Structure, Stratigraphy, and Primary Setting of the Kidd Creek Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Deposit: A Semiquantitative Reconstruction*
Wouter Bleeker, 1999. "Structure, Stratigraphy, and Primary Setting of the Kidd Creek Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Deposit: A Semiquantitative Reconstruction", The Giant Kidd Creek Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Deposit, Western Abitibi Subprovince, Canada, Mark D. Hannington, C. Tucker Barrie
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Although the Late Archean Kidd Creek volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit is one of the largest and highest grade deposits of its kind in the world, a detailed documentation of its geology has hitherto not been available. This paper presents the results of a detailed and integrated investigation of the mine structure and stratigraphy and places these in a regional context of the southwestern Abitibi greenstone belt.
The Kidd Creek orebody consists of a series of stacked lenses hosted by a complex, proximal volcanic stratigraphy associated with a ca. 2717 to 2711 Ma, subaqueous, high silica rhyolite complex that developed diachronously within what appears to have been a linear graben or half-graben structure. The mine stratigraphy has experienced polyphase folding and faulting and presently outlines a northwest-trending reclined fold (F1) that is part of a larger interference structure involving one older and one younger regional folding event. The various ore lenses and their chalcopyrite stringer stockworks occur as variably stretched bodies on the western, steeply overturned limb of the reclined F1 fold, which is referred to as the “Kidd Creek mine fold.” Internal deformation of the orebodies is strong but heterogeneous. Ore lenses have been tightly folded, thickened, partly transposed, and strongly elongated parallel to a steeply plunging stretching lineation that is subparallel to the axes of the Kidd Creek mine fold and its parasitic structures.
On the scale of the mine, the fold interference structure is coaxial and sufficiently systematic so that the orebody can be unfolded and a semiquantitative reconstruction of the primary geometry, stratigraphy, and setting can be obtained. The resulting model is both simple and comprehensive and allows most of the detailed aspects of this giant deposit to be placed in a spatial and temporal context. A detailed stratigraphic section and description of the rock units document the entire Kidd Creek stratigraphy and provide the framework in which detailed parallel studies on the U-Pb geochronology, chemostratigraphy, and ore genesis have been carried out.
Long-lived venting into the volcaniclastic fill of a relatively stable graben or half-graben structure, bounded by at least one deeply penetrating synvolcanic fault, is seen as the key control that led to a single giant deposit.
Figures & Tables
The Giant Kidd Creek Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Deposit, Western Abitibi Subprovince, Canada
ARCHEAN Cu-Zn deposits are among the most important mineral deposit types in Canada. The Superior province of Canada contains nearly 80 percent of the known Archean Cu-Zn deposits in the world (about 100 of 125 deposits). These deposits are concentrated in 10 separate mining camps, including Sturgeon Lake, Manitouwadge, Mattagami Lake, Chibougamau, Joutel, Val d’Or, Bous-quet, Noranda, Kidd Creek, and Kamiskotia (Fig. 1 and Table 1). A few deposits in rocks of similar age and composition are also known in the Slave province, the Churchill province, and in the Archean of Western Australia, southern Africa, China, and Brazil. Known deposits of this age worldwide account for more than 650 million metric tons (Mt) of massive sulfides, containing 10 Mt of Cu metal, 29 Mt of Zn, 1 Mt of Pb, 33 Mkg Ag, and 750,000 kg Au. The giant Kidd Creek volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit in the western Abitibi subprovince of Canada is the largest known deposit of this age currently in production. The Superior province is the world’s largest exposed Archean craton, occupying an area of more than 1.5 million km2, bounded by the Trans-Hudson orogen to the west and the Grenville province to the east. A number of distinct subprovinces are recognized, assembled into east-west-trending granite-greenstone terranes and metasedi-mentary belts (Fig. 1). The granite-greenstone terranes are composed of gneissic rocks of plutonic origin, supracrustal rocks of dominantly volcanic origin, and a variety of syn- to late kinematic granitoids. Volcanic rocks comprise about 12 percent of the total area. The greenstone belts have been described variously as successive lateral accretions of volcano-plutonic arcs, oceanic islands, oceanic plateaus, and rift-related assemblages (e.g., Langford and Morin, 1976; Percival and Card, 1985; Ludden and Hubert, 1986; Ludden et al., 1986; Card, 1990; Jackson and Sutcliffe, 1990; Williams, 1990; Corfu, 1993; Heather et al., 1995; Jackson and Cruden, 1995). The metallogenic history of the Superior province has been described in detail by Franklin and Thorpe (1982) and Poulsen et al. (1992).
The Abitibi subprovince (94,000 km2) is the largest of the greenstone belts. It contains the major gold and base metal mining camps in Canada (Fig. 2), with production and reserves totaling more than 480 Mt of massive sulfide and 4,700 t of Au. Metal production in the western portion of the Abitibi greenstone belt is dominated by the Timmins region, which historically has accounted for 37 percent of the total gold production