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TitleThe emerging Paleozoic gold district of central Newfoundland: new insights on structural controls and tectonic drivers of gold mineralization and preservation
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorHonsberger, I WORCID logo; Bleeker, WORCID logo; Kamo, S L; Sandeman, H A I; Evans, D T W
SourceTargeted Geoscience Initiative 5: contributions to the understanding of Canadian gold systems; by Mercier-Langevin, P (ed.); Lawley, C J MORCID logo (ed.); Castonguay, SORCID logo (ed.); Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8712, 2020 p. 193-210, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Targeted Geoscience Initiative 5: contributions to the understanding of Canadian gold systems
File formatpdf; docx (Microsoft® Word®)
ProvinceNewfoundland and Labrador
AreaWilding Lake; Victoria Lake
Lat/Long WENS -58.0000 -56.0000 49.0000 48.0000
Subjectseconomic geology; structural geology; tectonics; geochronology; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; mineral deposits; gold; vein deposits; mineral exploration; mineral potential; ore mineral genesis; mineralization; ore controls; structural controls; exploration guidelines; bedrock geology; basement geology; lithology; sedimentary rocks; conglomerates; arenites; black shales; igneous rocks; volcanic rocks; volcaniclastics; felsic volcanic rocks; mafic volcanic rocks; intrusive rocks; porphyries; granitic rocks; monzonites; mafic intrusive rocks; structural features; fault zones; faults; shear zones; fractures; joints; folds; quartz veins; sulphides; tectonic setting; tectonic evolution; orogenies; deformation; pressure; fluid flow; shearing; faulting; alteration; magmatism; intrusions; dykes, mafic; plutons; emplacement; host rocks; unconformities; field relations; kinematic analysis; mineral assemblages; foliation; slickensides; lineations; chalcopyrite; tourmaline; models; structural analyses; radiometric dating; uranium lead dating; zircon dates; Applachian Orogen; Acadian Orogeny; Victoria Lake Sear Zone; Valentine Lake Deposit; Wilding Lake Prospect; Dunnage Zone; Exploits Subzone; Rogerson Lake Conglomerate; Peri-Gondwanan Realm; Wilding Lake Plutons; Valentine Lake Shea Zone; Red Ochre Complex; Wood Brook Fault; Dog Bay Line; Crippleback Intrusive Suite; Gander Zone; Red Indian Line; Botwood Group; Botwood Basin; Meelpaeg Nappe; Victoria Lake Supergroup; Red Cross Group; Howley Waters Complex; Peter Strides Granitoid Suite; Gander Group; North Bay Granite Suite; Badger Group; Elliot Showing; Stony Lake Volcanics; Mount Cormack Complex; Abitibi Greenstone Belt; Phanerozoic; Paleozoic; Carboniferous; Devonian; Silurian; Ordovician; Cambrian; Precambrian; Proterozoic
Illustrationsgeoscientific sketch maps; tables; schematic cross-sections; photographs; photomicrographs; Concordia diagrams
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-5) Gold ore systems
Released2020 06 11; 2020 07 22; 2023 03 17
AbstractThe formation and preservation of orogenic gold deposits are associated with a predictable set of magmatic, structural, and tectonic processes that have recurred throughout Earth's history. In world-class Archean gold districts, such as in the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield and the Yilgarn Craton of the West Australian Shield, the main gold-mineralized fault zones are characterized by early imbrication, lithospheric extension, synorogenic magmatism and sedimentation, thick-skinned re-imbrication, and late-stage strike-slip. Such an evolution results in the occurrence of gold-mineralized, upper crustal sequences of synorogenic magmatic and sedimentary rocks above terranes of granitoid rocks and/or older poly-deformed volcanic rocks. Targeted exploration for orogenic gold mineralization relies on remnant panels of synorogenic rocks (e.g. polymict conglomerate and bimodal magmatic rocks) as first-order field indicators of structurally controlled gold preservation along prospective crustal-scale fault zones.
Paleozoic crustal-scale fault zones in central Newfoundland have been known to host significant gold mineralization and recent major discoveries (e.g. Valentine Lake gold deposit) and associated exploration suggest the emergence of a new district centred on the footwall rocks of the Victoria Lake shear zone. Fieldwork, combined with structural analysis and high-precision U-Pb geochronology throughout central Newfoundland, demonstrates that the structurally controlled Paleozoic gold district is remarkably similar to the much older Archean Abitibi gold district in scale, geological setting, structural architecture, synorogenic magmatism and sedimentation, style of mineralization, tectonic evolution, and process rates. In central Newfoundland, orogenic gold occurs within footwall blocks of an overall northwest-directed fault system that juxtaposed and deformed Neoproterozoic basement granitoid rocks and Late Silurian to Early Devonian synorogenic rocks during the Acadian Orogeny. Preliminary high-precision U-Pb zircon and rutile geochronology demonstrates that the key tectonic interval driving gold mineralization and synorogenic sedimentation and magmatism, including syenogranite and monzonite intrusions, occurred between 424 and 407 Ma, approximately the same relative time interval (15-20 million years) as the Abitibi greenstone belt. The similarities between the gold systems of central Newfoundland and the Abitibi imply that a common predictable set of structural and tectonic processes throughout Earth's history, and thus independent of time, have led to the deposition and preservation of orogenic gold mineralization.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The main objective of phase 5 (2015-2020) of Natural Resources Canada and Geological Survey of Canada's Targeted Geoscientific Initiative (TGI) program was to generate new knowledge, methodologies and models to enhance the exploration industry's ability to detect buried ore deposits. This synthesis volume contains 20 individual papers that discuss craton to deposit-scale characteristics of auriferous deposits, plus some support material pertaining to the TGI-5 Gold project.

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