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TitleTargeted Geoscience Initiative 5: volcanic- and sediment-hosted massive-sulfide deposit genesis and exploration methods
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorPeter, J MORCID logo (ed.); Gadd, M GORCID logo (ed.)
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Bulletin 617, 2022, 344 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Lang.English; French
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedNRCan photo(s) in this publication
RelatedThis publication contains the following publications
File formatreadme
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Alberta; Northwest Territories; Manitoba; Yukon; Nunavut; New Brunswick
NTS75D; 75E; 75F; 82F; 82G; 82J; 82K; 82N; 82O; 83M; 84D; 84E; 84F; 84K; 84L; 84M; 84N; 84O; 84P; 85A; 85B; 85C; 85D; 85E; 85F; 85G; 85H; 93M; 93N; 93O; 93P; 94; 95A; 95B; 95H; 103P; 63K/16; 93I; 93J; 93K; 94A; 94B; 94C; 94F; 94G; 94H; 116C/15; 21J/02; 21J/03; 21J/06; 21J/07; 86A/10; 106C; 106D; 106E; 106F; 106K; 106L; 106M; 106N; 116; 105I; 105J; 105O; 105P; 116A; 116H; 116I; 114P/02
AreaRocky Mountains; Snow Lake; Yukon River; Ogilvie Mountains; Izok Lake; Nashwaak River; Ogilvie River; Porcupine River; Peel River; Windy Craggy Mountain
Lat/Long WENS-118.0000 -114.0000 52.0000 48.0000
Lat/Long WENS-130.0000 -110.0000 62.0000 55.0000
Lat/Long WENS-100.1000 -100.1000 54.9000 54.8500
Lat/Long WENS-126.0000 -120.0000 58.0000 54.0000
Lat/Long WENS-140.5397 -140.5397 64.8350 64.8347
Lat/Long WENS-112.7167 -112.7167 65.6833 65.6167
Lat/Long WENS -67.1000 -66.9167 46.4167 46.2167
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -132.0000 67.0000 64.0000
Lat/Long WENS-126.0000 -124.0000 58.0000 56.0000
Lat/Long WENS-138.0000 -128.0000 67.0000 62.0000
Lat/Long WENS-137.7461 -137.7461 59.7375 59.7208
Subjectseconomic geology; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; igneous and metamorphic petrology; mineralogy; geochemistry; geochronology; geophysics; tectonics; structural geology; stratigraphy; sedimentology; surficial geology/geomorphology; paleontology; mineral exploration; exploration methods; mineral deposits; volcanogenic deposits; sulphide deposits; sedimentary ore deposits; ore mineral genesis; mineralization; ore controls; Mississippi Valley deposits; base metals; zinc; lead; petrographic analyses; fluid inclusions; mass spectrometer analysis; isotopic studies; oxygen isotopes; sulphur isotope ratios; scanning electron microscope analyses; textural analyses; host rocks; geological history; thermal analyses; fluid dynamics; cementation; dolomites; sphalerite; calcite; carbonates; pyrite; sulphides; paragenesis; salinity; exploration guidelines; magnesite; fluorine; barium; structural controls; continental margins; sedimentary facies; tectonic setting; plate margins; rifting; deformation; metamorphism; hydrothermal systems; bedrock geology; lithology; sedimentary rocks; dolostones; clastics; carbon isotopes; strontium strontium ratios; lead isotope ratios; replacement deposits; sulphate; radiometric dating; paleomagnetic ages; hydrothermal alteration; geophysical surveys; seismic reflection surveys; seismic waves; p waves; seismic velocities; geophysical logging; density logging; wireline logs; seismic interpretations; structural features; faults; igneous rocks; volcanic rocks; volcaniclastics; felsic volcanic rocks; mafic volcanic rocks; lithofacies; metamorphic facies; amphibolite facies; greenschist facies; lithogeochemistry; mineralogical analyses; statistical analyses; mineral assemblages; cordierite; amphibole; garnet; x-ray emission spectroscopy; modelling; core samples; geochemical analyses; geochemical anomalies; fractures; tectonic history; diagenesis; burial history; fluid migration; crystallization; recrystallization; metallogeny; trace element geochemistry; morphology; textures; cobalt geochemistry; nickel geochemistry; models; magnetotelluric interpretations; resistivity logging; electrical resistivity; computer simulations; lithostratigraphy; flow regimes; basalts; rhyodacites; tuffs; breccias; dacites; mapping techniques; Middle Devonian; nickel; molybdenum; gold; paleoenvironment; marine