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Metal Earth Transect Scale Project: Wabigoon, Stormy-Dryden


Project Information


Project Title:

Metal Earth Wabigoon Transect: Dryden-Stormy Lake

Research Location:

Dryden, Ontario

Research Team: 

Ben Frieman (Research Associate/PDF Laurentian University),  

Rebecca Montsion (PhD Laurentian University),

Kendra Zammit (MSc Laurentian University),

David Downie (MSc Laurentian University),

Amokelani Mavundza (MSc Laurentian University)


Project Status:



Ben M. Frieman

Postdoctoral Fellow,

Mineral Exploration Research Centre,

Laurentian University 


Academic Collaborators:

Dr. Stéphane Perrouty, Assistant Professor, Laurentian University

Dr. Audrey Bouvier, Associate Professor, Universität Bayreuth

Dr. Jeffrey Marsh, Research Associate, Laurentian University

Dr. Mike Hamilton, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Dr. Michael Lesher, Professor of Economic Geology, Laurentian University


Industry Collaborators:

Craig Ravnaas, Resident Geologist, Ontario Geological Survey

Image Caption: Drone photo taken looking west over the Lost Lake area. Detailed mapping of this area will be completed over the summer to investigate the alteration, deformation, and mineralization associated with the Lost Lake intrusion and the Boyer Lake group volcanic host-rocks. - David Downie.


Scope of Project:

The central Western Wabigoon Subprovince hosts numerous base and precious metal occurrences and prospects but contrasts quite dramatically with the Abitibi Subprovince in terms of metal endowment. As a consequence, the supracrustal stratigraphy, intrusive history, structural evolution, and metamorphic development are largely under-investigated, and their relationships with economic resource distribution are unknown. This project aims to investigate and integrate these topics to propose a revised Precambrian and metallogenic evolution model of the Western Wabigoon.

This study is focused on the central portion of the Western Wabigoon Subprovince, along the Stormy-Dryden transect, composed of Neoarchean (ca. 2.75-2.65 Ga) juvenile volcanic, gneissic-plutonic, and clastic sedimentary rocks that are structurally bounded with recycled Paleo- to Mesoarchean crust of the Winnipeg River and Marmion terranes, to the north and south respectively.

Despite similarities in rock types, age, and the lithotectonic setting of their formation, greenstone belts in the Superior Province are variably endowed with base and precious metal resources. These include the well-endowed Abitibi and the poorly endowed Western Wabigoon greenstone belts. The heterogeneity of metal endowment among these belts suggests there were factors contributing to mineralization that acted on a regional scale. Fundamental research questions to be investigated in this project include:

1. What were these factors?

2. How did these belts vary at the district- and craton-scales?

3. What were the associated geological processes?

To address these research questions, field work and analysis seeks to develop a comprehensive synthesis of the Western Wabigoon Subprovince, in order to develop a new geodynamic model for its formation and to compare to better mineralized belts in the Superior Province.


Anticipated Outcomes:

The research conducted by the lead HQP in the Dryden-Stormy Lake transect is expected to have several major outcome including but not limited to the following:

  1. A new stratigraphic framework for the WWS study area based on new and compiled mapping, geochronological, and geochemical results.
  2. An interpreted cross section for the study region that incorporates surficial observations, seismic results, and magnetotelluric models, providing a broad, crustal perspective on the defining characteristics of the study region.
  3. New constraints on the nature (structural? conformable? etc.) of the contact between older, Mesoarchean crustal fragments (the Marmion terrane) and younger, Neoarchean greenstone belts (the western Wabigoon subprovince).
  4. Constraints on regional amalgamations from the detrital zircon age patterns of successor basin deposits.  


Dryden Transect Map:


Transect Research Projects

Project Title:


Characteristics of and structural setting for intrusion-related gold occurrences in the western Wabigoon subprovince.


David Downie, MSc student, Laurentian University


Deformation history and metallogenic potential of regional-scale deformation zones in the western Wabigoon subprovince.


Kendra Zammit, MSc student, Laurentian University


Kinematic analysis of the Manitou-Dinorwic deformation zone and its implications for mineral exploration in the western Wabigoon subprovince.


Katharina Holt, BSc Thesis, Queens University


Characterizing the magnetic response of felsic to intermediate intrusions of the western Wabigoon subprovince.


Amokelani Mavundza, MSc student, Laurentian University


Volcanosedimentary facies of the Stormy Lake group: provenance, paleoenvironmental evolution, and geodynamic significance


Matshidiso Modiba, MSc student, Laurentian University



Related Documents/News:

Metal Earth Transect Update: Stormy/Dryden July 23, 2019

Metal Earth GeoHub - Dryden Related Documents

Ontario Geological Survey Summary of Field Work 2018