The St. Lawrence deposit, Seeley’s Bay, SE Ontario - A major wollastonite skarn in the Frontenac Terrane

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 96, No. 1070, 2003

T.A. Grammatikopoulos, A.H. Clark, B. Vasily

The St. Lawrence deposit is a large wollastonite skarn (ca. 9 Mt @ 41.3% wollastonite) adjoining the gabbroic-to-syenitic Leo Lake pluton in the granulite facies Frontenac Terrane of the Grenvillian Central Metasedimentary Belt. It occurs within a horseshoe-shaped horizon of quartzite, open to the east. The skarn extends over 1.2 km2, and comprises wollastonite-dominant, wollastonite-clinopyroxene, and diverse quartz-feldspar-sulphide (-titanite) layers, interbanded with, and strongly folded within, the quartzite. As in the world-class wollastonite deposits of the Willsboro district, New York, no carbonate protolith is preserved, and calcite is a negligible constituent of the mineralized zones. Wollastonite development is nonetheless ascribed to metasomatism of a metacarbonate unit by magmatogene, silica-rich, CO2-poor (XCO2 40% but locally exceeding 80%, of translucent, white, tabular wollastonite grains, with lengths of 0.2 cm to 5 cm, have been delimited by drilling. Preliminary beneficiation studies yield high aspect-ratio and high-purity (low Fe and Mn) concentrates. St. Lawrence compares favourably to other known prospects and operating wollastonite deposits: having good chemical and physical properties, low iron content, and high aspect ratios (>20:1). In addition, the deposit has a favourable size and location, and will benefit from a low Canadian dollar. Canada currently has no wollastonite production.
Mots Clés: Skarn, St. Lawrence deposit, Beneficiation, Wollastonite, Industrial minerals.