Abstract

Subaerial and shallow subaqueous mafic hyalotuffs, lava flows, and flow breccias, felsic lava flows, and pyroclastic flows and falls form a 2 km thick succession beneath the Mattabi massive sulphide deposit. The lowermost 800 m of section comprises massive to amygdaloidal mafic flows and flow breccias interlayered with repetitive sequences of thinly bedded felsic tuff: pillow lavas and hyaloclastites are absent. Amygdaloidal felsic lavas overlie the mafic flows and are locally capped by coarse explosion breccia. This breccia is believed to represent the start of mafic hydrovolcanism, which produced ash falls, surges, and flows. These pyroclastic deposits formed thin- to thick-bedded hyalotuffs that contain highly vesicular and quenched juvenile and accessory lithic fragments. Periods of water influx probably led to the construction of a tuff cone, which represents a submergent hydrovolcanic cycle.In the Mattabi area, pyroclastic flow deposits form the immediate mine footwall strata and include (i) massive basal beds and overlying bedded ash tuffs and (ii) massive pumiceous units. These deposits overlie and, to the west in the Darkwater Lake area, are intercalated with the mafic hyalotuff sequence. The morphology of the footwall volcanic rocks indicates that the Mattabi and the F-zone massive sulphide deposits formed in a shallow subaqueous environment.

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