Abstract

The Lupin mine, located in the central Slave province just east of the western boundary of Nunavut Territory, is a world-class example of a Neoarchean-aged banded iron formation (BIF)-hosted lode-gold deposit. At the minesite the gold-mineralized Lupin BIF, separating stratigraphically underlying psammitic wacke and overlying argillaceous turbidite sequences, delineates the Lupin dome, a hammerhead-shaped F2/F3 interference fold structure occurring at the greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphic transition within the thermal aureole of the Contwoyto batholith. Detailed paragenetic relationships indicate that peak thermal metamorphism coincided with the switch from regional D2 compression to rapid D3 unroofing of the Neoarchean orogenic infrastructure. Gold initially precipitated with pyrrhotite, replacing amphibolitic BIF at the apex of the Lupin deformation zone, separating the east and west lobes of the Contwoyto batholith. Over the course of associated prograde/retrograde metasomatic overprints, gold was further remobilized during garnet and loellingite/arsenopyrite growth in chlorite-altered selvages of late-forming ladder quartz veins. A metamorphic model of ore genesis, with gold being scavenged and transported by metamorphic fluid that was shed and structurally trapped at the amphibolite recrystallization front, is favored over the previously proposed syngenetic and exogenic models of gold concentration that have tended to polarize genetic interpretations to date.

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