Abstract

The Laurel Lake Au–Ag deposit is situated 25 km southwest of Flin Flon in the Proterozoic Flin Flon Domain and consists of branching quartz–muscovite–pyrite–tennantite–chalcopyrite–sphalerite–galena–electrum–carbonate veins (stage 1) surrounded by a widespread zone of sericitized and pyritized Amisk Group felsic volcanic rocks. The deposit has been deformed and metamorphosed during the Hudsonian orogeny and is crosscut by nonauriferous quartz–dolomite–tourmaline–pyrite veins (stage 2). The timing of mineralization, the lack of obvious relation to a major shear zone, and high base metal sulphide and Ag/Au ratio (5:1) distinguish this deposit from epigenetic mesothermal gold deposits in the Flin Flon Domain. Fluid inclusion and stable-isotope data indicate that the mineralizing fluids had a high temperature (>300 °C), were saline (>10.3 wt.% NaCl equivalent) and CO2 bearing and had an isotopic composition similar to modified seawater. This fluid leached sulphur, base metals, and precious metals as it interacted with Amisk Group volcanic rocks. The hydrogen isotopic compositions of fine-grained muscovites in the surrounding altered felsic volcanic rocks have been reset during later metamorphism, whereas the coarse stage 1 vein muscovites have partially preserved their primary hydrogen isotopic compositions and fluorine contents. Stage 2 veins were deposited from low-salinity (<6.4 wt.% NaCl equivalent), CO2-bearing fluids, which also have the hydrogen and oxygen isotopic compositions of modified seawater. The Laurel Lake deposit has fluid, vein, and alteration characteristics that distinguish it from both epithermal and mesothermal deposits, and they can be explained by the involvement of modified seawater.

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