Abstract

An indicator mineral and geochemical case study was carried out around the Sisson W–Mo deposit to test modern indicator mineral and analytical methods and document glacial and fluvial dispersal from a significant W–Mo source. Indicator minerals in the 0.25 – 2.0 mm non-ferromagnetic heavy mineral fraction of till and stream sediments include the primary ore minerals scheelite, wolframite and molybdenite, as well as chalcopyrite, joseite, native Bi, bismutite, bismuthinite, galena, sphalerite, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite and pyrite. Indicator minerals in c. 12 – 14 kg samples define glacial dispersal of at least 10 km down ice (SE) of the deposit and fluvial dispersal at least 4 km downstream. The presence of very coarse (0.5 – 2.0 mm) indicator minerals in till and stream sediments marks proximity (<1 km) to the mineralized source. Indicator elements for the deposit in the <0.063 mm fraction of till, the <0.177 mm fraction of stream sediments, and in stream water include W and Mo, and various combinations of pathfinder elements Ag, As, Bi, Cd, Cu, In, Pb, Te and Zn. This list of elements is more extensive than previously identified for the Sisson deposit or other studies around W mineralization in glaciated terrain. The study demonstrates that indicator mineral methods, so well known for diamond and gold exploration, have a broader application that includes W–Mo exploration.

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