environments; sea water geochemistry; depositional environment; sedimentation; trace element analyses; major element analyses; shales; metals; sulphur; cerium geochemistry; molybdenum geochemistry; uranium geochemistry; yttrium geochemistry; polymetallic ores; tungsten; heavy mineral samples; size fractionation; glacial deposits; tills; till samples; glacial history; ice flow; sediment dispersal; spectrometric analyses; alteration halos; inclusions; staurolite; gahnite; corundum; epidote; iron oxides; scheelite; wolframite; molybdenite; bismuth; software; intrusive rocks; granites; metamorphic rocks; greenstone belts; intrusions; plutons; dykes; sample preparation; Archean; platinum; palladium; silver; syngenesis; eustatic submergence; sedimentary basins; ore grades; biostratigraphy; micropaleontology; microfossils; conodonts; osmium; fluorite; barite; geophysical interpretations; hydrothermal deposits; organic geochemistry; sedimentary petrology; pyrolysis; solvent extraction; gas chromatography; thermal maturation; organic carbon; carbon geochemistry; pyrobitumen; reflectance; microorganisms; Upper Triassic; copper; cobalt; chalcopyrite; pyrrhotite; whole rock geochemistry; andesites; mafic intrusive rocks; argillites; magmatism; alteration; sills; Canadian Cordillera; Rocky Mountain Fold-And-Thrust Belt; Kootenay Arc; Kootenay Terrane; North American Craton; Robb Lake Deposit; Mucho-McConnell Formation; Pine Point Deposit; Pine Point District; Kicking Horse Deposit; Monarch Deposit; Shag Deposit; Munroe Deposit; Oldman Deposit; Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin; Peace River Arch; Mastodon Deposit; O'Donnell Deposit; Dawson Oil Field; Great Slave Reef; Reeves MacDonald Deposit; Central Presqu'ile Barrier; Martin Hills Deposit; Steen River Deposit; Slavery Creek Deposit; Oak Gas Field; Jersey Emerald Deposit; Wigwam Deposit; Rose Deposit; Abbott-Wagner Deposit; HB Deposit; Foreland Belt; Cathedral Escarpment; Rocky Mountain Trench; Purcell Anticlinorium; Ancestral North America; Hawk Creek Deposit; Boivin Deposit; Alpine Deposit; Mount Brussilof Deposit; Rock Canyon Creek Deposit; Cathedral Formation; Steven Formation; Eldon Formation; Waterfowl Formation; Palliser Formation; McKay Group; Cedared Formation; Burnais Formation; Rodinia; Pangea; Laramide Orogeny; Lalor Deposit; Chisel Basin; Snow Lake Domain; Paleoproterozoic; Coral Deposit; Pend Oreille (Yellowhead) Deposit; Pend Oreille (Josephine) Deposit; Duncan Deposit; Jackpot Deposit; Monster River Showing; Yukon Block; Blackstone Trough; Canol Formation; Road River Group; Canadian Shield; Slave Province; Izok Lake Deposit; Yellowknife Supergroup; Point Lake Formation; Contwoyto Formation; Sisson Deposit; Acadian Orogeny; Miramichi Group; Tetagouche Group; Richardson Trough; Kechika Trough; Nick Deposit; Peel River Deposit; Moss Deposit; Akie Property; Selwyn Basin; Nick Property; Howard's Pass District; XY Central Deposit; Duo Lake Formation; Windy Craggy Deposit; Tats Group; Alexander Terrane; Methodology; platinum group elements; Automation; ice-flow directions; Data processing; Phanerozoic; Paleozoic; Devonian; Ordovician; Cambrian; Precambrian; Proterozoic; Silurian; Mesozoic; Triassic
Illustrationslocation maps; geoscientific sketch maps; tables; plots; photomicrographs; geochronological charts; ternary diagrams; schematic diagrams; stratigraphic charts; photographs; cross-sections; bar graphs; models; seismic profiles; profiles; 3-D models; sections; lithologic sections; schematic representations; stratigraphic sections; spectra; stratigraphic columns; histograms
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-5) Volcanic and sedimentary systems - volcanogenic massive sulphide ore systems
Released2022 01 27
This bulletin presents results of research conducted under the Volcanic- and Sedimentary-hosted Base Metals Ore Systems project of phase 5 of the Geological Survey of Canada's Targeted Geoscience Initiative program. The research contributions have advanced genetic and exploration models for volcanic and sedimentary rock-hosted base-metal deposits and developed new laboratory, geophysical, and field techniques in support of mineral exploration.
