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An analysis of compositional variations and spatial relationships within Fe-Ni-Cu sulfide deposits on the North Range of the Sudbury igneous complex

A. E. Beswick
An analysis of compositional variations and spatial relationships within Fe-Ni-Cu sulfide deposits on the North Range of the Sudbury igneous complex (in A special issue devoted to the mineral deposits of the Sudbury Basin, C. M. Lesher (editor) and P. C. Thurston (editor))
Economic Geology and the Bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists (November 2002) 97 (7): 1487-1508

Abstract

Analytical data sets provided for mineral exploration borehole samples from the McCreedy W mine and other orebodies along the N Range of the Sudbury igneous complex have been examined in a series of atomic ratio diagrams designed to elucidate the mass transfer processes involved in their genesis. The compositions of ores from the McCreedy W mine display a strongly bimodal distribution. 1) A Cu-poor population largely located along the footwall contact displays trends consistent with fractionation dominated by pyrrhotite (monosulphide solid solution) crystallization. 2) A Cu-rich population location within the footwall vein system, displays trends consistent with fractionation dominated by chalcopyrite (intermediate solid solution) crystallization. What appears to be a shared trend between the two populations suggests that they are related by derivation from a cognate pair of immiscible sulphide liquids. The same ore composition is found in the Levack embayment on the N Range. Compositional relationships displayed by these deposits are consistent with the separation of an immiscible, Cu-rich melt during cooling and fractionation of monosulphide solid solution from a less Cu-rich, parental sulphide liquid. The spatial relationships of the two ore populations at McCreedy W and within the Levack embayment suggest that density relations and volume changes associated with the unmixing and crystallization processes have played a major role in the emplacement of footwall orebodies. Spatial relationships of the two ore populations suggest that the various orebodies within the Levack embayment were all emplaced when the basal contact of the Sudbury igneous complex was essentially horizontal.


ISSN: 0361-0128
EISSN: 1554-0774
Coden: ECGLAL
Serial Title: Economic Geology and the Bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists
Serial Volume: 97
Serial Issue: 7
Title: An analysis of compositional variations and spatial relationships within Fe-Ni-Cu sulfide deposits on the North Range of the Sudbury igneous complex
Title: A special issue devoted to the mineral deposits of the Sudbury Basin
Author(s): Beswick, A. E.
Author(s): Lesher, C. M.editor
Author(s): Thurston, P. C.editor
Affiliation: Laurentian University, Department of Earth Sciences, Sudbury, ON, Canada
Affiliation: Laurentian University, Department of Earth Sciences, Sudbury, ON, Canada
Pages: 1487-1508
Published: 200211
Text Language: English
Publisher: Economic Geology Publishing Company, Lancaster, PA, United States
References: 38
Accession Number: 2003-014842
Categories: Economic geology, geology of ore deposits
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, sketch map
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Mineralogical Abstracts, United Kingdom, Twickenham, United Kingdom
Update Code: 200305
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