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Metal Earth Transect Scale Project: Abitibi, Ben-Nevis - Larder Lake


Project Information

Project Title:

Metal Earth Abitibi Transect: Ben-Nevis - Larder Lake 

Research Location:

Larder Lake, Ontario

Research Team: 

Dr. Kate E. L. Rubingh (Research Associate, Laurentian University),

Dr. Györgyi Tuba (Research Associate, Laurentian University),

Catharine Gavaris (BSc Hons Candidate, Queens University),

Stefanie Kisluk (MSc Candidate, Laurentian University)


Project Status:



Dr. Kate E. L. Rubingh, P. Geo

Research Associate (PDF),

Mineral Exploration Research Centre,

Laurentian University 

Academic Collaborators:

Dr. Ross Sherlock – Director of MERC and Metal Earth at Laurentian University

Dr. Mike Hamilton - Professor, University of Toronto

Dr. Bruno Lafrance – Professor, Laurentian University

Dr. Harold Gibson - Professor, Laurentian University

Dr. Patrick Mercier-Langevin – Geological Survey of Canada

Dr. Shirley Peloquin - Ministry of Northern Development and Mines; Sudbury District Geologist, Resident Geologist Program


Industry Collaborators:

Thomas Hart – Vice President Exploration, Transition Metals Corp

David LaRoque – President , Canadian Exploration Services Limited,

Charles Beaudry – Director and Vice President Exploration, Orefinders Resources

Tim Stubley – Geologist, Gold Candle

Louis Martin – Geologist, Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.

Robert McGregor – Skead Holdings Ltd

Baptiste Chapon – Geologist, Les Ressources Yorbeau Inc.


Image caption: Gold mineralization in a quartz vein hosted in fuchsite carbonate altered ultramafic rocks from the Kerr Addison Mine.


Scope of Project:

The Ben Nevis – Larder Lake transect is approximately 45km in length and is located in the Abitibi subprovince of the Superior Province in northeastern Ontario. This transect is focused on three main areas; the Ben Nevis volcanic complex, part of the Blake River Group, the Timiskaming assemblage and the associated Cadillac- Larder Lake Deformation Zone (CLLDZ), and the Larder Lake Group (Piché Group) and the volcanic and intrusive rocks around the Lincoln Nipissing shear zone in the southern portion of the transect.

 At the northern extent of the transect the Archean rocks of the Blake River Group (2701 ± 3 – 2698.5 ± 2Ma) host the Ben Nevis volcanic complex (2696.6 ± 1.3 Ma) (Péloquin et al., 2008). The Blake River Group in Quebec is host to significant VMS deposits of the Noranda camp, however the Ben Nevis volcanic complex, despite its similarities does not host any significant deposits. Metal endowment is one of the fundamental questions addressed under Metal Earth. To approach this, Metal Earth will build upon the existing research to fully characterize the stratigraphy and volcanology of the Ben Nevis area and compare with the Noranda camp to determine processes related to metal endowment.

 The Ben Nevis – Larder Lake transect also crosses the Timiskaming assemblage (ca. 2680 – 2670 Ma) (Ayer et al., 2005) with fluvial alluvial- marine sedimentary facies along with syenitic to quartz monzonite intrusions and their trachytic volcanic equivalents. Within the Timiskaming assemblage is a panel of mafic-ultramafic volcanic rocks, considered the Larder Lake Group (ca. 2705) (Corfu et al., 1989) equivalent to the Piché Group in Quebec. The contact between the Larder Lake Group and the Timiskaming assemblage is typically considered the Cadillac – Larder Lake break, a 250 km, east-west trending, regional crustal scale fault, which extends from Matachewan in Ontario to Val d’Or in Quebec and has a fundamental control on the distribution of gold deposits. The area of this transect is associated with significant gold mines along the break including the Kerr-Addison deposit and the smaller deposits such as McGarry, Bear Lake, Cheminis, Fernland and Omega.

 The Metal Earth project aims to characterize the original relationship between the Larder Lake Group and the Timiskaming assemblage to determine if there was an original sedimentary (unconformable) relationship or if it is solely a structural relationship. The project also aims to understand the volcanic stratigraphy of the Larder Lake Group and the association of the stratigraphy and structural geology to gold mineralization along the break.

 In the southern part of the transect, the Lincoln Nipissing shear zone (LNSZ) is poorly documented partly due to its lack of exposure. The objective of the Metal Earth project is to characterize the fault zone with the associated intrusion related gold prospects.


Anticipated Outcomes:

Several research contributions will be available to the public including the entire transect map and cross section, which integrates stratigraphic and structural data as well as seismic, magnetotelluric, gravity and aeromagnetic data. All these Metal Earth data will be integrated into a common platform and made available to the public. Research articles originating from major scientific topics will be published in peer-reviewed journals. One thematic Ph.D., project, three M.Sc. theses and an undergraduate B.Sc. Hons thesis will be completed associated with the Ben-Nevis Larder Lake transect.


Larder Lake Transect Map:


Transect Research Projects

Project Title:


The nature of the Cadillac – Larder Lake Fault: Implications for gold mineralization along the Kerr-Addison-Cheminis segment


Nadia St-Jean, MSc candidate, Laurentian University


Petrogenesis and mode of emplacement of the Neoarchean Round Lake Batholith, Kirkland Lake, Ontario


Catharine Gavaris, BSc candidate, Queens University


Metasomatic modification of structurally focused Archean intrusions, Larder Lake, Ontario


Sean Brace, MSc candidate, Laurentian University


Structural and geochemical analysis of a weakly mineralized segment from the Cadillac - Larder Lake deformation zone: implications for gold mineralization.


Leslie Hunt, BSc Hons candidate, Laurentian University


Lithostratigraphic, geochemical and geochronological controls on VMS mineralization in the Ben Nevis Volcanic Complex: implications for understanding regional metal endowment of the Blake River Group, Abitibi Subprovince, Ontario.


Stephanie Kisluk, MSc candidate, Laurentian University



Related Documents/News:

Ontario Geological Survey Summary of Field Work 2019

Ontario Geological Survey Summary of Field Work 2018

Metal Earth GeoHub - Larder Lake Related Documents

Structure and stratigraphy of the Larder Lake area - implications for the tectonic evolution of the Hearst basin (Video presentation, Spring 2021 Metal Earth Partner Meeting)

2021 SEG Short Course slide deck: Targeting crustal fertility using Magnetotelluric and Seismic data in the Larder Lake area, Abitibi Gold District

Update on Phase 2 of the Larder Lake - Virginiatown Alteration Footprint Study (Video presentation, Fall 2022 Metal Earth Partner Meeting)

Metal Earth releases active and passive seismic data for Larder Lake Transect