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TitleIn situ LA-ICP-MS of sulfide minerals in VMS deposits throughout the Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick, Canada: volatile trace-element contents and distribution with implications for their syngenetic to polyphase metamorphic history
AuthorDehnavi, A S; McFarlane, C R M; McClenaghan, S H; Lentz, D R
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 7537, 2014, 1 sheet, (Open Access)
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNew Brunswick
NTS21O/01; 21O/02; 21O/03; 21O/06; 21O/07; 21O/08; 21O/09; 21O/10; 21O/11; 21P/04; 21P/05; 21P/12
AreaHalfmile Lake; Bathurst; Grand Falls; Nepisiguit River
Lat/Long WENS-66.5833 -65.7500 47.7500 47.1333
Subjectseconomic geology; geochemistry; mass spectrometer analysis; mineralization; zinc; copper; lead; gold; silver; volcanogenic deposits; sulphide deposits; petrography; element distribution; trace element distribution; trace element analyses; trace elements; Bathurst Mining Camp; Paleozoic; Ordovician
Illustrationslocation maps; photomicrographs; tables; plots
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4), Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Ore Systems
Released2014 03 02
AbstractThe world-class massive sulfide deposits of Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag-Au type in the Bathurst Mining Camp, Eastern Canada are hosted within Middle Ordo-vician bimodal volcanic and sedimentary sequences. They have undergone complex polyphase deformation and associated regional greenschist and locally blueschist facies metamorphism during closure of the Tetagouche-Exploits back-arc basin in the Late Ordovician to Early Silurian (Salinic Orogeny) and again during the Late Silurian Acadian Orogeny. The mineralogy of massive sulfides consists of five minerals (pyrite, sphalerite, galena, pyrrhotite, and chalcopyrite) that comprise 95% of the mineralization, with minor amounts of arsenopyrite, marcasite, and sulfosalts. In situ LA-ICP-MS analyses of the volatile trace-element suite (As, Cd, Hg, In, Sb, Tl, etc.) of the major sulfide minerals in some of the deposits in the BMC offer a lower detection limits than other micro-analytical methods. Data from the representative massive sulfide deposits of the BMC show that in addition to arsenopyrite, As is also concentrated in some pyrite porphyroclasts, galena, sphalerite, and chalcopyrite. Cadmium is enriched in galena and sphalerite. The most dominant carrier of Hg is sphalerite, followed by pyrite. Indium is enriched mostly in sphalerite and chalcopyrite. Antimony abundances are more variable, but it typically occurs in pyrite, and to a lesser degree in galena. Also, arsenopyrite ex-hibits a high content of Sb likely because of substitution of Sb and As in solid solutions. Thallium shows variable distribution, but it is mostly en-riched in pyrite. Abundances of volatile elements in Bathurst Mining Camp show that the contents of these elements varies in the various types of VMS depos-its, which reflect the different conditions of massive sulfides formation, such as differences in the temperature of deposition, metal sources, and geochemical characters of the ore-bearing solutions and host rocks. Because of the primary variation of volatile trace elements in these sulfide facies, they can be used in enhancing our interpretation of the ore-forming environment, as well as potentially be used as a trace-element vec-toring tool (volatile element halos dispersions) in the exploration for massive sulfide deposits.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4) is a collaborative federal geoscience program that provides industry with the next generation of geoscience knowledge and innovative techniques to better detect buried mineral deposits, thereby reducing some of the risks of exploration. Base-metal massive sulfide deposits are an important source of Canadian zinc, lead, copper, and silver production, much of it coming from the Bathurst Mining Camp, New Brunswick. This study examines the contents of other so-called volatile trace elements, such as mercury, within the major deposits in the area, plus several others, with the purpose of evaluating whether their abundances in the deposits and the immediate surrounding rocks can be used to explore for additional such deposits.