Abstract

The Coniagas Mine in the northeastern Abitibi greenstone belt is a small, isolated Archean, volcanic-hosted, massive sulfide deposit rich in Zn-Pb-Ag. The Main lens, which is part of four massive sulfide lenses, is restricted to a 40 m thick massive felsic lapilli tuff unit of the 280 m thick sequence. The massive sulfides, a product of subsurface replacement, have features common to both Mattabi- and Noranda-type deposits. The Coniagas Mine sequence represents part of a small subaqueous volcanic edifice that probably evolved close to an arc or back-arc spreading ridge. A distinct alteration halo of chlorite + sericite ± epidote ± spessartine garnet in the immediate footwall and a hanging wall alteration assemblage of quartz + sericite ± epidote ± chlorite characterize the deposit. The sphalerite + pyrite + galena ± chalcopyrite sulfide mineral assemblage in the Main lens differs significantly from the pyrite + chalcopyrite + sphalerite + pyrrhotite ± galena assemblage in the stringer zone. Chlorite compositions are Fe rich close to the mineralized zone, with an Fe/(Fe + Mg) ratio of 0.38-0.48 in the hanging wall and 0.65-0.70 below the ore. Delicate sulfide textures including colloform pyrite and concentric sphalerite are consistent with a low temperature of formation, whereas higher temperatures are inferred for the stockwork zone. Electron probe microanalysis of sphalerite supports inferred hydrothermal fluid temperatures. The low Fe contents (6.7-10.8 mol% FeS) in sphalerite associated with colloform pyrite of the Main lens contrast with the elevated Fe content (12.7-14.1 mol% FeS) in sphalerite from the stockwork.

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