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Title: The geology of the Beardmore-Geraldton belt, Ontario, Canada: geochronology, tectonic evolution and gold mineralization
Authors: Tóth, Zsuzsanna
Keywords: Archean orogenic gold;Beardmore-Geraldton greenstone belt;structural control;LAICP-MS pyrite mapping;geochemical footprint;geochronology;TTG and sanukitoid petrogenesis;sinistral transpression;triclinic dextral transpression
Issue Date: 7-Nov-2018
Abstract: The Beardmore-Geraldton belt (BGB) is a greenstone belt straddling the boundary between the eastern Wabigoon subprovince and the Quetico metasedimentary subprovince. It consists of shearbounded panels of metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks which were imbricated during an early thrusting event and regionally folded and sheared during subsequent deformation events. It hosts several historic gold mines with a combined past production exceeding 4 Moz gold. New gold resources were delineated within the last ca. 10 years at the Hardrock deposit in the eastern part of the belt which highlighted the need for a better understanding of the controls on gold mineralization in the belt. The BGB comprises three panels of metasedimentary rocks, representing a southward transition from fluvial to deltaic to deep oceanic basin plain environments, overlying three panels of older, ca. 2725 Ma, metavolcanic rocks, representing back arc, island arc, and oceanic crust. Detrital zircon geochronology of the BGB and adjacent northern Quetico metasedimentary rocks suggests that these rocks formed from sediments derived by the erosion of ca. 2700 Ma to 2900 Ma source rocks and older >3200 Ma Mesoarchean craton of the eastern Wabigoon subprovince. The emplacement of crosscutting 2694±1 Ma feldspar-quartz porphyry (FQP) dikes, marks the end of sedimentation in the belt. The panels were subsequently imbricated during an early thrusting event (D1) which ended with the emplacement of the stitching 2690±1 Ma Croll Lake stock. The composition of the FQP dikes and Croll Lake stock (i.e. SiO2, ferromagnesian oxide and transition element contents, [La/Yb]N ratio) indicate a shift from tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) suite to sanukitoid suite magmatism over a 4 Ma period. The formation of the sanukitoid melts, which involves the addition of a mantle melt component, is consistent with their generation during delamination or slab break-off as the BGB metavolcanic and metasedimentary panels were thrustimbricated and accreted to the Wabigoon subprovince during closure of the Quetico basin. D1 structures are expressed by early, isoclinal, F1 folds with an axial planar S1 cleavage. They are folded by regional F2 folds with an axial planar, regional, S2 cleavage, which becomes more pronounced along belt-parallel, sinistral, high strain zones characterized by asymmetrical, Sshaped F2 folds and NE-striking, en echelon, quartz-carbonate veins. The association of regional folds and cleavage with sinistral high strain zones suggest that these structures formed during regional sinistral transpression (D2) across the belt. During subsequent dextral D3 transpression, the regional F2 folds and S2 cleavage were overprinted by Z-shaped F3 folds and by a second regional cleavage (S3), and the D2 high-strain zones were reactivated as dextral shear zones. Within the reactivated high strain zones, F1, F2 and F3 fold axes are parallel to a strong, shallowlyplunging, stretching lineation that formed during D2 and was accentuated and rotated towards the orientation of the fabric attractor during D3. The fabric attractor is oblique to the intersection lineation between the reactivated S2 cleavage and dextral shear bands, suggesting that the deformation during D3 had triclinic symmetry. The Hardrock gold deposit is one of several deposits hosted by the Bankfield-Tombill deformation zone near Geraldton in the eastern part of the BGB. Gold was emplaced during early D1 thrusting and D2 sinistral transpression in association with strongly folded, early D1, quartz-carbonate veins (V1) and E- to NE-striking, syn-D2, tourmaline-rich (V2) and quartz-carbonate veins (V3) veins. Gold is present in association with inclusion-rich pyrite with elevated Au, Ag, As, Bi, Co, Ni, Pb, Sb, Te concentrations and along fractures and as inclusions in the veins and sulfides. The deposit is surrounded by a broad (≤250 m) alteration envelope of carbonate and sericite with elevated pathfinder S, Te, As, W, and Bi concentrations. Early introduction of gold in the belt during thrusting and sinistral transpression differs from previous studies which favored late tectonic emplacement of gold in D3 shear zones and fold hinges.
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses
Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology - Doctoral theses

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