstractGreenstone-hosted quartz-carbonate vein deposits typically occur in deformed greenstone belts of all ages, especially those with variolitic tholeiitic basalts and ultramafic komatiitic flows intruded by intermediate to felsic porphyry intrusions, and sometimes with swarms of albitite or lamprophyre dyke. They are distributed along major compressional to transtensional crustal-scale fault zones in deformed greenstone terranes commonly marking the convergent margins between major lithological boundaries, such as volcano-plutonic and sedimentary domains. The large greenstonehosted quartz-carbonate vein deposits are commonly spatially associated with fluvio-alluvial conglomerate (e.g. Timiskaming conglomerate) distributed along major crustal fault zones (e.g. Destor Porcupine Fault). This association
suggests an empirical time and space relationship between large-scale deposits and regional unconformities.

These types of deposits are most abundant and significant, in terms of total gold content, in Archean terranes. However, a significant number of world-class deposits are also found in Proterozoic and Paleozoic terranes. In Canada, they represent the main source of gold and are mainly located in the Archean greenstone belts of the Superior and Slave provinces. They also occur in the Paleozoic greenstone terranes of the Appalachian orogen and in the oceanic terranes of the Cordillera.

The greenstone-hosted quartz-carbonate vein deposits correspond to structurally controlled complex epigenetic deposits characterized by simple to complex networks of gold-bearing, laminated quartz-carbonate fault-fill veins. These veins are hosted by moderately to steeply dipping, compressional brittle-ductile shear zones and faults with locally associated shallow-dipping extensional veins and hydrothermal breccias. The deposits are hosted by greenschist to locally amphibolite-facies metamorphic rocks of dominantly mafic composition and formed at intermediate depth (5-10 km). The mineralization is syn- to late-deformation and typically post-peak greenschist -facies or syn-peak amphibolite-facies metamorphism. They are typically associated with iron-carbonate alteration. Gold is largely confined to the quartz-carbonate vein network but may also be present in significant amounts within iron-rich sulphidized wall-rock
selvages or within silicified and arsenopyrite-rich replacement zones.

There is a general consensus that the greenstone-hosted quartz-carbonate vein deposits are related to metamorphic fluids from accretionary processes and generated by prograde metamorphism and thermal re-equilibration of subducted volcano-sedimentary terranes. The deep-seated, Au-transporting metamorphic fluid has been channelled to higher crustal levels through major crustal faults or deformation zones. Along its pathway, the fluid has dissolved various components - notably gold - from the volcano-sedimentary packages, including a potential gold-rich precursor. The fluid then precipitated as vein material or wall-rock replacement in second and third order structures at higher crustal levels through fluid-pressure cycling processes and temperature, pH and other physico-chemical variations.