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Abstract

The alkalic Iron Mask batholith, of earliest Jurassic age (205 ± 4 Ma; Mortensen and Ghosh, in press), hosts a number of important porphyry Cu-Au deposits (Afton, Ajax West, Ajax East, Pothook and Crescent have been mined; DM and Big Onion have published reserves). The batholith is located 5 km southwest of Kamloops, British Columbia and 360 km from Vancouver, British Columbia. It is an elongate body (5 km wide by 22 km long) trending toward the northwest. The batholith intrudes eastern volcanic belt rocks of the Nicola Group (Fig. 22; Monger and McMillan, 1989) and has been later cut by numerous normal faults that divide the batholith into two plutons, the Iron Mask pluton to the southeast and the Cherry Creek pluton to the northwest. These plutons are sparated by a graben filled with Eocene Kamloops Group sediements and volcanics (a basinal equivalent of the Princeton Group).

The batholith is readily accessible via the Trans-Canada Highway through the Afton mine site, as well as from Lac Le Jeune Rd. (Fig. 22). Topography is generally moderate to gently rolling, with elevations ranging from 610 to 1100 metres, and thin ponderosa pine and douglas fir forests cover uplands; grass and sage fill lowland areas. Glacial drift (tills, glaciofluvial sediemnts and outwash) cover most areas and outcrops are sparse. In some places, this drift fills paleo-valleys up to 100 m deep (Ross, 1993 ).

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