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TitlePrimary critical metals deposits and their paths to discoveries in mineral systems forming IOCG deposits
AuthorCorriveau, LORCID logo; Blein, O; Enkin, RORCID logo; Montreuil, J F; Ehrig, K; Acosta-Góngora, P; Goad, R; Beaulieu, D; Christopher, T; Conliffe, J; Belperio, A; Sappin, A AORCID logo
SourceGeological Association of Canada-Mineralogical Association of Canada, Joint Annual Meeting, Programs with Abstracts 2022 p. 74-75
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210647
PublisherGeological Association of Canada
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
SubjectsEconomics and Industry; mineralogy; metallic minerals; Science and Technology; metasomatic deposits; iron; metals; Olympic Dam Deposit; Nico Deposit; Central Mineral Belt; Labrador Trough; Appalachian Orogen
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-6) Ore systems
Released2022 05 15
AbstractMetasomatic iron and alkali-calcic (MIAC) mineral systems precipitate a variety of critical metal associations with current deposit resources and potential by-products in 24 of the 31 critical metals on the Canadian list. The billion tons of resources in some global MIAC districts provide a strong reminder that the discovery and mining of iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG), iron oxide±apatite (IOA) and affiliated deposits are key to secure a long-term supply of critical metals for Canada and its partners. An alteration (paragenetic) model relates the alteration facies of MIAC systems to their distinct metal associations and deposit types, e.g. skarn, IOA (REE, Ni), iron-rich Au-Co-Bi-Cu, IOCG (± PGE, REE, U), iron sulphide Cu-Au (ISCG), and albitite hosted U-Au-Co or Mo-Re. It also links the magnetic susceptibility and density of the mineralization to rock composition and mineral assemblages. The alteration facies approach to establish vectors to mineralization within MIAC systems stems from extensive alteration mapping of Canadian MIAC systems and global comparisons. Yet vocabularies for mapping and logging MIAC alteration facies are scant and the collective ability to identify metasomatic (alteration) vectors to ore during regional mapping and exploration is fledgling. Available geochemical datasets are likely to lack non- or cryptically mineralized alteration zones; a caveat that can be mitigated by assessing what is present and then use the mineral system framework to prognosticate what might be present but remains to be recognized or drilled and to vectors to mineralization. Plotting molar barcodes (e.g. Na-Ca-Fe-K-Mg) or metals from bulk-rock composition on geochemical discriminant (AIOCG) and magnetic susceptibility-density (Henkel) diagrams helps assess system prospectivity for critical metals. Case examples include the critical metal endowment of the Olympic Dam deposit (AU), the Great Bear magmatic zone (NT) and its NICO Au-Co-Bi-Cu deposit and Terra polymetallic mineralization, the Central Mineral Belt (NL), the Labrador Trough (QC, NL), the Josette REE deposit (QC), the Scadding Au mine (ON), and the Appalachian Orogen (NB, NL, NS). As datasets are processed, tools are refined. Refinements include means to highlight alteration facies and their metal endowment within albitite-hosted U and Au-Cu±Co prospects and distinguish high and low temperature components when plotting samples within the AIOCG diagram. The plots of elements contents and new barcodes on Henkel plots help assess the impact of distinct heavy minerals on mineral system geophysical footprints.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
With estimated resources and potential by-products in 24 of the 31 critical metals on the Canadian list, iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG), iron oxide ± apatite (IOA) and affiliated primary critical metal deposits in metasomatic iron and alkali-calcic (MIAC) mineral systems are key to secure a long-term supply of critical metals for Canada. Canadian, European and Australian team members of a Targeted Geoscience Initiative research network join forces to process legacy and new proprietary industry data and compare them with archetype examples such as the Olympic Dam IOCG deposit (AU) and the primary critical metal deposits NICO (Au-Co-Bi-Cu) and Josette (rare-earth-elements) deposits in Canada. The research outcomes help refine the mineral prospectivity of Canadian settings with significant infrastructures such as the Camsell River district explored by the Dene First Nations (NT), the historic Scadding gold mine (ON) and the Maritimes systems (NB, NS, NL) as well as the more remote Labrador Trough (QC, NL).

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