- © 2002 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Detailed petrographic and quantitative (electron microprobe, SEM-EDS) mineral-chemical analyses of sulfide ore from the 100 orebody at the Copper Cliff North mine, Copper Cliff, Ontario, reveal numerous stages of ore development. Sharp contacts between weakly mineralized quartz diorite and blebby to massive sulfides indicate multiple intrusive events within the Copper Cliff offset dike. A spatial association of sulfides and hydrous minerals, such as amphibole, biotite, chlorite and epidote, suggests that most primary ore has been affected by later hydrothermal fluids. Sulfides are often enclosed or bordered by these secondary silicate phases. The ore consists primarily of pyrrhotite, pentlandite, chalcopyrite, with trace michenerite, cobaltite/gersdorffite, irarsite, hessite, tsumoite, and bismuth tellurides.
Geological and petrological comparison of the 100 orebody and the adjacent 900 and 890 ore-bodies has revealed distinct similarities in ore distribution. Data show that the 100 orebody is depleted in platinum-group elements (PGE) relative to the 900 orebody. Platinum-group elements from the 100 orebody may have been hydrothermally remobilized and partly emplaced in the 900 orebody, in adjacent veins, or in magmatic breccia. Analysis of Cu, Ni, and PGE assay data of ore samples has characterized their distribution among the eight different ore textures in the orebody. There is a strong association between Pt and interstitial sulfide, and to a lesser extent massive sulfide, but little correlation between chalcopyrite-rich ore and PGE in the 100 orebody, unlike many other deposits in the Sudbury region.