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Structural and textural evidence within the Mesoproterozoic Sterling Hill Zn-Fe-Mn orebody suggests that it is a metamorphosed stratiform deposit, part of a subducting assemblage that was folded and subjected to sufficiently high pressure and temperature conditions to induce viscous or pseudoviscous flow in the carbonate host rock. This resulted in a high-density ore deposit sinking as an inverted diapir through the enclosing marble.

During Phanerozoic time a possibly large part of the orebody was lost due to major faulting. The occurrence of an extensive rubble breccia body in the mine is evidence that a probable Cambro-Ordovician kars-tification event extended down into underlying Proterozoic rocks.

Most recently saprolites, as much as 240 m deep, developed within the marble/amphibolite core of the orebody and also in rocks above in the hanging wall.

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