Mineral Provinces and Tectonic Regimes: Ancient Platforms, Mobile Belts and Zones of Tectonic-Magmatic Activation in Russia and South Africa

Exploration & Mining Geology, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1994

A.L. SOKOLOV and R.P. VILJOEN Gold Fields of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa. A.D. SCHEGLOV, All-Russia Geological Institute (VSEGEI), St. Petersburg, Russia

The distribution of mineralized provinces is analyzed on the basis of their genetic link with specific blocks of the earth's crust including ancient platforms, mobile belts and zones of tectonic-magmatic activation. Mobile and fold belts surround the Siberian platform in Russia and the Kaap-vaal craton in South Africa, with decreasing age zoning away from ancient platform margins. The main differences in the geological development of the two cratonic areas are: (1) the long period before the final stabilization of the Siberian platform (3600 Ma to 1600 Ma) and the comparatively short period of time for the stabilization of the Kaapvaal craton (3600 Ma to 3050 Ma) and (2) the intensive multiple activation of the marginal zones of the Siberian platform and the tectonically-controlled, magmatic sedimentary, intracratonic activity, typical of the Kaapvaal craton. Mineralization of the Siberian platform is largely characterized by marginal reactivation zones of differing ages although mineralized intracratonic Cu-bearing basins of Proterozoic age are also known. Mineralization of the Kaapvaal craton is mainly related to the formation of the intracratonic basins i.e., Witwatersrand (Au, U) and Transvaal (Au). The latter is characterized by multi-age volcanic-intrusive activity including the emplacement of Bushveld Complex (Cu, Ni, Pt, Cr, Au, V). The Siberian platform is characterized by the prolonged development of inherited mineralization from Archean until the late Mesozoic. The main period of mineralization in the Kaapvaal craton is restricted to the middle Proterozoic. The Baykal-Patomskaya and Namaqua-Natal mobile zones occupy similar positions adjacent to the Siberian and Kaapvaal cratons, respectively, and demonstrate similar modes of metallogenic development: i.e., the early formation of exhalative Pb-Zn-Cu deposits during the early stage and magmatic Cu deposits during the late stage. The more remote mobile belt near the Siberian platform, the Trans-Baykal, is characterized by intensive multi-age mineralization (Wo, Mo, Sn, fluorite), related to a period of tectonic-magmatic activation. The Saldania Belt occupies a similar position near the Kaapvaal craton but is known for its poor Au, and Cu mineralization. It does, however, have some similarities with Trans-Baykal Belt in regard to Mo-W bearing granitoids. The phenomenon of interference of geosynclinal, orogenic, platform, and tectono-magmatic activation regimes is known for the Russian section of the Pacific Ocean Volcanic Belt.