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TitleGeology of the Archean intrusion-hosted La-Grande-Sud Au-Cu prospect, La Grande Subprovince, James Bay region, Québec
AuthorMercier-Langevin, P; Daigneault, R; Goutier, J; Dion, C; Archer, P
SourceEconomic geology and the bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists vol. 107, no. 5, 2012 p. 935-962,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20100527
PublisherSociety of Economic Geologists
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS33F/09SW; 33F/10SE
AreaJames Bay
Lat/Long WENS-76.6667 -76.4167 53.6667 53.5000
Subjectseconomic geology; Archean; mineral occurrences; mineral deposits; mineralization; gold; copper; base metals; base metal deposits; deformation; alteration; igneous rocks; tonalites; La Grande Subprovince; Precambrian
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; photographs; photomicrographs; ternary diagrams; plots
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4), Mafic-Ultramafic Ore Systems
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4), Gold Ore Systems
Released2012 08 02
AbstractThe Archean La Grande and Eastmain domains of the La Grande subprovince in the James Bay region of northwestern Québec are the focus of renewed and extensive exploration as a result of recent major discoveries made in this region (e.g., ~8 Moz Au Roberto deposit). A number of significant Neoarchean Au ± base metal occurrences are present in the La Grande domain, including the La-Grande-Sud Au-Cu prospect (Zone 32, inferred resource of 4.2 million metric tons (Mt) at 2.1 g/t Au and 0.2 wt % Cu).
The La-Grande-Sud Au-Cu prospect is hosted in the 2734 ± 2 Ma synvolcanic La-Grande-Sud Tonalite in the 2751 to 2732 Ma Yasinski Group volcanic rocks. The La-Grande-Sud Tonalite is a synvolcanic calc-alkaline intrusion emplaced in an arc-like tectonomagmatic setting. Timing relationships in mineralized zones as well as associated hydrothermal alteration zones support a pre- to early-D1 origin for at least a part of the mineralization in the La-Grande-Sud Tonalite. Deformation events were responsible for the overprinting of the early mineralization by auriferous shear zone-related systems associated with D2.
Evidence for a pre-D2 and pre- to early-D1 alteration and mineralization system includes: (1) a broadly concentric pattern defined by the hydrothermal alteration assemblages within the La-Grande-Sud Tonalite, which suggests that the hydrothermal alteration was, at least in part, controlled by the geometry of the intrusion rather than by the D2 deformation; (2) the development of a weak biotite-bearing potassic assemblage (biotite-epidote-plagioclase-muscovite-calcite ± pyrite) that is gradually replaced outward from the center of the intrusion by a chlorite-bearing propylitic assemblage (chlorite-epidote-muscovite-plagioclase-calcite-pyrite), and locally overprinted by a sericitic alteration assemblage (muscovite-quartz-albite-chlorite-pyrite-carbonate), which represents the most intense alteration in the La-Grande-Sud Tonalite; (3) the presence of mineralized hydrothermal breccias along the margins of the intrusion; (4) deformed disseminated and stockwork-style Au-Cu sulfide mineralization consisting of pyrite, chalcopyrite, tennantite, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, Bi sulfosalts, and native Au ± Bi in the sericite, chlorite, and biotite facies alteration zones; (5) S1-parallel elongated tonalite clasts and sulfide veinlets in D2-folded and transposed hydrothermal biotite breccias; and (6) pyrite porphyroblasts that are elongated parallel to the S1 fabric (syn-D1 metamorphic recrystallization) and that were folded during D2. D2 was associated with the development of conjugate auriferous extensional quartz-tourmaline veins (orogenic-style veins) that were superimposed on the pre- to early-D1 intrusion-hosted mineralized system. Gold in these syn- to late-D2 veins could have been remobilized from preexisting mineralization (disseminated sulfides) or was related to a late (syn-D2) auriferous hydrothermal event.
The intrusion-hosted Au mineralization of the La-Grande-Sud Au-Cu prospect illustrates that Archean synvolcanic intrusions, regardless of their size, can host a range of styles of alteration and mineralization, including both "early" and "late" mineralizing systems.