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TitleSynorogenic gold mineralization in granite-greenstone terranes: the deep connection between extension, major faults, synorogenic clastic basins, magmatism, thrust inversion, and long-term preservation
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LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorBleeker, W
SourceTargeted Geoscience Initiative 4: Contributions to the understanding of Precambrian lode gold deposits and implications for exploration; by Dubé, B (ed.); Mercier-Langevin, P (ed.); Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 7852, 2015 p. 25-47, (Open Access)
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Dubé, B; Mercier-Langevin, P; (2015). Targeted Geoscience Initiative 4: Contributions to the understanding of Precambrian lode gold deposits and implications for exploration, Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 7852
File formatpdf
ProvinceOntario; Quebec
NTS32C; 32D; 32E; 32F; 42A; 42B; 42H
AreaTimmins; Kirkland Lake; Timiskaming
Lat/Long WENS -83.0000 -76.5000 49.5000 48.0000
Subjectseconomic geology; structural geology; tectonics; gold; mineral deposits; iron formations; mineralization; greenstone belts; structural analyses; structural features; faults; faults, extension; faults, thrust; magmatism; exploration; metallogeny; ore mineral genesis; fault zones; Archean; Timiskaming Basins; Archean Greenstone Belt; Precambrian
Illustrationscross-sections; location maps; tables; photographs; block diagrams; stratigraphic columns
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4), Gold Ore Systems
Released2015 06 11
AbstractStructurally controlled "lode gold" systems within or in proximity to major fault zones (colloquially known as "breaks") represent a dominant deposit type in Canada, particularly in Archean cratons of the Canadian Shield. This paper describes some of the critical characteristics of these deposits, specifically their relationship to the major faults and the complicated kinematic history of these faults, and to the panels of synorogenic clastic (±volcanic) rocks that occur along these faults. The synthesis that emerges is mainly based on the Timmins area, Canada's most prolific gold camp, but critical elements apply equally to and have been ground-truthed in other gold camps, i.e., Kirkland Lake, the Abitibi more generally, the Rice Lake belt, Yellowknife, and the Agnew camp of the Yilgarn craton. In all of these areas, the key faults cut early foldand- thrust structures and were likely initiated as crustal-scale, synorogenic extensional faults in association with a flare-up in synorogenic, typically more alkaline magmatism. Extension, the associated mantlederived magmatism, and the resulting thermal pulse into the lower crust were likely the ultimate drivers of the gold mineralizing events. Synorogenic extension also minimized post-orogenic uplift, thus playing an important indirect role in preservation of the upper crustal depositional environments. Following synorogenic extension and the initiation of the magmatic and hydrothermal processes that produced the gold systems, the crustal-scale faults were invariably inverted as thick-skinned thrusts, burying synorogenic basin remnants and gold deposits in their structural footwall, while deposits were removed or largely eroded from the structural hanging wall of these thrusts. This thrust inversion thus plays a critical role in the preservation of the gold endowment and explains the fundamental asymmetry across most of these camps. Gold mineralization appears to have peaked during the thrust-inversion stage and subsequent shortening, but had waned prior to final strike-slip overprinting of the fault zones. The integrated model provides a coherent guide for identifying and analyzing similar settings in more remote settings of northern Canada.