Abstract

The Sullivan mine, in southeastern British Columbia, is one of the world's largest sediment-hosted, massive sulphide deposits. It has undergone at least one period of metamorphism since it was deposited in mid-Proterozoic times. Mineral textures within the deposit are predominantly of metamorphic origin. A well-constrained estimate of metamorphic conditions is required to understand how the original, depositional character of the orebody has been modified by metamorphism. Metamorphic conditions were estimated using multiequilibrium thermobarometric techniques involving silicate–carbonate–fluid equilibria. Peak metamorphic temperature constrained by calibration of the garnet–biotite Fe–Mg exchange equilibrium is 450 ± 50 °C. Lower temperature estimates from some samples are interpreted to record the temperature of cessation of garnet growth prior to the attainment of peak metamorphic temperature. Peak metamorphic pressure as determined from equilibria applicable to the assemblage garnet–biotite–muscovite–chlorite–calcite–quartz–fluid is 380 ± 100 MPa. The fluid composition accompanying this pressure estimate is graphic, graphic. This estimate is particular to one sample and may not be representative for the deposit as a whole. Metamorphic fluids at the estimated P–T conditions would not have contained significant concentrations of C–O–H–S species other than H2O and CO2. Textural evidence and temperature–pressure results from a titanite-bearing metamorphosed mafic intrusion in the deposit suggest published titanite ages near 1330 Ma in the area of the mine represent the age of the peak metamorphic event. The results of this study carry tectonic implications for the Sullivan area, and may have application to other metamorphosed ore deposits and low-grade metamorphic settings.

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