Precious Metal Enrichment at the Myra Falls VMS Deposit, British Columbia, Canada

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Marshall, D.; Nicol, C.-A.; Greene, R.; Sawyer, R.; Stansell, A.; Easterbrook, R. Precious Metal Enrichment at the Myra Falls VMS Deposit, British Columbia, Canada. Geosciences 2018, 8, 422. DOI: 10.3390/geosciences8110422.

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VMS deposits
Fluid inclusions

Gold, present as electrum, in the Battle Gap, Ridge North-West, HW, and Price deposits at the Myra Falls mine, occurs in late veinlets cutting the earlier volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) lithologies. The ore mineral assemblage containing the electrum comprises dominantly galena, tennantite, bornite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, and rarely stromeyerite, and is defined as an Au-Zn-Pb-As-Sb association. The gangue is comprised of barite, quartz, and minor feldspathic volcanogenic sedimentary rocks and clay, comprised predominantly of kaolinite with subordinate illite. The deposition of gold as electrum in the baritic upper portions of the sulphide lenses occurs at relatively shallow water depths beneath the sea floor. Primary, pseudosecondary, and secondary fluid inclusions, petrographically related to gold, show boiling fluid inclusion assemblages in the range of 123 to 173 °C, with compositions and eutectic melt temperatures consistent with seawater at approximately 3.2 wt % NaCl equivalent. The fluid inclusion homogenization temperatures are consistent with boiling seawater corresponding to water depths ranging from 15 to 125 m. Slightly more dilute brines corresponding to salinities of approximately 1 wt % NaCl indicate that there is input from very low-salinity brines, which could represent a transition from subaqueous VMS to epithermal-like conditions for precious metal enrichment, mixing with re-condensed vapor, or very low-salinity igneous fluids.

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Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)