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TitleMetal transport by liquid hydrocarbons: evidence from metalliferous shale and pyrobitumen, Yukon
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorHenderson, K M; Williams-Jones, A E; Clark, J R
SourceTargeted Geoscience Initiative: 2018 report of activities; by Rogers, N (ed.); Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8549, 2019 p. 179-187, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Targeted Geoscience Initiative: 2018 report of activities
File formatpdf
NTS106E/09; 106E/10; 106E/11; 106E/12; 106E/13; 106E/14; 106E/15; 106E/16; 106F/11; 106F/12; 106F/13; 106F/14; 106K/03; 106K/04; 106K/05; 106K/06; 106K/11; 106K/12; 106K/13; 106K/14; 106L; 116H/09; 116H/10; 116H/11; 116H/12; 116H/13; 116H/14; 116H/15; 116H/16; 116I
AreaRichardson Mountains; Peel River; Eagle Plains
Lat/Long WENS-138.0000 -133.0000 67.0000 65.5000
Subjectseconomic geology; geochemistry; mineralogy; fossil fuels; mineral deposits; metals; nickel; molybdenum; zinc; sulphides; sedimentary ore deposits; strata-bound deposits; mineral exploration; mineral potential; ore mineral genesis; mineralization; ore controls; transport mechanisms; fluid migration; hydrocarbons; pyrobitumen; veins; diagenesis; hydrocarbon generation; paragenesis; whole rock analyses; geochemical analyses; bulk composition; nickel geochemistry; vanadium geochemistry; zinc geochemistry; molybdenum geochemistry; organic materials; spectrometric analyses; mineralogical analyses; scanning electron microscope analyses; sedimentary basins; bedrock geology; lithology; sedimentary rocks; black shales; Richardson Trough; Moss showing; Yukon Stable Block; Canol Formation; Road River Group; platinum group elements; Phanerozoic; Paleozoic; Devonian
Illustrationsgeoscientific sketch maps; geochemical plots; photomicrographs
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-5) Knowledge Management Coordination
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-5) Volcanogenic massive sulphide ore systems - deposition - time and space
Released2019 03 01
AbstractHyper-enriched black shale (HEBS) occurs within Yukon Devonian stratigraphy as a thin (approximately 3 cm thick) laterally extensive (100-1000s km2) sulphide-rich unit. These shale beds contain an average of 4 weight % Ni, 0.5 weight % Zn, and 0.3 weight % Mo, as well as anomalous concentrations of Cu, Ag, Se, As, P, Ba, U, platinum group and rare earth elements. The origin of these HEBS deposits is strongly debated; possible mechanisms include metals being derived from seawater in a sediment-starved, stratified euxinic basin or by addition from hydrothermal fluids. However, a process that has not been considered is mobilization of metals by hydrocarbon liquids. These liquids are produced during diagenesis, and are capable of transporting nickel, vanadium and zinc.
Pyrobitumen occurs as centimetre-scale veins within the hyper-enriched black shale (HEBS) layer, but also much thicker metre-wide veins in the surrounding shale packages. Bulk analysis shows that these veins have high metal concentrations; most notably nickel and vanadium. Pyrobitumen within the HEBS horizon has average Ni and V concentrations of 1300 ppm and 1400 ppm, respectively. A vein above the HEBS horizon has 2000 ppm Ni and 3700 ppm V, as well as 8000 ppm Zn and 220 ppm Mo. Nickel-vanadium sulphur phases are present within the organic material as small (2-10 micrometres long) laths. The presence of nickel- and vanadium-bearing phases within pyrobitumen veins is consistent with the notion of metal-transportation by liquid hydrocarbons.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI) is directed towards providing next generation knowledge and methods to facilitate more effective targeting of buried mineral deposits. The program aims to enhance the effectiveness of exploration for Canada's major mineral systems by resolving foundational geoscience problems that constrain the geological processes responsible for the liberation metals from their source region, transportation of these ore metals and control their eventual deposition. TGI supports projects on gold, Ni-Cr-PGE, porphyry-style mineralization, uranium and volcanic- and sedimentary-hosted base metal mineralization ore systems, with each project divided into subprojects focused on resolving specific knowledge gaps by integrating data and studies from multiple sites across Canada. Herein, we present interim results and interpretations from a selection of the research activities currently being conducted under the auspices of TGI.

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