Geology and Exploration History of the Amalgamated Kirkland Deposit, Kirkland Lake, Ontari

Exploration & Mining Geology, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1995

DAVID B. STEVENSON, DAVID W. BROUGHTON, DOUGLAS R. CRUJI, MARK W. MASSON and STEVEN E. PARRY, Cyprus Canada Inc., 66 Bruce Avenue, Box 1120, South Porcupine, Ontario, Canada P0N 1H0

The Amalgamated Kirkland gold deposit is located at Kirkland Lake, Ontario, within the Archean Abitibi Greenstone belt of the Canadian Shield. It lies on a fault or “break”, termed the Cyprus Break, which is a splay off a regional structure termed the Cyprus-Battle Mountain Break. The Cyprus Break merges with the Cyprus – Battle Mountain Break above the -250 m level, as it was not encountered in shallow drilling or surface exploration. These structures lie 1.5 km south of the 727 000 kg (23 million ounce) Kirkland Lake Main Break and 0.5 km north of the 872 000 kg (30 million ounce) Larder Lake Break. The deposit is hosted by alkalic Timiskaming Group volcanic and sedimentary rocks which are overthrust by older Larder Lake Group tholeiitic and komatiitic flows along the Larder Lake Break. Timiskaming syenitic intrusives, similar to the host rocks for the Kirkland Lake Main Break gold deposit, intrude both suites. The Amalgamated Kirkland deposit consists of lode-style gold mineralization which is mainly hosted by altered and pyritized Timiskaming trachytic volcanics which wedge out or thin at depth, between two sedimentary units. The intersection of the Cyprus – Battle Mountain and Cyprus Breaks, in conjunction with the westward plunge of the volcanic wedge, appears to control the westerly plunge of the Amalgamated Kirkland deposit at approximately 50º. Mineralization is characterized by blue-gray brecciated and “wormy” quartz-ankerite veins which contain up to 10% fine-grained pyrite and, in decreasing order of abundance, minor galena, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, molybdenite and visible gold. The sulfides and gold commonly occur along fractures and wallrock inclusions within the veins. Native gold occurs as fine pinpoints distributed in 1-mm to 5-mm size clusters of up to ten or more grains. The auriferous veins occur within a quartz-ankerite-sericite-pyrite alteration assemblage which is enveloped by a broader zone of ankerite sericite±hematite±quartz-pyrite alteration up to 60 m wide. This latter assemblage overprints the regional greenschist-facies chlorite-calcite assemblage. The Amalgamated Kirkland property has had a long history of exploration activity beginning with the first discovery of mineralization in 1911 on the Hunton Shaft claim located in the northeast corner of the property. Since that time various prospecting, mapping, trenching, geophysical surveys and diamond drilling programs have concentrated on either carbonate zones along the Larder Lake Break or quartz veins along the northern side of the property in association with complex trachyte flows and syenite dikes. Battle Mountain Canada Inc. located the Cyprus – Battle Mountain Break through a prospecting, trenching and geophysical program in 1989. Drilling by Battle Mountain and Cyprus Canada under the surface showing, coupled with several revisions to the structural interpretation of the Cyprus – Battle Mountain and Cyprus Breaks, resulted in delineation of the Amalgamated Kirkland deposit. Location of an auriferous structure through basic surface exploration within 1 km of a world-class orebody demonstrates both the subtle nature of Archean gold deposits and the potential for finding new mineralization in heavily prospected camps.
Mots Clés: Geology, Exploration, Amalgamated Kirkland Deposit, Kirkland Lake, Drilling, Sedimentary rocks, Mineralization.