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TitleThe Westwood deposit, southern Abitibi greenstone belt, Canada: An Archean Au-rich polymetallic magmatic-hydrothermal system Part 2. Hydrothermal alteration, mineralization, and geological model
AuthorYergeau, D; Mercier-Langevin, P; Dubé, B; McNicoll, V J; Jackson, S E; Malo, M; Savoie, A
SourceEconomic Geology vol. 117, no. 3, 2022 p. 577-608,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180399
PublisherSociety of Economic Geologists
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Lat/Long WENS -80.0000 -78.0000 49.0000 48.0000
Subjectsmineralogy; general geology; hydrothermal alteration; fluid mechanics; metamorphism; mineral enrichment; Precambrian
Illustrationslocation maps; stratigraphic columns; geological sketch maps; photographs; tables; photomicrographs; geochemical profiles; plots
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-5) Gold systems
Released2022 05 01
AbstractThe Westwood deposit, located in the Archean Doyon-Bousquet-LaRonde mining camp in the southern Archean Abitibi greenstone belt, contains 4.5 Moz (140 metric t) of gold. The deposit is hosted in the 2699- 2695 Ma submarine, tholeiitic to calc-alkaline volcanic, volcaniclastic, and intrusive rocks of the Bousquet Formation. The deposit is located near the synvolcanic (ca. 2699-2696 Ma) Mooshla Intrusive Complex that hosts the Doyon epizonal intrusion-related Au ± Cu deposit, whereas several Au-rich volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits are present east of the Westwood deposit. The Westwood deposit consists of stratigraphically stacked, contrasting, and overprinting mineralization styles that share analogies with both the intrusion-related and VMS deposits of the camp. The ore zones form three distinct, slightly discordant to stratabound corridors that are, from north (base) to south (top), the Zone 2 Extension, the North Corridor, and the Westwood Corridor. Syn- to late-main regional deformation and upper greenschist to lower amphibolite facies regional metamorphism affect the ore zones, alteration assemblages, and host rocks. The Zone 2 Extension consists of Au ± Cu sulfide (pyrite-chalcopyrite)-quartz veins and zones of disseminated to semimassive sulfides. The ore zones are spatially associated with a series of calc-alkaline felsic sills and dikes that crosscut the mafic to intermediate, tholeiitic to transitional, lower Bousquet Formation volcanic rocks. The metamorphosed proximal alteration consists of muscovite-quartz-pyrite ± gypsum-andalusitekyanite- pyrophyllite argillic to advanced argillic-style tabular envelope that is up to a few tens of meters thick. The North Corridor consists of auriferous semimassive to massive sulfide veins, zones of sulfide stringers, and disseminated sulfides that are hosted in intermediate volcaniclastic rocks at the base of the upper Bousquet Formation. The Westwood Corridor consists of semimassive to massive sulfide lenses, veins, zones of sulfide stringers, and disseminated sulfides that are located higher in the stratigraphic sequence, at or near the contact between calc-alkaline dacite domes and overlying calc-alkaline rhyodacite of the upper Bousquet Formation. A large, semiconformable distal alteration zone that encompasses the North Corridor is present in the footwall and vicinity of the Westwood Corridor. This metamorphosed alteration zone consists of an assemblage of biotite-Mn garnet-chlorite-carbonate ± muscovite-albite. A proximal muscovite-quartz-chlorite-pyrite argillicstyle alteration assemblage is associated with both corridors. The Zone 2 Extension ore zones and associated alteration are considered synvolcanic based on crosscutting relationships and U-Pb geochronology and are interpreted as being the distal expression of an epizonal magmatic- hydrothermal system that is centered on the upper part of the synvolcanic Mooshla Intrusive Complex. The North and Westwood corridors consist of bimodal-felsic Au-rich VMS-type mineralization and alteration produced by the convective circulation of modified seawater that included a magmatic contribution from the coeval epizonal Zone 2 Extension magmatic-hydrothermal system. The Westwood Au deposit represents one of the very few documented examples of an Archean magmatichydrothermal system-or at least of such systems formed in a subaqueous environment. The study of the Westwood deposit resulted in a better understanding of the critical role of magmatic fluid input toward the formation of Archean epizonal intrusion-related Au ± Cu and seafloor/subseafloor Au-rich VMS-type mineralization.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This contribution presents new data and information about the geology of the Westwood gold deposit in the Abitibi greenstone belt of northwestern Quebec. Focus is on the description of the ore and associated hydrothermal alteration. The genesis of the deposit and implications on exploration models for gold deposits are discussed.

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