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Abstract

Most copper-zinc volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits (herein designated by their common acronym, “VMSD”) in the Quebec segment of the Abitibi belt occur in volcanic complexes characterized by tholeiitic to calc-alkaline, mafic and felsic volcanic rocks, associated sediments and related igneous intrusives. These complexes were constructed upon extensive submarine plains composed of tholeiitic to komatiitic, mafic to ultramafic lava and intrusives. The volcanic complexes are generally comprised of multiple cycles which may be bimodal (ex., andesiterhyolite) or continuous (ex., andesite-dacite-rhyodacite-rhyolite). Essential elements of these volcanic successions are subaqueous felsic domes and associated volcaniclastic rock, massive sulfide deposits, and chemical sedimentary rock. VMSD generally accumulate during relatively quiet periods in low energy settings upon and/or immediately below the seafloor. Submarine topography controls in part the location of individual deposits (Lydon, 1984); they may form in depressions localized between domes, and on top or on the flanks of domes. “Noranda type” deposits (Morton and Franklin, 1987), formed at depths of greater than 500 m, are characterized by a host sequence dominated by mafic and felsic flows and hyaloclastite. VMSD of the Noranda and Matagami districts are typical deposits of this type. “Mattabi-type” deposits (Morton and Franklin, 1987), formed at shallow depths of less than 500 m, occur in a host sequence dominated by fragmental volcanic rock. VMSD of the Sturgeon Lake area, and the Kidd Creek deposit near Timmins, are examples of this type.

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