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Title: Gold metallogeny of the southern Swayze Area, Abitibi Greenstone Belt
Authors: Hastie, Evan Carman George
Keywords: Gold;Au;Archean;Swayze area;Abitibi greenstone belt;superior province;Au-forming processes;economic geology;geochemistry;Jerome;Kenty;Rundle;Namex;4K;Au remobilization;dissolution-reprecipitation;gold nanoparticle;S isotopes;O isotopes;LA-ICP MS;TEM;SEM-EDS;TIMS;SIMS
Issue Date: 29-Apr-2021
Abstract: Understanding ore forming processes and their control on mineralization is essential for the proper classification of Archean, and also younger, Au deposits and mineral exploration success. This study evaluates Archean Au-forming processes using examples across the Superior Province (Canada), with an emphasis on the Swayze area in the Abitibi greenstone belt. It combines detailed field mapping with various discriminants (e.g., in-situ stable isotopes, whole rock and trace-element geochemistry, LA-ICP-MS elemental mapping and chemistry of native gold) to differentiate between orogenic and intrusion-related Au deposits. Based on previous work and newly generated data on 44 deposits, the dataset suggests that Ag, Te and Hg are the only metals consistently associated with Au across different deposit types. Although these metals represent universal elemental vectors for Au exploration, other criteria such as rock and mineral textures, timing of Au mineralization, stable isotope data, and bulk geochemistry must be used to differentiate between Au-deposit types. An important finding is the recognition of a distinct subset of intrusion-related Archean deposits related to sanukitoid-type magmatism. These deposits, generally younger than 2690 Ma, predate shearing and are characterized by Te and Hg elemental associations, relatively high fO2, and δ34S ≤ -5‰. They differ from other intrusion related deposits in terms of their timing and geochemistry and, thus, require a different exploration strategy. Of importance to both academia and industry is the origin of late-stage high-grade Au zones in many deposits. This study suggests such zones result from coupled dissolution-reprecipitation of Au-bearing sulfides and generation of polymetallic Au melts and/or Au nanoparticles, which aggregate as coarse native gold. Both of the processes can elegantly explain ultra high-grade gold zones and are widely applicable to many Au deposits formed throughout Earth’s history.
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses
Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology - Doctoral theses

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