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TitleAdvances on the Ni-Cu-PGE prospectivity of the Canadian HALIP: temporal, spatial and structural constraints
AuthorSaumur, B M; Bédard, J H; Williamson, M -C; Dewing, KORCID logo; Evenchick, C A
SourceMargins through time: GAC-MAC 2016; Geological Association of Canada-Mineralogical Association of Canada, Joint Annual Meeting, Programs with Abstracts vol. 39, 2016 p. 84 Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En ligne (complete volume - volume complet, PDF, 1.3 MB)
Year2016
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20190453
PublisherGeological Association of Canada
MeetingGAC-MAC 2016; Whitehorse, YK; CA; 2016
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNunavut
AreaAxel Heiberg Island; Ellesmere Island
Subjectseconomic geology; geochemistry; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP)
ProgramGEM2: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals, Western Arctic, High Arctic LIP
Released2016 06 01
AbstractPortions of the Cretaceous (~ 130-80 Ma) High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP) of Canadas Arctic Archipelago may be prospective for magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE (platinum group element) mineralization, based on geochemical evidence and similarities to mining camps such as Norilsk-Talnakh, Russia. Recent and ongoing research on the HALIP aims to identify and localize areas of enhanced prospectivity, as well as broadening our understanding of the petrogenesis and structural controls on magma emplacement. Although extrusive basaltic lavas of the HALIP are limited to restricted exposures on Axel Heiberg Island and northwestern Ellesmere Island, the intrusive components of the HALIP (i.e., diabasic to gabbroic sills and dykes) are widespread and are 3-5 times more voluminous. A preliminary assessment of new and existing geochemical data indicates that there are spatial and temporal variations in HALIP Ni-Cu-PGE prospectivity. Alkaline components of the HALIP, exposed on northern Ellesmere Island, are younger than ~95 Ma are chalcophile poor and thus relatively unprospective. In contrast, on Axel Heiberg Island, tholeiitic units between 130-95 Ma are more prospective, except for 130-120 Ma tholeiitic intrusions exposed at the NW corner of the island. As coeval intrusions exposed in the E and NE portion of Axel Heiberg Island show evidence for prospectivity, this implies that there was a compartmentalization in magma delivery and/or sources. New sampling reveals the existence of tholeiitic and transitional alkaline magmas in Hare Fiord and the Blue Mountains of Ellesmere Island that are potentially prospective. The prospectivity of the HALIP can also be constrained by considering its structure and the geometries of its intrusive igneous components. Economic Ni-Cu magmatic sulfide deposits are typically hosted within 1-10 km scale structurally complex feeder systems, which often exhibit irregular to tube-like geometries that are controlled by syn-emplacement structural processes (e.g., intermittent fault activity) or the amalgamation of dykes and sills. Such systems are ideal sites of Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization because they promote high magma fluxes and protracted magma flowthrough, thereby favouring the interaction between metal-bearing mafic magmas and sulfide liquids that are progressively enriched in metals. Several 10 km-scale intrusive complexes of the HALIP, such as those exposed at Middle Fiord (W Axel Heiberg) and on Wootton Peninsula (N Ellesmere), show first-order architecture that are characteristic of systems with Ni-Cu-PGE potential. Moreover, the post-emplacement structure of the HALIP (i.e., the Eurekan Orogeny) strongly controls the uplift and preservation the feeder system of the province which, in turn, further spatially constrains mineral potential.
GEOSCAN ID321728

 
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