- © 2007 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
The Louvicourt Au-Ag-Cu-Zn-Pb sulfide deposit is hosted by a Middle Ordovician calc-alkaline sequence of aphyric rhyolite flows and associated fragmental rocks at the top of the Flat Landing Brook Formation. The Zr/TiO2 (average = 0.110) and Y/TiO2 (average = 0.021) ratios in the footwall felsic volcanic rocks are consistent with known values for the Reids Brook member.
The deposit consists of two concordant lenses of semi-massive to massive sulfides, approximately 150 m long and up to 9 m thick, which represent a fold repetition of a single exhalative horizon. The deposit contains a geologic resource of 136 000 tonnes grading 1.2% Pb, 1.0% Zn, 0.4% Cu, 90.9 g/t Ag, and 0.96 g/t Au; the deposit locally contains elevated Au (2.9 ppm) and Ag (320 ppm) contents. A laterally continuous iron formation that contains barite caps the deposit, and is gradational vertically and laterally into laminated siltstone. The exhalite confirms the stratiform nature of this deposit, but a large percentage of sulfides occur as late replacements of altered felsic fragmental rocks in the footwall. Abundant examples of colloform pyrite and perlitic and spherulitic textures in volcanic clasts are well preserved. The base- and precious-metal content of the Louvicourt deposit is atypical of the Bathurst Mining Camp (BMC). Reported assay data (n = 27) indicate an average Pb/Zn ratio of 2.6, the highest in the BMC (average = 0.39). Lead exhibits a strong Spearman Rank correlation (r’ = 0.92) with base metals throughout the sequence, indicating a preponderance of galena in both the stockwork and stratiform zones. The Ag and Au contents in this deposit are among the highest in the BMC and exhibit a Au-Ag-Cu-Pb association. Barite-rich exhalative pyrite exhibits a moderate Au correlation with Ag (r’ = 0.77; n = 10) and Cu (r’ = 0.76) and occurs in portions of the exhalative sulfides that are enriched in Pb.
Chemical exhalative rocks are conformably overlain by trachy-andesitic volcaniclastic (possibly pyroclastic) rocks that are assigned to the Little River Formation. These are enriched in Nb (average = 38.4 ppm) and P2O5 (average = 0.17 wt.%), and have much lower Zr/TiO2 (average = 0.056) and Y/TiO2 (average = 0.0062) relative to rocks higher in the hanging wall. The intermediate volcanic rocks are conformably overlain by massive to pillowed basalt flows and related hyaloclastite that have Nb/Y = 0.60 and high TiO2 contents (average = 2.8 wt.%). This chemistry is consistent with rocks of the Brunswick Mines member (Little River Formation), except that these rocks are considerably enriched in P2O5 (average = 0.82 wt.%).
This syngenetic exhalative deposit is unique for the BMC with a high Pb/Zn and elevated Au and Ag contents, as well as an epithermal signature (Sb-Ag-Au-Tl-Hg), analogous to high sulfidation volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits. Its intimate relationship with an emergent felsic dome (Flat Landing Brook Formation), chlorite-silicate-oxide-sulfide exhalite (locally hematitic), and the abundance of barite are classical features of many of the Kuroko deposits.