Re-Os isotope systematics of the Voisey's Bay Ni-Cu-Co magmatic sulfide system, Labrador, Canada; II, Implications for parental magma chemistry, ore genesis, and metal redistribution

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doi: 10.2113/gsecongeo.95.4.867
Authors:Lambert, David D.; Frick, Louise R.; Foster, Jeffrey G.; Li, Chusi; Naldrett, Anthony J.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Monash University, Department of Earth Sciences, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
University of Pretoria, South Africa
GeoDiscovery Group, Australia
University of Toronto, Canada
Volume Title:special issue on Voisey's Bay Ni-Cu-Co deposit
Volume Authors:Naldrett, Anthony J., editor
Source:A special issue on Voisey's Bay Ni-Cu-Co deposit, edited by Anthony J. Naldrett and Chusi Li. Economic Geology and the Bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists, 95(4), p.867-888. Publisher: Economic Geology Publishing Company, Lancaster, PA, United States. ISSN: 0361-0128
Publication Date:2000
Note:In English. 91 refs.; illus., incl. 2 tables, geol. sketch maps
Summary:Re-Os isotope data have been obtained for sulfide samples from five environments within the 1333 Ma Voisey's Bay intrusion (Ovoid, Eastern Deeps, Discovery Hill zone, Reid Brook zone, and Basal Breccia sequence) and the 1313 Ma Mushuau intrusion (Sarah prospect), as well as unmineralized gabbroic and troctolitic intrusions, Archean Nain orthogneiss, and Proterozoic Tasiuyak paragneiss, in order to assess the role of crustal contamination in the genesis of this large Cu-Ni-Co sulfide deposit. Massive sulfide samples have high Re concentrations (148-288 ppb) compared to their Os concentrations (4.8-28 ppb), yielding high Re/Os ratios (2.9-38) that are similar to those for massive sulfides from Sudbury and the Duluth Complex. Whole-rock Re-Os isotope data exhibit a large spread in 187Re/188Os (14-157) but do not define a precise isochron, most likely the result of R factor variations within this dynamic ore system (R factor = effective mass of silicate magma with which a given mass of sulfide magma has equilibrated). Large whole-rock sulfide samples from the Ovoid yield an imprecise 1320 Ma isochron age that is consistent with baddeleyite U-Pb ages from the magmatic system. However, data for sulfide (chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, pentlandite) and oxide (magnetite, ilmenite) mineral separates from the Ovoid and a troctolite from the Eastern Deeps yield and isochron with an age of 1004±20 Ma, consistent with Re-Os TCHUR model ages for some low Os troctolites and olivine gabbros from the magmatic system. These data suggest that the Re-Os system may have been reset at the mineral scale and metals redistributed during a heating-hydrothermal alteration event which coincided temporally with the Grenville orogeny. The high initial γOs values (200-1,100 = percent deviation in calculated initial 187Os/188Os from mantle of the same age) for sulfide-rich samples from the Voisey's Bay intrusion document significant magma interactions with older Nain-Churchill province crust as there are no known mantle reservoirs with these extreme geochemical characteristics. Re-Os isotope modeling suggests that a reasonable fit to the sulfide data may be obtained via contamination of basaltic magma similar to fine-grained feeder zone olivine gabbros and troctolites with sulfidic-graphitic Proterozoic Tasiuyak paragneiss (γOs = 1,900), followed by an R factor process (300->5,000) that improved the tenor (metal concentration in 100% sulfide) of the sulfide liquid during transport in the active Voisey's Bay magma conduit or after deposition in the active-replenished Eastern Deeps magma chamber. However, R factors of this magnitude (>5,000) are not supported by Cu, Ni, and PGE data for the mineralization. Thus, chalcophile element-depleted feeder olivine gabbros and troctolites from the Voisey's Bay intrusion may represent frozen magmas that were the end product of sulfide saturation and segregation during the early stages of mineralization. More internally consistent R factors (50-500) are obtained if the immiscible sulfide magma interacted with a second, chalcophile element-undepleted (>150 ppt Os) magma. Compelling evidence for the presence of more fertile magmas in the Voisey's Bay system comes from the geochemical and Re-Os isotope data for unmineralized melatroctolite inclusions within the Basal Breccia sequence. These inclusions contain olivine with high MgO and Ni concentrations and low La/Sm and Th/Nb ratios, a high Os concentration, and an enriched (but near-chondritic) initial Os isotope composition (γOs = 9), geochemical features that are consistent with high MgO basaltic or picritic, plume-type magmas.
Sections:Economic minerals and ore deposits
Subsections:Metallic deposits: specific
Subjects:Absolute age; Archean; Cobalt ores; Copper ores; Dates; Gabbros; Geochemistry; Gneisses; Igneous rocks; Isochrons; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Magmas; Massive deposits; Massive sulfide deposits; Metal ores; Metals; Metamorphic rocks; Metasedimentary rocks; Mineral deposits, genesis; Nickel ores; Orthogneiss; Os-188/Os-187; Osmium; Paragneiss; Platinum group; Plutonic rocks; Precambrian; Proterozoic; Re/Os; Sampling; Spatial distribution; Stable isotopes; Troctolite; Upper Precambrian; Whole rock; Canada; Eastern Canada; Labrador; Newfoundland; Newfoundland and Labrador; Voisey's Bay Deposit; Mushuau Intrusion; Voisey's Bay Intrusion
Abstract Numbers:03M/3742
Record ID:2000054368
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute.
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