PDAC Short Course Presentations

New geophysical and geological insights into how crustal architecture influences the gold and base metal endowment of Precambrian terranes

In March 2023, MERC led a sold-out Short Course at PDAC. The presentation slides are now available for download online.

Course description 

The timing and distribution of mineralization in Precambrian Orogens is influenced by crustal architecture, often established long before mineralization occurs. Gold occurrences in such settings are commonly associated with crustal-scale faults. Once established, these faults provide critical pathways for hydrothermal and mineralizing fluids which during repeated fault reactivations can result in remobilization or introduction of new auriferous fluids resulting in overprinting gold events.

This one-day course highlights new results from Laurentian University’s Metal Earth project, which generated more than 1,000 km of reflection seismic, magnetotelluric and gravity surveys that have provided some of the highest resolution imaging across 13 transects with differing mineral endowment in granite-greenstone terranes of the Superior and Southern provinces. The results highlight crustal architecture and metallogeny derived through the integration of geophysical studies at detailed and regional scales integrated with geological, geochemical and geochronological data.



Metal Earth researchers presenting in the first half of the course focus on the geophysical techniques utilized at regional- and high-resolution scales, including new reflection and passive seismic, magnetotelluric and audio magnetotelluric, gravimetric and magnetic data. Areas of focus include the Larder, Timmins and Red Lake gold camps and the eastern part of the Sudbury Ni-Cu-PGE camp. Cost-benefit and the relative effectiveness of seismic technologies are also discussed.

Researchers leading the second half of the course focus on the crustal architecture and metallogenic comparisons of the endowed gold camps in the Timmins and Matheson areas versus the less-endowed Swayze and Rainy River areas. The crustal architecture of the volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) endowed Noranda and Sturgeon Lake camps is also compared. These contributions emphasize the integration of field and laboratory geological, geochemical and geophysical studies providing new insights into the geological and metallogenic framework of endowed terranes and the architecture of the structural conduits controlling the upward migration of melts and mineralizing hydrothermal fluids. A presentation on mineral potential mapping is included to provide more focused guidance into specific areas of higher mineral potential.

Questions? Contact John Ayer at jayer@laurentian.ca.

Interested in more of the latest research from Metal Earth? Watch research presentations on the Metal Earth YouTube playlist


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