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TitleReview of banded iron formation-hosted gold deposits in Nunavut and preliminary data on a new prospect
AuthorLebeau, L E; Mercier-Langevin, P
SourceCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, Summary of Activities 2020, 2021 p. 1-18 Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200594
PublisherCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS36; 37; 46; 47; 55; 56; 57; 65; 66; 67; 76; 77; 86; 87
AreaKivalliq Region; Kitikmeot Region; Qikiqtaaluk Region; Woodburn Lake; Rankin Inlet; Baffin Island
Lat/Long WENS-120.6667 -72.0000 71.0000 62.5000
Subjectseconomic geology; igneous and metamorphic petrology; geochemistry; geophysics; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; mineral deposits; gold; mineral potential; mineral exploration; exploration guidelines; structural controls; ore mineral genesis; mineralization; bedrock geology; lithology; sedimentary rocks; iron formations; structural features; faults; folds; facies; oxides; silicates; tectonic setting; metamorphism; deformation; metamorphic facies; greenschist-amphibolite facies; greenstone belts; mineral assemblages; sulphides; pyrrhotite; arsenopyrite; loellingite; chalcopyrite; pyrite; quartz veins; carbonate; field work; assays; geophysical surveys; aeromagnetic surveys; magnetic surveys, airborne; magnetic interpretations; total field magnetics; Archean; Meadowbank Mine; Portage Deposit; Goose Deposit; Amaruq Deposit; Meliadine Mine; Three Bluffs Project; Lupin Mine; Back River Project; Baffin Gold Project; Committee Bay Belt; Slave Province; Piling Group; Precambrian; Proterozoic
Illustrationsgeoscientific sketch maps; photographs; location maps; tables; photomicrographs
Released2021 03 01
AbstractBanded iron formation (BIF)-hosted gold is a highly sought-after gold deposit type due to its potential for high-grade and high-tonnage deposits, and prospect of a long mine life. All three regions of Nunavut (i.e., Kivalliq, Kitikmeot and Qikiqtaaluk) host such deposit types. In this paper, seven of Nunavut's mines and exploration properties are briefly reviewed, including: Agnico Eagle Mines Limited's Meadowbank complex (Portage, Goose and Amaruq deposits) and the Meliadine mine district (Kivalliq Region); Fury Gold Mines Limited's Three Bluffs project, Mandalay Resources Corporation's Lupin former mine and Sabina Gold and Silver Corporation's Back River project (Kitikmeot Region); and ValOre Metals Corporation's Baffin Gold project (Qikiqtaaluk Region). In studying BIF-hosted gold deposits in Nunavut, recurring characteristics emerge that can be very useful for future exploration. These include a thick BIF unit (oxide and silicate facies, at least decametres in thickness); strong deformation and dominant structural controls on ore (faults and folds); greenschist- to amphibolite-facies metamorphism; and a sulphide-mineral assemblage dominated by pyrrhotite, with possible arsenopyrite±loellingite and lesser chalcopyrite and pyrite along quartz-carbonate veins and/or as stratabound replacements. The Precambrian rocks of Nunavut are very prospective but remain underexplored despite recent major discoveries; hence the need for detailed regional surveys to assist in better assessing the potential of this vast territory. During the 2019 fieldwork for the Fury and Hecla Geoscience Project led by the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, a previously unknown, deformed BIF unit of significant thickness and lateral extent was discovered. In this paper, preliminary field observations, petrography and geochemistry of this BIF unit are presented. Although this work is preliminary, further exploration of this BIF may be warranted.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Banded Iron Formation (BIF) is an iron-rich rock that commonly contains alternating layers of magnetite (iron-bearing mineral) and quartz. BIF is considered to be a sedimentary rock that formed over geological time at the bottom of ancient oceans where iron-rich sediment accumulated over time. Today, BIF has since turned to rock and has been uplifted onto land from continental collision. In Nunavut and throughout the world, BIF is found to preferentially contain gold over other rock types and for this reason has been a major target for gold exploration in greenstone belts. Nunavut contains world-class BIF-hosted gold deposits in two out of three of its regions, the third having promising prospects. The Kivalliq (central region) hosts three major deposits owned by Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., called Meadowbank and Amaruq mines (nearby Baker Lake), and the Meliadine gold district (near Rankin Inlet). In the Kitikmeot (western-central region) there is the former Lupin mine and two prospective properties including the Back River property (a planned mine by Sabina Gold and Silver Corp.), and the Three Bluffs property owned by Mandalay Resources. Finally, the eastern Qikiqtaaluk region hosts the Baffin Gold project (by ValOre Metals) on central Baffin Island that is in the beginning stages of exploration. The Fury and Hecla Geoscience Project lead by the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, on northwestern Baffin Island, resulted in the discovery of a BIF unit with similar qualities to other BIF-hosted gold showings in Nunavut. Although no gold was found in the preliminary survey, further exploration is warranted.

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