Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 36, Issue 3–4, pp 219–239 | Cite as

Mineralogy and microstructures of carbonaceous gold ores

  • G. C. Wilson
  • J. C. Rucklidge


This paper describes mineralogical and geological aspects of the Owl Creek and Hoyle Pond gold mines, located in Archean metasediments and metavolcanics in the Abitibi greenstone belt in northern Ontario, Canada. The occurrence of “invisible gold” of Cenozoic age, hosted in structurally-controlled settings in Paleozoic strata of the southwestern U.S.A., has been known and exploited for over thirty years. Petrographic observations are combined with electron microprobe data in order to describe aspects of gold mineralization from these Ontario mines and from selected analogous sites elsewhere. Details of selected exposures of Archean-Proterozoic lithologies, which are carbonaceous but not strongly enriched in gold, are briefly compared with features of the mine geology. Although no mine generates carbonaceous ores alone, the proportion of such ores varies widely from mine to mine, and district to district. Questions remain, particularly with regard to the chemical behaviour of the reduced carbon, but two common factors of prime economic relevance are established. These are the importance of (a) fluid focusing through incompetent carbonaceous units, and (b) localization of high (commonly visible) gold values on vein-wallrock contacts.


Pyrite Chlorite Tourmaline Greenstone Belt Petrographic Observation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

La Minéralogie et micro-structures des minerais carbonifères d'or


Ce compte rendu s'intéresse au gîtes carbonifères d'or, spécialement dans la ceinture de roches vertes de l'Abitibi au nord de l'Ontario, au Canada. Des observations pétrographiques sont combinées avec des analyses de microsonde électronique afin de décrire quelques aspects de la minéralogie et de la géologie des mines d'or; en particulier Owl Creek et Hoyle Pond, et aussi des emplacements dont la concentration en or est trop faible pour être exploité. Trois générations de pyrite sont observée à Owl Creek, la troisième contenant de l'or. Souvent l'or est situé entre la veine de quartz et l'encaissante carbonifère, fréquemment avec de l'hydromicas sodiques, de la chlorite ferrifère et de la tourmaline. Cette association dont l'importance économique est substantielle, est produite par la concentration de fluides hydrothermales à travers des rocs carbonifères friables.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Wilson
    • 1
  • J. C. Rucklidge
    • 1
  1. 1.IsoTrace LaboratoryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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