Paragenesis of Gold Mineralization and Integrated Exploration Techniques of the Kiyuk Lake Project, Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, Canada
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Exploration for gold in Nunavut has primarily focused in Archean greenstone belts in the north and coastal regions of the territory, resulting in large areas of unexplored terrain. The Kiyuk Lake property is located in the underexplored southwest corner of the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut. Gold mineralization hosted by Proterozoic sediments is rare in the Canadian Shield, so this study endeavors to further the understanding of the enigmatic gold mineralization hosted in such sediments at the Rusty Zone at Kiyuk Lake. Mineralization is hosted by an immature lithic-wacke cut by thin intermediate dykes that are associated with hydrothermal breccias composed of Fe-carbonate, calcite, calcic-amphibole, Fe-sulphide, and Fe-oxide minerals. Textural and timing relationships suggest that the gold mineralization is post-sedimentary and syn- to post-intrusion of intermediate dykes. Stable isotope thermometry indicates mineralization took place between 450-600oC and geochronological studies suggest that the intrusion and mineralization occurred before or about 1.83 Ga. The mineralizing hydrothermal fluids are postulated to be volatile-rich aqueous solutions exsolved from a source of cooling magmas at depth that interacted with metamorphic fluids, previously in equilibrium with S-rich sedimentary rocks and/or basement rocks. Using basement breaching thrusts faults as conduits, fluid overpressurization along a later normal fault is thought to be the primary cause for the rapid depressurization and temperature decrease that caused Fe-sulphides minerals to precipitate, destabilizing the Au(HS)2- complex and finally depositing gold. Although sub-economic at present, the occurrence of gold in Paleoproterozoic basins such as Kiyuk Lake could signal a new timing of gold deposition for the Canadian Shield; however, exploration is challenged by extensive glacial deposits, limited outcrop, and restricted working seasons. Consequently, exploration must be planned to use integrated techniques to efficiently and effectively evaluate regional targets. Here I show a regional till survey, coupled with geophysical magnetic and gravity surveys and structural interpretation can be used to identify new regional scale targets by statically evaluating target scale and regional scale till surveys in conjunction with multi-element drill core chemistry to determine pathfinder element groups that clearly highlight the Rusty Zone outcropping mineralization and lead to the delineation of new anomalous areas.
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