The Archean Cheechoo stockwork gold deposit is hosted by a felsic intrusion of tonalitic-granodioritic composition and crosscutting pegmatite dikes in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay area of Quebec, Canada (Archean Superior craton). The evolution of the stockwork is characterized herein using field relationships, vein density, and connectivity measurements on drill core and outcrop zones. The statistical distribution of gold is used to highlight mechanisms of stockwork emplacement and gold mineralization and remobilization.
Two statistical populations of gold concentration are present. Population A is represented by gold grades below 1 g/t with a lognormal cumulative frequency. It is widespread in the hydrothermally altered (albite and quartz) and mineralized facies of the pluton. It is controlled by the development of quartz-feldspar-diopside veins as shown by the similar lognormal distribution of grades and vein density and by the correspondence of grades with network connectivity. Diopside and actinolite porphyroblasts in deformed veins within sodic and calcsilicate alteration zones are evidence for auriferous vein emplacement prior to the amphibolite facies peak of metamorphism.
Population B (>1 g/t) is erratic and exhibits a strong nugget effect. It is present throughout the mineralized portion of the pluton and in pegmatites. This population is interpreted as the result of gold remobilization during prograde metamorphism and pegmatite emplacement following the metamorphic peak. The pegmatites are interpreted to have scavenged gold emplaced prior to peak metamorphism.
These results show the isotropic behavior of the investigated stockwork during regional deformation and its development during the early stages of regional prograde metamorphism.