The Laird Lake property, southwest Red Lake greenstone belt, straddles the contact between the Balmer (2.99–2.96 Ga) and the Confederation (2.74–2.73 Ga) assemblages. The property is 10 km along strike from the Madsen and Starrat–Olsen Au mines that are hosted near the contact. The Balmer assemblage consists of fine-grained, aphyric, locally pillowed mafic volcanic rocks, ultramafic intrusive and volcanic rocks with flow breccia textures hosting local spinifex-bearing clasts, and banded-iron formations. In contrast, the Confederation assemblage comprises porphyritic mafic volcanic rocks intercalated with intermediate to felsic volcanic rocks that include crystal lapilli tuffs, crystal tuffs, and tuffs. The Balmer assemblage is composed of tholeiitic mafic volcanic rocks with minor Al-undepleted komatiites, whereas the Confederation assemblage is calc–alkalic. Neodymium isotopes, in conjunction with trace element geochemistry, suggests that parts of the Balmer assemblage were weakly contaminated by an older intermediate basement. Both arc and back-arc volcanism occurs in the Confederation assemblage, with the arc rocks showing a stronger crustal component than the back-arc rocks. A maximum U–Pb age of 2741 ± 19 Ma for a crystal tuff and an age of 2737.68 ± 0.79 Ma for a diorite are consistent with a Confederation assemblage affinity for the intermediate calc–alkaline rocks south of the Au-bearing horizon. The Balmer assemblage represents an oceanic plateau formed by plume magmatism on the margins of the North Caribou Terrane, whereas the Confederation assemblage at Laird Lake formed in an oceanic arc setting where both arc and back-arc volcanism occurred simultaneously.

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