Abstract

The Casa-Berardi gold deposits are located 180 km north of Rouyn-Noranda within Archean rocks of the Abitibi Subprovince. The Casa-Berardi deformation zone (CBDZ), which contains these deposits, is an east–west trending structure that is recognized along a minimum distance of 80 km. Ductile deformation has affected the lithologies in the central portion of the CBDZ. The CBDZ juxtaposes distinct sedimentary and volcanic lithostratigraphic packages which locally display opposite facing directions. Within the CBDZ the Casa-Berardi fault has been recognized; it is a brittle structure with a reverse motion. This fault represents a distinct element associated with the progression of deformation in the CBDZ and appears late in the geodynamical evolution of this deformation zone. Two other deformation zones have been identified in this region: (i) the east–west-trending Boivin-Paradis deformation zone, which has limited lateral extent and is located at the periphery of a granitoid intrusion, and (ii) the Laberge deformation zone, which has a northwest to east–west trend and crosscuts the regional structural grain. Most of the economic gold mineralization in the Casa-Berardi deposits is found in the second set of four recognized vein and fracture sets. The mineralized veins are found within zones of intense deformation which are preferentially developed close to contacts between sedimentary and volcanic units. The geometry of the different sets of quartz veins, their relative chronology, and their respective hydrothermal alterations can be explained by the progression of deformation within the CBDZ and bracket the gold mineralization as syn- to late-tectonic. The CBDZ is distinguished from the other two deformation zones by its greater lateral extent, the juxtaposition of distinct lithological domains, the complexity of its internal fabrics, and the relative length of the deformation event. These features indicate that in contrast with the other two deformation zones, the CBDZ was the site of a major mineralizing event. The recognition of contrasting characteristics between the different deformation zones has repercussions on the understanding of the different criteria that control gold deposition and, ultimately, on gold exploration.

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