Structure, Stratigraphy, U-Pb Geochronology and Alteration Characteristics of Gold Mineralization at the Detour Lake Gold Deposit, Ontario, Canada

Exploration & Mining Geology, Vol. 20, 2012

J. Oliver (†) et al

The Detour Lake gold deposit is located within the northwestern limit of the Archean Abitibi Subprovince of the Superior Province. Mineralized zones are hosted by a sequence of pillowed and massive flows, hyaloclastite units, and altered ultramafic rocks, and are commonly oriented parallel to a series of high-strain zones that are co-planar to the regional-scale Sunday Lake Deformation Zone. Early in its kinematic history, the Sunday Lake Deformation Zone placed older (2.72 Ga) volcanic rocks of the Detour Lake Formation over younger (2.70 Ga) sedimentary rocks of the Caopatina assemblage. Gold mineralization is also parallel to the position of a laterally persistent siliceous rock unit, the 2.725 Ga ‘Chert Marker Horizon.’ The Chert Marker Horizon coincides with the boundary between the mafic-dominated upper Detour Lake Formation and the ultramafic-dominated lower Detour Lake Formation. Stratigraphic and geochronological data suggest that the Chert Marker Horizon is a deformed felsic volcaniclastic unit. At a cut-off of 0.6 g/t Au, the Detour Lake deposit contains 17.26 million ounces of Au within 445.9 million tonnes of rock grading 1.20 g/t Au. Gold occurs in shear-hosted and extensional vein arrays within rocks of the upper and lower Detour Lake Formation and within the Chert Marker Horizon. The Detour Lake deposit has many of the characteristics of a greenstone-hosted, quartz-carbonate vein deposit; its very large size may be attributed to large-scale rheological controls resulting in the formation of dilatant sites in permissive rock units.
Keywords: Detour Lake, Detour Lake Formation, Gold mineralization, Northern Abitibi Greenstone Belt Structural controls, U-Pb geochronology