Abstract

The Horne massive sulfide deposits occur within volcanic rocks of the Blake River Group of the Archean Abitibi greenstone belt. The orebodies dip subvertically within rhyolitic flows, breccias, and tuffs that are bounded by the Andesite and the Horne Creek faults. Least-altered rhyolites have low K2O contents and other geochemical features that place them within the FII tholeiitic series. Graded volcaniclastic beds, metal zoning in the orebodies, and locations of chloritized–mineralized rhyolites indicate that the volcanic sequence youngs to the north. The volcanics in the fault wedge are variably silicified and sericitized, and local zones in the orebody sidewalls and footwall are chloritized.The H orebodies formed podiform masses up to 120 m wide, 100 m thick, and 300 m in downplunge extent, consisting of chalcopyrite–pyrrhotite–pyrite Au ore. Between 1927 and 1976, 54 × 106 t of ore were recovered, grading 2.2% Cu, 6.1 g/t Au, and 13.0 g/t Ag (Zn and Pb are &lt0.1% and <0.01%, respectively). A semicontinuous Cu-rich base (up to ~15 m thick) exists above the footwall and adjacent to the sidewalls of the orebodies. The ore changes stratigraphically upwards from a chalcopyrite-rich base, through middle pyrrhotite–pyrite-rich zones, to upper pyrite-rich zones. Au enrichments occur in some of the Cu-rich ores but also in overlying pyritic ores and in adjacent host volcanics. Cu–Au-bearing chloritized rhyolites occur mainly in the western and eastern sidewalls and at downplunge terminations of the H orebodies.The No. 5 zone occurs at lower mine levels and consists of numerous, partly overlapping Zn-bearing pyritic lenses up to 30 m thick, within mineralized rhyolitic breccias and tuffs. The No. 5 zone extends up to 750 m along strike and at least 1500 m downdip, with high-pyrite reserves of ~22 × 106 t between the 21st and 39th levels, grading 1.2% Zn, 0.15% Cu, and 1.4 g/t Au. Massive pyritic lenses are richer in Zn (> 50 ×) and Pb, Ag, As, Cd, and Sb relative to the H orebodies but are low in Cu and Au.The restored stratigraphic level of the H orebodies and No. 5 zone was dominated from south to north by rhyolite flows and breccias, then rhyolite breccias and tuffs. The volcanic rocks are interpreted as proximal to distal facies on a volcanic edifice that was affected by widespread silicification and sericitization. A graben system on the flank of the edifice became the depositional site of the H orebodies. High-temperature fluid discharge occurred along the fault-bounded graben margins, producing zones of chloritization and stringer-type Cu mineralization ± Au in rhyolites, and infilling the grabens with Cu-bearing massive sulfides. Lower on the edifice, in the No. 5 zone, Zn-bearing pyritic sulfide lenses accumulated within broader, breccia-based depressions roughly on strike with the H orebodies. Mineralization in the No. 5 zone may reflect lower temperature, more diffuse fluid discharge through a permeable sequence of volcaniclastic rocks.

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