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Abstract

The Canadian Cordillera is a region of great geological and metallogenic diversity. Just as each Cordilleran terrane preserves a stratigraphic record different from those of neighbouring terranes, characteristic suites of mineral deposits, as integral parts of their host terranes, reflect fundamental differences in their depositional environments. The miogeocline and displaced equivalents in the eastern Cordillera, as well as each of the terranes comprising the accreted collage of the western Cordillera, possess unique lithotectonic characteristics that are reflected in the types of mineral deposits they contain.

Predominantly stratiform deposits of Zn, Pb, Cu, Ba, and Fe and skarn deposits of W, Zn, Pb, Mo, and Sn are hosted by layered sedimentary strata of the ancestral North American miogeocline. The similar types of mineral deposits of displaced (Cassiar) and/or deformed (Kootenay, Nisling) continental margin terranes support their cratonal linkage.

Stikinia and Quesnellia, which together constitute the bulk of the Intermontane Superterrane, host a suite of mineral deposits typical of their predominantly calc-alkalic volcanic-arc composition: abundant porphyry Cu,Mo deposits, Cu, Zn volcanogenic massive sulphides, Cu and Au skarns, and Au,Ag veins. On the other hand, the ophiolitic Cache Creek and Slide Mountain terranes of the Intermontane Superterrane display distinctive kinds of mineral deposits typical of their oceanic origin: magmatic Cu,Ni, volcanogenic Cu,Zn and mesothermal Au veins, in addition to ultramafic pluton-related asbestos, jade, Cr and platinum group element (PGE) deposits.

The dominantly arc volcanic character of the diverse terranes of the Coast Belt is reflected in their metallogeny: volcanogenic Cu,Zn, porphyry Cu,Mo,

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