Abstract

The Corvet Est gold deposit is hosted by Archean rocks of the Superior Province in the James Bay region, northern Quebec, Canada. The Marco zone is hosted by amphibolite-grade, strongly foliated volcanic rocks and consists of disseminated gold, with an apparent thickness ranging from 1.8 to 39.5 m and gold grades up to 23 g·t–1 over 1 m, that is continuous along strike for ∼1.3 km. The lithotectonic sequence comprises footwall basaltic andesite amphibolite overlain by a lenticular unit of metadacite and then by hanging-wall basaltic andesite amphibolite, all intruded by quartz–feldspar porphyry dikes. Dacite, basaltic andesite amphibolite, and quartz–feldspar porphyry show a calc-alkaline to transitional affinity and plot in the plate margin arc basalt field, with typical volcanic arc trace element patterns. Mineralization consists of pyrite, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, and gold, disseminated in deformed dacite, in andesite amphibolite, and in quartz–feldspar porphyry dikes. Dacite and andesite display weak alteration characterized by silicification. Native gold forms inclusions in metamorphic quartz, garnet, feldspar, arsenopyrite, and pyrite or free grains interstitial to quartz, feldspar, pyrite, chalcopyrite, and arsenopyrite. Free gold in late quartz veins cut the sericitized metamorphic fabric. Inclusion and interstitial native gold within minerals annealed during metamorphism shows that gold mineralization is pre- to syn-metamorphic, with some gold remobilized in later veins. Rhenium–osmium dating of arsenopyrite yields an isochron age of 2663 ± 13 Ma for mineralization and a weighted average model age of 2632 ± 7 Ma for arsenopyrite formed during peak metamorphism. The ∼2663 Ma arsenopyrite has a low initial 187Os/188Os of 0.19 ± 0.10, suggesting a juvenile crust or a mantle Os source. The sulfur isotope composition of Marco zone pyrite and arsenopyrite shows that sulfur could have been leached from its volcanic host rocks or from reduction of Archean seawater. The Corvet Est deposit is interpreted to be an orogenic gold deposit (2663 Ma) deformed and recrystallized during amphibolite-grade metamorphism (2632 Ma).

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