Rhyolite geology at Kidd Creek a progress report

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 78, No. 874, 1985

P.P. GOAD, Kidd Creek Mines Ltd. Timmins, Ontario

Kidd Creek is a large volcanogenic base metal sulphide deposit, located near the west end of the Abitibi greenstone belt, 27 km north of Timmins, Ontario. The rhyolite geology is characterized by a NNE-striking and steeply east-dipping package of rhyolite volcaniclastics upon which has been imposed a strong ESE-striking and north-dipping structural fabric. Massive rhyolite units with grey-black, chloritic cores and yellow, sericitic margins intrude as dykes into the stratigraphic footwall and as sills higher in the stratigraphy. Massive rhyolite units positioned near the top of the felsic pile exhibit an extensive marginal development of hydraulic fracturing and are termed crackle-brecciated rhyolite. The stringer sulphide zone is positioned in a lobate blanket of crackle-brecciated rhyolite at the top of the felsic pile. The stringer sulphide zone is characterized by a mature chemical alteration, being specifically depleted in alkalis and enriched in iron-rich chlorite, with accompanying silica, sericite and carbonate alteration. A suite of trace elements characterizes this mature alteration. The massive rhyolite units, which intrude lower in the rhyolite volcaniclastics, exhibit a core of weak chlorite alteration and strong marginal sericite alteration. Tight or unfractured massive rhyolite units are essentially devoid of sulphide mineralization and exhibit a suite of trace elements characteristic of this immature alteration. It is interpreted that the massive rhyolite units intruded into an already evolving system and "choked-off" active conduits carrying hydrothermal fluids and subsequently acquired an immature alteration signature. Rhyolite units positioned higher in the pile developed intense hydraulic fracturing and a mature alteration coincident with the formation of the stringer sulphide zone. In summary, a model, based strictly upon the rhyolite geology, is reviewed to assist in the exploration for volcanogenic base metal sulphide deposits.
Keywords: Economic geology, Kidd Creek Mine, Volcanogenic deposits, Base metal sulphide deposits, Rhyolite geology, Massive rhyolites, Rhyolite volcaniclastic, Crackle-brecciated rhyolites, Stringer sulphide zone, Hydrothermal alteration, Mature alteration, Immature alteration, Hydraulic fracturing, Evolution felsic pile, Exploration.