The Izok Zn-Cu-Pb-Ag volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit is located 265 km south of Kugluktuk (Coppermine), Nunavut Territory, Canada, in the west-central Slave structural province. The Izok deposit is owned 100% by Inmet Mining Corporation and represents one of the largest undeveloped zinc-copper resources in North America.
The Izok deposit is hosted within and near the top of a thick sequence of predominantly felsic pyroclastic rocks of late Archean age. The hanging-wall stratigraphy includes additional felsic volcaniclastic rocks, andesitic and basaltic flows, thin sulfide-rich iron formations, and turbiditic sedimentary rocks. The felsic volcanic rocks are intruded by intermediate dikes and sills, followed by gabbroic dikes and sills. Both intrusive suites are interpreted to be volcanic feeders to the overlying flows. All lithologies are subsequently cut by younger, irregular, granitic pegmatite and diabase dikes. The volcanic and sedimentary rocks are regionally metamorphosed to pyroxene hornfels grade.
The massive sulfides occur within a large (kilometer-scale) Na-depleted sericitic alteration zone. The immediate footwall and hanging-wall rocks to the deposit are characterized by zones of muscovite-biotite-sillimanite, lesser chlorite-biotite-cordierite, and locally intense silicification and sodium metasomatism. All lithologies have been affected by younger Ca-metasomatism.
As currently defined, the Izok deposit comprises a cluster of five complexly zoned composite lenses: the Northwest, North, Central West, Central East, and Inukshuk lenses. The first four lenses are amenable to open-pit mining, whereas the Inukshuk lens will require underground development. The total indicated mineral resource presently stands at 16.5 million tonnes with a grade of 2.2% Cu, 11.4% Zn, 1.1% Pb, and 60 g/t Ag. Inmet Mining Corporation is presently reviewing the economic feasibility of developing the property.