Abstract

The Archean Sigma-2 orebody is hosted in the felsic granophyric zone of the differentiated Vicour sill. The sill contains anomalous gold valves and is intrusive into the uppermost part of the Val-d'Or Formation. A geochemical study shows that the Vicour sill has evolved from a ferriferous tholeiitic melt and is comagmatic with the Héva Formation to the south. The competent granophyric zone has been affected by several ductile–brittle deformation events. Three systems of faults and fractures are recognized. Each of these systems is composed of two to three subsystems. The main fault system is oriented east–west with subvertical dip and has a dextral component of movement. Two east–west oriented fault subsystems, moderately dipping (45°) towards north and south, are associated with this feature. The second major structural feature consists of northeast and north-northwest conjugate fractures superimposed on structures of the first tectonic event. The shear movement is sinistral for the northeast fractures and dextral for the north-northwest fractures. The third structural feature is the most interesting with respect to gold mineralization. It consists of east–west-trending, moderately dipping fractures that could be genetically linked with the first structural feature and resulted from a northwest–southeast compression. These fractures increased the tectonic permeability of the granophyre, which allowed Cl- and Na-rich and Ca- and CO2-poor hydrothermal fluids to circulate through the rock and produced subhorizontal mineralized quartz lenses. The lenses are composed of quartz–tourmaline ± carbonate and of pyrite–pyrrhotite ± chalcopyrite. Arsenopyrite is observed in the bleached wall rock surrounding the lenses as well as in east–west faults and northeast and north-northwest conjugate fractures. Bleaching is the result of metasomatic sericitization, albitization, silicification, and low carbonatization of the wall rock and decreases away from the mineralized lenses. Gold is associated with pyrite and arsenopyrite and occurs as inclusions and veinlets crosscutting sulfide grains. It was deposited at a late stage along with quartz and, locally, chalcopyrite. Metasomatism was responsible for the formation of arsenopyrite, coarse-grained pyrite, pyrrhotite, and chalcopyrite while ilmenite recrystallized in the veins. Fractures within arsenopyrite and pyrite are filled with late deposits of pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite. The tholeiitic composition and anomalous gold values of the mafic section of the sill could be additional valuable guidelines in the exploration for similar orebodies.

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