Abstract

The early Paleozoic accretionary tectonic regime that was established along the Laurentian margin of the Newfoundland Appalachians provided a favorable setting for shear-hosted gold mineralization along a major terrane suture, the Baie Verte-Brompton Line. The Stog’er Tight prospect is one of several mesothermal-style gold occurrences hosted by shear zones within accreted ophiolites and oceanic arc terranes on the Baie Verte Peninsula. It is an epigenetic, stratabound deposit that is confined to shallow-level gabbro sills within the volcanic cover sequence of the allochthonous Point Rousse ophiolite complex. Gold mineralization at Stog’er Tight is associated with hydrothermal mineral assemblages represented by chlorite-calcite, sericite-ankerite, red albite-pyrite (±Au) and chlorite-magnetite alteration zones. Gold occurs with pyrite within the intensely altered gabbro, along the margins of syn- to late-shear, quartz-rich, replacement veins.

The Stog’er Tight gabbro served as a rigid body conducive to shear deformation and fluid penetration, whereas, its high Fe-Ti oxide content induced fluid oxidation and gold-pyrite precipitation. Hydrothermal alteration involved progressive CO2, S, Na, and LILE metasomatism, along with significant enrichments in the REE, HFSE, and Th in the high-grade ore zone. Temperatures of vein formation and alteration are constrained by oxygen isotope thermometry to be between 250°C and 480°C. Isotopic compositions of vein quartz from the Stog’er Tight prospect are uniform (δ18O = +12.5 ± 1‰) and fall within the range cited for many shear-hosted, auriferous quartz veins.

A U-Pb zircon igneous age of 483 +3/−2 Ma for the Stog’er Tight gabbro is consistent with its stratigraphic correlation with other Ordovician ophiolitic and volcanic arc/back-arc assemblages in Newfoundland. The U-Pb age of a rare variety of hydrothermal zircon recovered from the high-grade ore zone directly constrains the timing of gold mineralization to 420 ±5 Ma, in accord with a major orogenic episode of Silurian age that produced many of the magmatic and metamorphic rock suites in north-central Newfoundland. Our results are consistent with a post-peak metamorphic, late-magmatic model for gold mineralization that occurred during the waning stages of Silurian orogenesis, driven by emplacement of I-type granitoid intrusions into the crust.

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