Some of the world’s largest orogenic gold deposits are hosted within granite-greenstone subprovinces of the Superior Province of Canada. The known gold endowment of the western Wabigoon subprovince is much less than that of the Abitibi subprovince, despite both Neoarchean subprovinces sharing similar structural and metallogenic histories. Further, the relationship between regional deformation and orogenic gold mineralizing events in the western Wabigoon subprovince is poorly constrained in comparison with other greenstone belts within the Superior Province. New structural mapping of the Dryden area of the western Wabigoon subprovince indicates that it experienced a N–S shortening event (D1), circa 2705–2695 Ma, which reactivated, or initiated the formation of, the E–W-trending Wabigoon and Mosher Bay – Washeibemaga deformation zones (Wdz and MBWdz, respectively). Following the D1 event, after 2695 Ma, a protracted period of NNW–SSE shortening (D2) localized transpression along the Manitou Dinorwic deformation zone (MDdz), which is spatially associated with orogenic gold systems, including the Goldlund deposit (∼1.7 Moz Au) and Kenwest prospect (∼0.3 Moz Au). During D2, the MDdz experienced NW-over-SE sinistral transpression, while the Wdz and MBWdz experienced N-over-S dextral-sense movement. U–Pb geochronology of vein-hosted xenotime from the Goldlund deposit and Kenwest prospect indicate that the main hydrothermal event, and likely gold mineralization, occurred syn- to late-D2 deformation around 2664 ± 8.3 Ma. A second population of xenotime, and overgrowths, recorded a younger hydrothermal overprint between ∼2590 and ∼2580 Ma. These ages are comparable with other absolute geochronology data on hydrothermal events in the gold-rich Abitibi subprovince. The structural evolution and timing of orogenic hydrothermal events in the western Wabigoon subprovince are broadly similar to the Abitibi subprovince. Therefore, we propose that the structural evolution and timing of individual greenstone belts is not the primary controlling factor on their bulk gold endowment. Nevertheless, orogenic gold deposits are spatially associated with major D2 deformation zones and linked to widespread hydrothermal event(s), spanning 2680–2660 Ma across the southern Superior Province.
Structural and geochronological constraints on orogenic gold mineralization in the western Wabigoon subprovince, Canada
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
K. Zammit, S. Perrouty, B.M. Frieman, J.H. Marsh, K.A. Holt; Structural and geochronological constraints on orogenic gold mineralization in the western Wabigoon subprovince, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 2022;; 59 (5): 278–299. doi: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2021-0042
Download citation file: