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The movement of MVT-forming brines has been tied to the histories of adjacent sedimentary basins, but the precise causal link is still not well established because the timing of MVT mineralization is usually poorly constrained relative to basin evolution (see Chapter 1). Thus, the precise dating of MVT mineralization would allow discrimination among the various models for the transport of the fluids responsible for ore deposition.

Geological relationships which may give a time constraint on mineralization are often ambiguous. Until the successful development of Rb-Sr dating of sphalerite (Nakai et al., 1993), some deposits, such as Pine Point (Canada), were constrained only by the age of the host rocks representing the maximum age of the deposit, and a knowledge of when it was first found by man (see Garven and Sverjensky, 1 994; Lyons, 1994). On the Lennard Shelf we can be more precise because the deposits are hosted in Devonian limestones, and Zn-Pb mineralization in faults and veins is truncated by the unconformity at the base of the late Carboniferous and Permian Grant Group. Locally, as at Blendevale, detrital clasts of mineralized limestone are preserved in erosional channels filled with Grant Group sandstone, thus providing a minimum age for mineralization as late Carboniferous. However, as with MVT deposits worldwide, the precise date on mineralization is controversial.

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