Abstract

By compiling geological, structural, geophysical, and geochemical information into a 3D geological model, we evaluated the orogenic gold potential in the vicinity of a hidden segment of an important Archean fault zone, the Cadillac–Larder Lake fault (CLLF) in the region of Rouyn-Noranda. The segment of CLLF in the present study is partly covered by Proterozoic sedimentary rocks. Because more than 2000 t Au have been extracted along the CLLF to date, our objective is to evaluate the gold potential at depth along a poorly known segment of this fault. A 3D geological model (50 km × 9 km × 1.5 km) including the covered segment was built through the compilation and homogenization of available geological data and the construction of 23 cross sections. The geology under the Proterozoic cover was evaluated using geophysical inversions, drill holes (42 in total), and surrounding geology. All available assays were filtered and upscaled to a 250 m × 250 m × 250 m regular cell grid to determine and quantify spatial relationships between geological features and mineralized occurrences using the weights of evidence method. Structural features, such as E–W-trending faults and fault intersections, and certain lithologies with a high primary porosity such as volcanoclastic rocks of the Blake River Group and Timiskaming sedimentary rocks, proved to be very prospective, yielding favourable factors with a weight of evidence index W+ > 0.24. These salient features were then assigned a combination index for ultimately evaluating the orogenic gold potential under the sedimentary cover. The zones resulting in an optimization of exploration targeting were attributed the highest probability, representing ~1% of the initial volume.

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