Samples of two subalkaline metavolcanic suites, the Tudor formation (ca. 1.28 Ga) and the overlying Kashwakamak formation, have been analysed for major elements and 27 trace elements (including rare-earth elements). The Tudor formation is tholeiitic and contains mainly basaltic flows, whereas the Kashwakamak formation is calc-alkaline and contains mainly andesitic rocks with minor felsic rocks. The succession has been regionally metamorphosed to upper greenschist – lower amphibolite facies. Trace-element abundances and ratios indicate that rocks of the Tudor and Kashwakamak formations are island-arc type. Geochemical modelling using rare-earth elements, Zr, Ti, and Y indicates that the Tudor volcanic rocks are not derived from a single parental magma through simple fractional crystallization. Equilibrium partial melting of a heterogeneous Proterozoic upper mantle can explain the trace-element abundances and ratios of Tudor formation volcanic rocks. The intermediate to felsic rocks of the Kashwakamak formation appear to have been derived from a separate partial melting event. The data are consistent with an origin of the arc either on oceanic crust or on thinned continental crust, and with accretion of the arc to a continental margin between the time of extrusion of Tudor volcanic rocks and that of Kashwakamak volcanic rocks.