Regional and Local Patterns of Co2-K-Rb-As Alteration: A Guide to Gold in the Timmins Area

Special Volume, Vol. SV 24, No. 1982, 1982

Although C02 content indicates the quantity of carbonate in altered basaltic rocks, it does not measure the intensity of carbonate alteration. CO/CaO molar ratios, which correlate with the relative proportions of individual carbonate species, measure the intensity of carbonatization. The Timmins gold area is characterized by pervasive carbonatization, with large parts of the area having C02/Ca0 ratios greater than 1, representing C02 supersaturation relative to CaO. The mean CO/CaO in the Timmins area is0.67, compared to 0.13 in two unmineralized control areas. Regional arsenic abundance in the gold-bearing area averages 4 ppm, compared to about 0.35 ppm for the non-mineralized areas. The average K20 and Rb abundances are similar in both mineralized and non mineralized areas (about 0.30% K20 and 7 ppm Rb). Although there appears to have been no wholesale addition of K20 or Rb to the mineralized area from external sources, these alkalies have been redistributed internally, resulting in patterns of local enrichments and depletions which are characteristic of the mineralized region. Local target anomalies associated with known mineralization consist of C02/Ca0 > 1.5, As > 10 ppm and K20 > 0. 75%. Not all three values are required to be above these thresholds in order to identify local targets. Combinations such as C02/ Ca0 > 1.5 and As 0. 75 or K20 > 0. 75 and As > 10 ppm are equally indicative of proximity to gold occurrences. Gold-bearing veins and associated anomalies occur throughout the entire volcanic succession and are not restricted to any particular stratigraphic horizons. The levels and patterns of alteration and occurrences of gold appear to be structurally controlled.
Keywords: Gold, gold mining, Timmins, Co2-K-Rb-As Alteration, carbonatization, mineralization