- © 2003 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
The earliest gold-mining operations in Ontario included the Cordova, Deloro, and Sophia mines north of Lake Ontario (see for example, Miller and Knight, 1914). The Cordova deposit, worked intermittently between 1891 and 1940, is reported to have yielded 22 774 oz of gold from 127 670 tons of ore averaging 0.19 oz/ton Au (Gordon et al., 1979). The property remained inactive for many years. In 1988, Gunnar Gold Inc. and Mill City Gold Inc. conducted a drilling program along the main Cordova vein. The present study is based on core from three drill holes through the Cordova gabbro (Fig. 1⇓) and the carbonate alteration zones enveloping the quartz-carbonate veins. The relatively narrow width of the alteration zone and the availability of continuous sections of core provided an opportunity to conduct a compact mineralogical-chemical study of carbonate alteration and its effect on the redistribution of rare earth elements (REEs). Although the Cordova deposit is not of great economic importance, this study has revealed a number of interesting features which are interpreted as resulting from processes that may be applicable to gold-bearing quartz vein deposits elsewhere.
The Cordova gabbro is layered in places, varying from fine-to coarse-grained and in color from light gray (feldspathic) to dark gray-green (amphibolitic). However, layering within the section of the gabbro considered here and which hosts the Cordova gold deposit is mainly textural rather than compositional. Samples of unaltered gabbro selected for analyses were medium- to coarse-grained; amphibolitic and anorthositic phases were avoided as being less representative of the general chemical composition of the gabbro.
The Cordova intrusion has undergone regional metamorphism and consists dominantly of actinolite and saus-suritized plagioclase with smaller amounts of granular clinozoisite and flaky chlorite; minor quartz, ilmenite, …