Hydrothermal Fe-Carbonate Alteration Associated with Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide (VMS) Deposits in Cycle IV of the Noranda Mining Camp, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec

Title: Hydrothermal Fe-Carbonate Alteration Associated with Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide (VMS) Deposits in Cycle IV of the Noranda Mining Camp, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
Authors: Wilson, Ryan
Date: 2012
Abstract: Massive sulfide deposits in the Noranda mining camp, northwestern Québec, are mainly associated with extensive footwall alteration defined by intense chloritization and sericitization. However, Fe-carbonate alteration also occurs in proximity to some deposits. To test the exploration significance of carbonate alteration in the camp, two areas of intense carbonate alteration were examined, around the small Delbridge deposit and near the new Pinkos occurrence in the Cyprus Rhyolite. Between 1969 and 1971, the Delbridge deposit produced 370,000 t of ore grading 9.6% Zn, 0.61% Cu, 110 g/t Ag, and 2.1 g/t Au. Recent drilling at the new Pinkos occurrence intersected 2.64 m of massive to semi-massive sulfides grading 8.1% Zn and 18.2 g/t Ag. Alteration mapping has shown that the distribution of Fe-carbonates can be used to identify vertically extensive zones of hydrothermal upflow at both properties. At Delbridge, intense Fe-carbonate alteration in brecciated rhyolite defines a pipe-like upflow zone that extends vertically for up to 300 m within the stratigraphic footwall of the massive sulfides and 100 m into the hanging wall. The location of known massive sulfide mineralization coincides with the intersection of the alteration pipe and a favorable horizon marked by the occurrence of fine-grained volcaniclastic rocks. At Pinkos, a similar zone of Fe-carbonate alteration occurs in outcrops of coherent rhyolite. Fe-carbonate alteration is most intensely developed along polygonal cooling fractures in massive rhyolite and decreases in intensity towards the centers of the columns. Fe-carbonate stringers and locally abundant matrix carbonate occur in fragmental rocks at the stratigraphic top of the coherent rhyolite flows and are most intense at the location of sulfide-bearing outcrops that mark the known mineralized horizon. Whereas Fe-carbonate alteration defines the central part of the hydrothermal upflow zones at both properties, disseminated pyrite occurs at the margins and is widespread outside the main upflow zones. This may indicate that Fe-carbonate in the main upflow zones formed at the expense of earlier disseminated sulfides. Replacement of pyrite by synvolcanic Fe-carbonate alteration at Delbridge and Pinkos can probably be attributed to a relatively high concentration of dissolved CO2, possibly of magmatic origin, in the main-stage ore-forming fluids.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/22838
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -