Abstract

In the Val d’Or camp, Archean Abitibi greenstone belt, Canada, numerous gold-mineralized second- and third-order fault zones are spatially associated with the transcrustal Cadillac Tectonic Zone (CTZ). This situation is used to test whether fluid systems in the CTZ have a similar structural timing to those in the gold-hosting structures, and hence the CTZ could represent the main fluid conduit in the camp. The transcrustal CTZ at Orenada No. 2 contains structurally complex vein systems, with mineralized quartz–tourmaline veins related to both D2 oblique-reverse faulting and F3 dextral asymmetric folding, both of which have been overprinted by unmineralized subhorizontal and subvertical quartz veins. Quartz ± tourmaline veins within second- and third-order shear zones at Paramaque and Rivière Héva also formed during D2 deformation and have been, at least at Rivière Héva, deformed by F3 asymmetric folding. In contrast, mineralized quartz vein systems at Cartier Malartic are controlled by F3 folding and overprinted by late-stage D3 faults which host late quartz–tourmaline veins. Quartz vein textures are consistent with these timing relations, because D2-controlled veins contain deformed quartz grains, whereas quartz in D3-controlled veins is unstrained. The D2 and D3 timing of mineralized quartz veins in the transcrustal CTZ and in second- and third-order structures is consistent with the notion that the CTZ represents the main fluid conduit and that mineralization occurred in linked second- and third-order structures. The different timing of quartz–tourmaline veins in different shear zones indicates that the veins were probably hydraulically linked to the CTZ during at least two different episodes. The location of Cartier Malartic structurally below the CTZ indicates that fluids travelled either downward from the main conduit or that the shear zone was part of the CTZ.

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