Abstract

The Bousquet gold deposits are structurally controlled, disseminated and vein type lodes located within a 500 m wide anastomosing deformation zone. Ore is located within narrow zones of high strain surrounded by lozenge-shaped panels of less-deformed rock. Strain characteristics are those of the bulk inhomogeneous flattening style. Ore lenses are spatially related to highly sheared, fractured, and altered mafic and felsic volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks of contrasting rheologic properties. Deformation features can be ascribed to multistage progressive ductile → brittle deformation. Strain markers and kinematic indicators show that the principal displacement within the deformation zone was reverse faulting with a minor sinistral throw. A structural analysis demonstrates that the deformation responsible for the development of a pervasive regional foliation, brittle fractures, and oblique reverse faults can be attributed to a north–south compression.Metamorphic minerals such as andalusite, kyanite, garnet, biotite, chlorite, chloritoid, and calcic plagioclases indicate that upper greenschist metamorphism was attained locally within the ductile deformation zones. Subsequent pervasive retrograde alteration, including carbonatization and hydration of silicates to white mica and chlorite, suggests an important period of hydrothermal activity after peak metamorphism. Native gold is typically closely associated with pyrite and with these hydrothermal assemblages and was probably channelled into ductile and brittle structural zones prior to and after peak metamorphism.Two principal types of steeply dipping auriferous sulphide veins are present in the mine: foliation-oblique veins and foliation-parallel veins. Foliation-oblique veins occur within steeply dipping conjugate shear fractures spatially related to competent protoliths. The main set was emplaced during late stages of the regional tectonic deformation, after the initial development of a pervasive regional foliation and before the end of the progressive deformation. Foliation-parallel veins are located within openings created by decoupling schistosity laminae or by overriding of irregular surfaces such as fault planes and shear zones. These veins are relatively younger and less deformed than the foliation-oblique veins.Pervasive pyritic disseminations along foliation surfaces are earliest and synchronous with the development of foliation and probably continued throughout the progressive deformation. Early disseminated sulphides may also have been remobilized by pressure solution into later vein systems.

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