- © 2011 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum
The Buffalo gold deposit is a small deposit consisting of auriferous quartz-tourmaline veins within a granodiorite stock in the Red Lake greenstone belt. This study aims to characterize the mineralizing fluids through fluid inclusion and stable isotope analyses and to compare them with those of the world-class Campbell-Red Lake deposit. Four types of fluid inclusions were recognized, including carbonic, aqueous-carbonic, aqueous, and halite-bearing aqueous, with the carbonic type being the most abundant. Raman analyses indicate that the carbonic phase mainly consists of CO2, with minor amounts of N2 and CH4, and rarely detectable H2S. The homogenization temperatures of the carbonic inclusions range from −41.7° to 30.9°C. The homogenization temperatures and salinities of the aqueous, halite-bearing aqueous, and aqueous-carbonic inclusions are 130° to 276°C and 9.7 to 23.6 wt.% NaCl equiv., 155° to 207°C and 32.9 to 42.3 wt.% NaCl equiv., and 215° to 357°C and 8.3 to 19.7 wt.% NaCl equiv., respectively. The δ18OVSMOW values of tourmaline range from 8.2‰ to 9.0‰, and those of quartz from 11.4‰ to 11.9‰, with estimated fluid temperatures from 323° to 399°C based on the quartz-tourmaline isotopic geothermometer. It is postulated that separate CO2-dominated and aqueous fluids intermittently invaded the fracture/vein system in response to fluid pressure fluctuations, with limited mixing. The CO2-dominated fluid, previously recognized in Campbell-Red Lake as the main mineralizing fluid, is inferred to have been derived from deeper parts of the crust. This deep CO2-dominated fluid reservoir might have been a common source for gold mineralization in the Red Lake greenstone belt.