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TitleOverview of VMS exploration in glaciated terrain using indicator minerals, till geochemistry, and boulder tracing: a Canadian perspective
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
AuthorMcClenaghan, M B; Peter, J M; Layton-Matthews, D
SourceTargeted Geoscience Initiative 4: Contributions to the understanding of volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit genesis and exploration methods development; by Peter, J M (ed.); Mercier-Langevin, P (ed.); Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 7853, 2015 p. 81-99, (Open Access)
LinksCanadian Database of Geochemical Surveys, downloadable files
LinksBanque de données de levés géochimiques du Canada, fichiers téléchargeables
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Peter, J M; Mercier-Langevin, P; (2015). Targeted Geoscience Initiative 4: Contributions to the understanding of volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit genesis and exploration methods development, Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 7853
File formatpdf
ProvinceNunavut; Northwest Territories; New Brunswick; Manitoba; Quebec; Newfoundland and Labrador
NTS75I; 75J; 75K; 75L; 75M; 75N; 75O; 75P; 76; 85I; 85J; 85O; 85P; 86A; 86B; 86G; 86H; 86I/01; 86I/02; 86I/03; 86I/04; 86I/05; 86I/06; 86I/07; 86I/08; 86I/09; 86I/10; 86I/11; 86I/14; 86I/15; 86I/16; 86P/01; 86P/02; 86P/07; 86P/08; 86P/09; 86P/16; 21O/01; 21O/02; 21O/03; 21O/06; 21O/07; 21O/08; 21O/09; 21O/10; 21O/11; 21P/04; 21P/05; 21P/12; 63K/16; 32G/09; 32G/10; 32G/15; 32G/16; 12A/10; 12H/16
AreaIzok Lake; Great Slave Lake; Halfmile Lake; Bathurst; Grand Falls; Nepisiguit River; Snow Lake; Lalor; Chibougamau; Red Indian Lake; Baie Verte Peninsula
Lat/Long WENS-116.0000 -104.0000 68.0000 62.0000
Lat/Long WENS -66.5000 -65.7500 47.7500 47.1333
Lat/Long WENS-102.0000 -98.0000 56.0000 54.0000
Lat/Long WENS -75.0000 -74.0000 50.0000 49.5000
Lat/Long WENS -56.5833 -56.5833 48.6667 48.5000
Lat/Long WENS -56.0217 -56.0217 49.9317 49.8658
Subjectseconomic geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; Archean; volcanogenic deposits; sulphide deposits; alteration; metamorphism; mineral assemblages; mineralization; exploration guidelines; volcanic rocks; mineral deposits; gold; mineral occurrences; exploration methods; mineral exploration; drift prospecting; drift geochemistry; tills; till geochemistry; indicator elements; glacial deposits; glacial landforms; glacial features; glacial history; sediment transport; sampling methods; sampling techniques; geochemical analyses; pebble lithology; sulphides; copper; lead; zinc; silver; spectrometric analyses; x-ray fluorescence; x-ray fluorescence analyses; Noranda Camp; Abitibi Greenstone Belt; Snow Lake Camp; indicator minerals; Precambrian; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationslocation maps; plots; photomicrographs; ternary diagrams; tables
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4), Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Ore Systems
Released2015 06 11
AbstractDuring the Quaternary, most of Canada's landmass was covered by ice sheets that eroded and dispersed metal-rich debris from volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits across the landscape together with a blanket of unconsolidated debris. Therefore, boulder tracing, till geochemistry, and indicator minerals are important exploration methods for VMS deposits in Canada. This paper provides an overview of the development and application of these methods, including till sampling, appropriate size fractions of till to analyze, sample processing, and analytical techniques. Selected case histories from different regions across Canada are also presented.
Copper, Pb, and Zn are indicator elements of VMS deposits, and pathfinder elements include As, Ag, Au, Ba, Bi, Cd, Hg, In, Sb, Se, Sn, and Tl. Abundances of these elements are most commonly determined in the <0.063 mm (silt + clay) fraction of till. Indicator minerals of VMS deposits are recovered from the >3.2 specific gravity heavy mineral concentrate of till and include the main ore minerals (galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, and pyrrhotite), accessory minerals (native gold, electrum, cassiterite, cinnabar, and barite), and, in metamorphic terrain, metamorphosed minerals of mineralization, alteration, or exhalites, including sillimanite, andalusite, gahnite, staurolite, and spessartine. Magnetite and its chemical composition may also be a useful VMS exploration tool. Ongoing and future research of drift exploration methods for VMS deposits will focus on reducing sample size, lowering analytical costs, and identifying new indicator minerals and chemical discrimination criteria.