A range of deposit types were studied: i) polymetallic hyper-enriched black shale (HEBS) deposits; ii) sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) Pb-Zn deposits in fine-grained clastic sedimentary rocks; iii) Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn deposits; iv) fracture-controlled replacement (FCR) Zn-Pb deposits; v) carbonate-hosted magnesite (MgCO3) and vi) rare-earth element (REE)-F-Ba deposits that are spatially associated with the MVT deposits; and vii) volcanogenic massive-sulfide (VMS) deposits hosted in volcanic and volcanic-sedimentary host-rock sequences.
The following noteworthy research highlights are documented in the bulletin (in no particular order): a robust genetic model was developed that is consistent with all geological observations and geochemical, mineralogical, and isotopic data for hyper-enriched black shale (HEBS) deposits in the northern Canadian Cordillera (Yukon and British Columbia). This style of mineralization, though generally thin (<10 cm), is stratiform and geographically widespread at a particular time-stratigraphic horizon. Metals were scavenged from seawater onto Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide particulates in the water column and shuttled to the seafloor to precipitate on the seafloor and in the shallow subsurface by fixation from sulfide originating from microbial reduction of seawater sulfate; trace-element; carbonate REE; fluid inclusion; and C, O, Sr, and Pb isotope characteristics of pyrite were established for various carbonate- hosted MVT (Shag, Monarch, Kicking Horse, Munroe, Coral, Robb Lake, Pend Oreille, Reeves MacDonald, Jersey-Emerald, HB, and Duncan), FCR (Abbott-Wagner), magnesite (Mount Brussilof), and REE-F-Ba (Rock Canyon Creek) deposits in British Columbia in host rocks ranging from middle to late Cambrian and Late Devonian to middle Carboniferous. Differences between the trace-element compositions, carbonate REE and C and O isotope compositions, and fluid inclusion microthermometric properties of the carbonate minerals reflect different fluid histories and indicate precipitation from (or interaction with) various fluids (i.e. seawater, basinal brine, and meteoric water) over a large temperature range; laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) analyses of single primary fluid inclusions from the feeder zone, together with LA-ICP-MS analyses of sulfide minerals from the Windy Craggy VMS deposit in northwestern British Columbia, show that some elements that are commonly ascribed to magmatic input (e.g. Au, Bi, Co, Mo, Sb, Sn, and Te) are present in the mineralizing fluids and/or sulfides, suggesting a direct magmatic contribution of some metals to the deposit, in addition to a leached source for some metals; laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analyses of pyrite in rocks that are time-stratigraphically equivalent to SEDEX deposits of the MacMillan Pass district, Selwyn Basin, Yukon, demonstrate that the Zn content (of pyrite) can be used to vector toward mineralization at the kilometre scale; a new methodology using automated mineralogical analysis of the (typically unused) fine (<250 micrometres) fraction heavy mineral concentrate of till was developed, using the metamorphosed Izok Lake VMS deposit as a test site. Results show that a larger dispersal train is delineated than that defined by using the traditional coarser fraction; integrated analysis of multidisciplinary data sets (3-D modelling of rock types, lithogeochemical, mineralogical, rock properties, seismic, and magnetotelluric) visualized the mineralization and paleofluid pathways in the footwall at the Lalor VMS mine, Manitoba.
Visualization was facilitated by the mineralogical changes common in high-grade metamorphism; three-dimensional forward modelling and inversion of magnetotelluric data using unstructured meshes, together with lithology and resistivity values from wireline logs, resulted in more realistic images of narrow and structurally dismembered sulfide mineralization at the Lalor VMS mine, Manitoba. The research presented herein provides the foundation for future work focused on gaining deeper insight into the processes responsible for, and the detection of, concealed volcanic and sedimentary rock-hosted base-metal sulfide deposits.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI) is a collaborative federal geoscience program that provides industry with the next generation of geoscience knowledge and innovative techniques to better detect buried mineral deposits, thereby reducing some of the risks of exploration. This contribution summarizes the results of a 5-year study of multiple mineral deposit types: polymetallic hyper-enriched black shale; sedimentary exhalative Pb-Zn; carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn, magnesite; fracture-controlled replacement Zn-Pb, rare-earth element-F-Ba; and volcanogenic massive sulfides. Studies employed field geology, combined with geochemical (lithogeochemistry, stable and radiogenic isotopes, fluid inclusions, and mineral chemistry) and geophysical (rock properties, magnetotelluric, and seismic) methods. Collectively, the research provides advanced genetic and exploration models for volcanic- and sedimentary-hosted base-metal deposits, together with new laboratory, geophysical, and field techniques.

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