Abstract

The Siluro-Devonian Deer Cove deposit, Baie Verte Peninsula, Newfoundland, is hosted by volcanic cover rocks of the Point Rousse Complex ophiolite. Mineralization consists of quartz vein lodes with gold, pyrite, lesser chalcopyrite, and minor arsenopyrite. Gold occurs as relatively pure gold intergrown with pyrite, and as solitary grains within the quartz gangue. Host rocks include basalt and gabbro at greenschist-facies metamorphic grade. The volcanic rocks have a general calcalkaline affinity, with (anhydrous) SiO2, TiO2, MgO, Al2O3, and Zr contents of 34–62%, 0.36–0.9%, 2.8–9%, 13.4–18.5%, and 28–48 ppm, respectively; Mg # ranges from 37 to 61. The host basaltic rocks were the products of island-arc or back-arc volcanism. Well-developed alteration haloes surround the quartz veins; the alteration grades from quartz–chlorite–carbonate in the veins, through sericitic wall rock, into propylitic (chlorite–epidote–carbonate–leucoxene) host rock. Trace-element geochemistry indicates that the ore fluids had large-ion lithophile element relationships similar to average crustal values. δ13C and δ18O values of carbonate separates range from −7 to −8‰ and 10 to 12‰, respectively. On the basis of geochemical, alteration, and isotopic data, the Deer Cove deposit should be classified as a typical mesothermal lode-gold occurrence. The veins apparently formed from mesothermal fluids with average crustal compositions that flowed along brittle fracture systems within the cover sequence during Siluro-Devonian Acadian deformation. As such the veins were unrelated to either sea-floor processes or Taconic ophiolite obduction. The vein systems apparently formed during transpressive tectonism which followed ocean closure and ophiolite obduction.

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