Abstract

The West Meliadine area is underlain by structurally interleaved panels of mafic and minor ultramafic metavolcanic rocks and metasedimentary rocks that occur along the northern margin of the Neoarchean Rankin Inlet greenstone belt. Three structural and metamorphic domains are recognized: (1) the easterly Wesmeg domain; (2) the central Barracuda-Ridge domain; and (3) the westerly Peter Lake domain. The Wesmeg domain is characterized by a series of southeast-trending, north-dipping, foliation-parallel panels of greenschist facies mafic metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks. The Barracuda-Ridge domain is comprised of greenschist to amphibolite facies mafic metavolcanic rocks that define an east-northeast-trending structural grain. The Peter Lake domain consists of amphibolite facies mafic metavolcanic rocks and minor metasedimentary rocks intruded by a monzonite pluton. West Meliadine hosts the economically significant Wesmeg gold deposits, as well as other important gold showings across the Barracuda-Ridge and Peter Lake domains. The geological setting of the Wesmeg gold deposits resembles that of a break or fault zone. The Pyke Break is a major geophysical discontinuity (>65-km strike length) and is the first-order structural control on gold mineralization at West Meliadine. It is several kilometers wide and characterized by polyphase deformation and shear zone development accompanied by lode-gold mineralization. In general, gold concentration is related to quartz and iron-carbonate veining, iron sulfides (mainly arsenopyrite and pyrrhotite), and accompanying silicate alteration minerals that overprint favorable chemical and structural traps late in the history of deformation.

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