Abstract

The Horne mine was truly a world class Cu and Au deposit. Between 1927 and 1989, it produced some 260 t of Au and 1.13 Mt of Cu from 53.7 Mt of ore that averaged 2.22% Cu, 6.1 g/t Au and 13 g/t Ag. The total value of Au and Cu production from the Horne deposit at metal prices of US$300/oz Au and US$1.00/lb Cu is an outstanding US$5.2 billion. The Horne mine was also a company builder. After optioning the property from Ed Horne (Tremoy Syndicate) in 1922, the Thomson-Chadbourne Syndicate discovered the deposit in 1923 and quickly grew to become Noranda, one of the world’s premier mining companies. This discovery fuelled exploration and, along with subsequent discoveries in the Val d’Or-Cadillac camps, led to the “economic development” of northwestern Quebec. The Horne deposit influenced and continues to influence genetic models for volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits. Early observations at Horne contributed to an epigenetic replacement theory for VMS deposits. The most recent genetic model for the Horne, invoking sub-seafloor sulfide replacement of silicified and sericitized volcaniclastic host rocks within a graben, has subsequently been proposed for another giant VMS deposit, the Kidd Creek mine. The Horne and Kidd Creek deposits show many similarities, such as localization within synvolcanic grabens, long-lived hydrothermal activity uninterrupted by volcanism, sub-seafloor replacement sulfides, stacked sulfide lenses, zone refining, silicified footwall rocks characterized by high positive δ18O values, and association with FIII rhyolites. Notable differences between the two deposits include the lack of andesitic, basaltic or komatiitic flows at Horne, different inferred water depths, high Au content at Horne versus negligible Au, but sub-economic to economic concentrations of Sn, In and Cd at Kidd Creek.

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