Abstract

Mineralization at the Main zone of the Clarence Stream gold deposit in southwestern New Brunswick occurs within a parallel series of quartz veins that occupy a NE-trending, steeply north-dipping, brittle–ductile shear zone related to the nearby terrane-bounding Sawyer Brook fault. This deformation zone cuts volcaniclastic sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Silurian Waweig Formation, and is intruded by mantle-derived East Branch Brook gabbroic dikes and a number of felsic dikes. Intermittent shear-zone reactivation during local magmatic activity induced heterogeneous deformation and alteration of the country rocks and dikes. The terminal phase of shearing is associated with narrow pegmatite-aplite dikes that grade laterally into granophyric granite, and into an auriferous quartz vein. Gold, aurostibite, and gold-antimony intergrowths, predominantly with vein quartz, are associated with a low ƒO2 sulfide mineral assemblage (pyrrhotite, arsenopyrite, and berthierite) that has a sulfur isotopic signature consistent with a magmatic source. Gold saturation and deposition occurred episodically between 300° and 360°C at low activity of sulfur, predominantly in response to pressure reduction during brittle failure combined with the effects of decreasing temperature and sulfidation reactions during fluid–wall-rock interaction. Geochronological studies demonstrate that the timing of the emplacement of the pegmatite-aplite dikes and associated auriferous veins overlap with that of the Early Devonian Magaguadavic granite. Moreover, the composition of the dikes is consistent with their derivation from this granite as late fractionates. The Main zone of the Clarence Stream deposit is therefore interpreted to be intrusion-related, with the Magaguadavic granite being the ultimate source of the gold-bearing fluids.

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