Tracking the Wakeham Group volcanics and associated Cu-Fe-oxides hydrothermal activity from La Romaine eastward, Eastern Grenville Province, Québec: a Targeted Geoscience Initiative in a frontier high-grade metamorphic terrains

CIM Montreal 2003
Louise Corriveau, Anne-Laure Bonnet, Otto van Breemen, Pierre Pilote,
Abstract A Targeted Geoscience Initiative transect in the eastern Grenville Province reveals an extensive VHMS-style cupriferous hydrothermal system among rhyolitic pyroclastic rocks of the Wakeham Group at La Romaine, Québec. The volcanic rocks outcrop sporadically along a < 10 km-wide by about 100 km-long belt correlated with the south-eastern extension of the Wakeham Group. This belt occurs among voluminous, magnetite-bearing, granitic gneiss. At Lake Musquaro, 1.51 Ga metarhyolitic to dacitic lapillistones and flows, locally with aluminous nodules and veins, are intruded by 1.49 Ga feldspar porphyries. This volcanic package was deposited on typical Wakeham Group arenite (< 1.52 Ga) interbedded with nodular, muscovite- and fibrolite-bearing gneiss, and minor marble hosting finely layered garnetiferous hornblendite, garnetite and magnetite-bearing coticule. The latter are interpreted as meta-exhalite and with the associated albitite (sodic alteration), aluminous veins (hydrothermal leaching) and magnetite-rich granitoids, they are key elements in the search for concealed mineral deposits in this area. At La Romaine, to the south, 1.5 Ga lapillistones outcrop structurally above metasediments and below a composite amphibolite unit of uncertain origin (lava or sills) with magnetite-rich (BIF?) units. An extensive zone of aluminous gneiss, with lapilli textures, provide evidences for severe hydrothermal leaching of the volcanic rocks prior to metamorphism. An adjacent siliceous vein-textured unit likely represent a zone of intense silicification (74 wt.% SiO2), while aluminous, hematite to magnetite-bearing veins in adjacent felsic gneiss (tuff?) preserve evidences for the sequence of alteration events. Despite granulite-facies metamorphism, the main characteristics of the amphibolite unit persist along the entire belt. This competent unit likely served as a cap rock; the garnetite, diopsidite and hornblendite it hosts provide effective guides to the sites of fluid discharge and mineralization. A number of Cu showings, modest in size, were discovered in this unit. Their systematic occurrence, in a structural-stratigraphic sense, indicates that this setting is attractive for mineral exploration despite high-grade metamorphism and deformation. Late-stage veins laden with fluorite crosscut these alteration zones, and are themselves metamorphosed, indicating that hydrothermal activity was polyphased. SHRIMP U-Pb ages obtained on detrital zircons (1 arenite) and on igneous zircons (5 volcanic rocks, 1 porphyry and 6 granitoids), pervasive arc-type geochemical signatures and presence of in situ rafts of barium-rich garnetite in the granitoids indicate that sedimentation and volcanism occurred between 1.52 and 1.49 Ga coevally with hydrothermal activity and emplacement of a sub-volcanic 1.5 Ga granitic batholith with early, 1.53 Ga tonalite intrusion. Such a geological context can sustain large-scale hydrothermal cells and development of VHMS, Cu-Fe oxides or SEDEX deposits.
Keywords: Eastern Grenville Province Transect, Volcanic and pyroclastic rocks, Targeted Geoscience Initiative, Wakeham Group, Mineral potential, High-grade metamorphic terrains, Cu mineralisation, Meta-exhalite, Cu-Fe-oxides hydrothermal system, VHMS-style
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