Abstract

Silver veins of Proterozoic age in the Cobalt area, Ontario, are associated with the thick Nipissing diabase sheet, and those at Great Bear Lake, N.W.T., are also, in part, associated with a diabase sheet. Host rocks in the Cobalt area are flat-lying Aphebian sedimentary rocks, steeply dipping Archean volcanic and associated sedimentary rocks, and diabase, while host rocks in the Great Bear Lake area are intermediate and felsic volcanic rocks and tuffs of the Echo Bay group.Model-lead ages for ordinary galenas are about 1,630 and 2,280 m.y. for the Great Bear Lake and Cobalt veins, respectively, whereas the pitchblende U-Pb age for the Great Bear Lake veins is about 1,445 m.y., and the apparent Rb-Sr age for the Cobalt veins is about 2,160 m.y. An Rb-Sr isochron age of 1,425 + or - 48 m.y. has been obtained for the diabase sill in the Port Radium area, Great Bear Lake.In the Cobalt area essentially identical lead isotope compositions were obtained for interflow base metal mineralization in Archean volcanic rocks, galena along bedding in sedimentary rocks of the Cobalt group, and some late-stage sulfide veins. One interflow sample with a more primitive composition has a model age of at least 2,805 m.y. Mineralization, including deposition of most of the lead in Archean interflow beds, is interpreted to have taken place at about 2,160 m.y. and to be genetically related to the Nipissing diabase. In addition, two anomalous lead lines are defined, one of which suggests an age of 3,260 + or - 100 m.y. for Archean volcanic rocks. A shallow line, represented in only late-stage sulfide veins, is difficult to interpret but could be due to the late addition of a radiogenic component during Paleozoic or younger events not normally considered as causing mineralization, or even from ground water.Leads from the Great Bear Lake area could represent a single anomalous lead line with a slope of 0.1085 + or - 0.0070, and thus have a maximum possible age of 1,130 m.y. Geological events younger than this are known in the Bear Province, but not in the vicinity of the veins, and the same problems of interpretation exist as for the Cobalt area.The source of lead is not defined in either area. However, a source with homogeneous lead is required and the lack of extensive wall-rock alteration suggests that the lead was not leached from the country rocks. The diabase is tentatively favored as the source, but a connate brine or other source is possible.

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