Abstract

Newton is an intermediate-sulfidation epithermal gold deposit related to Late Cretaceous continental-arc magmatism in south-central British Columbia. Disseminated gold mineralization occurs in quartz–sericite-altered Late Cretaceous felsic volcanic rocks, and feldspar–quartz–hornblende porphyry and quartz–feldspar porphyry intrusions. The mineralization can be divided into three stages: (1) disseminated pyrite with microscopic gold inclusions, and sparse quartz–pyrite ± molybdenite veins; (2) disseminated marcasite with microscopic gold inclusions and minor base-metal sulfides; and (3) polymetallic veins of pyrite–chalcopyrite–sphalerite–arsenopyrite. Re–Os dating of molybdenite from a stage 1 vein yielded an age of 72.1 ± 0.3 Ma (published by McClenaghan in 2013). The age of the host rocks has been constrained by U–Pb dating of zircon: Late Cretaceous felsic volcanic rocks, 72.1 ± 0.6 Ma (Amarc Resources Ltd., unpublished data, reported by McClenaghan in 2013); feldspar–quartz–hornblende porphyry, 72.1 ± 0.5 Ma; quartz–feldspar porphyry, 70.9 ± 0.5 Ma (Amarc Resources Ltd., unpublished data, reported by McClenaghan in 2013). The mineralized rocks are intruded by a barren diorite, with an age of 69.3 ± 0.4 Ma. Fluid inclusions in quartz–pyrite ± molybdenite ± gold veins yielded an average homogenization temperature of 313 ± 51 °C (number of samples, n = 82) and salinity of 4.8 ± 0.9 wt.% NaCl equiv. (n = 46), suggesting that a relatively hot and saline fluid likely of magmatic origin was responsible for the first stage of mineralization. Some evidence for boiling was also observed in the veins. However, the bulk of the gold mineralization occurs as disseminations in the wall rocks, suggesting that wall-rock reactions were the main control on ore deposition.

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