The origin of base metal indicator minerals from till and stream sediment samples: constraints from mineral chemical and S-Pb isotope geochemistry

King, Robert (2022) The origin of base metal indicator minerals from till and stream sediment samples: constraints from mineral chemical and S-Pb isotope geochemistry. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (8MB)


Base metal indicator minerals recovered from till and stream sediment samples in the southern Northwest Territories were studied to determine their potential origins. Major and trace element geochemistry and S- and Pb-isotopes were used to determine whether these indicator minerals were derived from known mineralised bedrock sources or if they were from undiscovered mineral occurrences within the southwestern Northwest Territories, a region with very little previous mineral exploration and thick Quaternary cover. The geochemical and isotopic composition of sphalerite grains indicates derivation from low-temperature (T<250°C) sources consistent with Mississippi Valley-style mineralisation, yet distinct from known nearby mineral occurrences. Galena grains also have geochemical signatures indicative of derivation from low-temperature mineralisation; however, Pb-isotopic data, and previous provenance studies, indicate they were not from the Pine Point deposit or other known mineral occurrences and together with sphalerite represent potentially undiscovered Zn-Pb mineralisation in this area. The geochemical and δ³⁴S compositions of chalcopyrite grains suggest that they were likely derived from low-temperature sources, such as sediment-hosted Cu, and/or kipushi-type deposits. Arsenopyrite grains have δ³⁴S signatures similar to that of igneous sources (i.e., δ³⁴S = ±3‰), the only source of which would be fluids from Canadian Shield basement rocks, remobilized along basement faults in the region.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15620
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references
Keywords: indicator mineral, base metal, till
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Earth Sciences
Date: September 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Drift--Northwest Territories; River sediments--Northwest Territories; Geochemistry--Northwest Territories; Geochemical prospecting--Northwest Territories

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics