Contrasting Volcanic-hosted Massive Sulfide Styles hi the Tulks Belt, Central Newfoundland

Exploration & Mining Geology, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1993

C.B. McKENZIE, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada, D.W. DESNOYERS, Middleton, Nova Scotia, Canada, D. BARBOUR, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada, R.M. GRAVES, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada

The prospective Tulks volcanic belt hosts five significant massive sulfide deposits, Tulks Prospect, Tulks East, Jack's Pond, Daniel's Pond and Victoria Mine, as well as numerous showings and indications throughout its 70 km outcrop length. Regionally, the 498 Ma sequence consists dominantly of felsic pyroclastic rocks and flows with interbedded mafic volcanic units and finegrained sediments, commonly graphitic. Contemporaneous granitoid rocks occur in the south half of the belt. Rocks usually display a strong NE-SW, steeply dipping, penetrative foliation and other shear-related high-strain fabrics. Facing directions are normally northwest, although there is local evidence of folding. Sulfide bodies and their alteration systems are deformed and shape-modified in the style of ambient strain. The Tulks, Tulks East and Jack's Pond prospects appear to occupy a similar stratigraphic level, on or near the contact between a thick felsic pile and an overlying broad, conductive package of graphitic sedimentary rocks. All are pyritic deposits with well-developed footwall alteration systems. The Tulks prospect comprises four polymetallic lenses totalling 750 0001. Three lenses constituting more than 6 000 000 t of sulfide mineralization are indicated at Tulks East but only the 210 000 t "B" lens contains significant base metals. Jack's Pond consists of a very extensive, zoned alteration complex in which four lenses of massive to semi-massive pyrite + chalcopyrite are known. The central part of the system, characterized by Mg chlorite and carbonate, is enveloped by pervasive serialization and capped by intensely silicified and pyritized volcanics. The sulfide lenses are interpreted as part of the footwall zone and are beneath that part of the system most likely to host polymetallic massive sulfides. Daniel's Pond differs from the other prospects in such fundamental ways as metal content, associated alteration and structural setting. The deposit comprises strongly tectonized, Ag-rich, Zn-Pb mineralization distinguished by a pronounced Ba-As-Sb signature. Mineralization is confined to a narrow, north-south high-strain zone which separates unstrained mafic volcanic rocks to the east from well-foliated felsic rocks. The deposit lacks an extensive alteration halo and at its north end is associated with a lens of barren, undeformed massive pyrite. The Victoria Mine deposit, the most cupriferous of the five, is related to a moderately clipping structure that separates well-foliated Tulks volcanic rocks from an overlying, less deformed volcanic-sedimentary sequence that may be as young as 462 Ma. The structure is also the locus of black chlorite, dolomite and quartz alteration. Structurally remobilized precursor sulfide mineralization is one possible source for the deposit.