Volcanic lithogeochemistry and alteration at the Delbridge massive sulfide deposit, Noranda, Quebec.

Barrett, T.J., Cattalani, S. and MacLean, W.H., 1993. Journal of Exploration Geochemistry, v. 48, p. 135-173.
The Delbridge orebody occurs within a thick sequence (>1km) of porphyritic to aphyric massive rhyolite and rhyolite breccia of the Archean Blake River Group. The orebody produced 370,000 tonnes grading 0.61% Cu, 9.6% Zn, 110 g/t Ag and 2.1 g/t Au (1969-71). The footwall consists of massive quartz porphyritic rhyolite mantled by proximal rhyolite breccias. An irregular chloritic alteration pipe with mineralization is subvertical to the ore lens. The orebody occurs at a thick cherty horizon within rhyolite breccia, and is overlain by a succession of mafic debris flows, porphyritic to aphyric massive rhyolite flows, and finally andesite. The main alteration assemblage in the rhyolite units is quartz-albite-sericite-chlorite-carbonate. Immobile element plots and rare-earth element data indicate that the footwall rhyolite flows and proximal breccias are tholeiitic to transitional (Zr/Y=3.5-5.5; LaN/YbN=1.7-2.6), whereas hangingwall rhyolite flows are mildly calc-alkaline (Zr/Y=6.5-7.5; LaN/YbN=2.8-3.8). These two rhyolite types also have separate alteration lines in Ti-Zr space and in various immobile element plots. The identification of chemically different rhyolites above and below the orebody provides markers that can be identified and traced even where strongly altered. An intrusive rhyolite mass in the footwall is chemically identical to the hangingwall aphyric rhyolite flows, and is interpreted as the feeder to these flows. Calculated mass changes in the footwall rhyolite commonly are large, and result from major silica change (30%), significant loss of Na2O+CaO, and important additions of K2O and FeO+MgO. The margins of the pipe show net mass gain, whereas the interior of the pipe shows net mass loss. Hangingwall rhyolite shows mass changes that generally are much smaller than in the footwall. Felsic rocks in the silica-sericite alteration zone up to 200 m from the orebody have high d18O values of 10-12, reflecting low-temperature alteration. The orebody occurs near the contact between a mainly tholeiitic rhyolite footwall and an overlying sequence of mildly calc-alkaline rhyolite then andesite.

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