The Geological Setting of the Upper Beaver Mine, Kirkland Lake District, Ontario: A Copper-Gold Deposit in Mafic Volcanic Rocks

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

The Upper Beaver Mine, Kirkland Lake, Ontario, is a copper-gold deposit in mafic flows and sedimentary rocks. The deposit consists of a number of orebodies of two types: copper- and gold-bearing chalcopyrite-pyrite-magnetite ore; and gold-bearing quartz veins. Chalcopyrite-pyrite-magnetite ore occurs in two structural forms: as cherty interjlow material in coarse clastic roks underlying flows; and as veins. Both sedimentary and vein ore occur in each orebody. The goldbearing quartz veins occur in interjlow sedimentary units and at the contacts of oligoclase porphyry dykes. The deposit is in a localized, volcanic-sedimentary basin which began to develop during the emplacement of the upper units of the pyroclastic and sedimentary Gauthier Group, and continued to the early mafic flow activity of the overlying Kinojevis Group. The formation of the volcanic-sedimentary basin is ascribed to the D0 deformation. The deformation is significant in terms of the structural configuration in the mine area, and may be significant regionally, but this has not been demonstrated. The early deformation was followed by two tectonic deformations. D 1 is associated with a penetrative mineral foliation, axial planar to upright mesoscopic folds and striking parallel to the trend of regional fold structures. Mesoscopic flexural-slip folds, kink folds and fracture-crenulation cleavage are attributed to the D2 deformation. It is probable that no large-scale fold structures are associated with the D2 deformation. The gold-bearing quartz veins were folded during the D1 deformation. The close spatial relationship of copper-gold, chalcopyritepyrite- magnetite veins with chalcopyrite-pyrite-magnetite in cherty inter flow material is strong evidence for the derivation of the veins from the sedimentary ore by hydrothermal, metamorphogenic processes. By analogy, it is suggested that the gold-bearing quartz veins were formed by similar processes.
Keywords: Gold, gold mining, copper-gold deposit, Upper Beaver Mine, Chalcopyrite-pyrite-magnetite ore,