Abstract

The Slave Province is a relatively small Late Archean craton that exhibits distinctive rock associations and structures. By comparison with the much larger Superior Province, differences are evident in (i) the abundance of sedimentary versus volcanic rocks and of felsic versus mafic volcanic rocks; (ii) the greater evidence for sialic basement; (iii) the higher proportion of more evolved potassium-rich granite; (iv) the type, setting, and timing of gold and base-metal mineralization; and (v) a regional zonation of gold deposits that seems to be a unique feature of the Slave Province. Contrasts in structure are also significant: the large-scale linear belts and boundaries (sutures?) that characterize the Superior Province have no obvious counterpart in the Slave Province. Despite some similarities with other Archean cratons, the distinct features of the Slave Province are important, for they imply that no single Archean craton should be used to develop a universal paradigm for the genesis and tectonic evolution of Archean crust.

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