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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Ore Geology ReviewsOre Geology Reviews, Volume 79, p.189-217 (2016)




The age and origin of the past-producing Nanisivik carbonate-hosted ZnPb deposit in Nunavut, Canada, have been controversial for decades. Various direct and indirect dating methods have produced results ranging from Mesoproterozoic to Ordovician in age, and previous studies of the mineralising fluids have suggested that the fluids were anomalously hot (>150 °C). This study combines ReOs (pyrite) geochronology, in-situ sulphur isotope analysis, and fluid inclusion analysis to refine both the timing of mineralisation and the nature of mineralising fluids. ReOs pyrite analysis shows that the Nanisivik deposit formed ca. 1.1 Ga, broadly similar to the depositional age of the host rock and with the Grenville orogeny, making it one of few known Precambrian carbonate-hosted ZnPb deposits. In-situ sulphur isotope measurements from Nanisivik show a narrow δ34S range of 27.54 ± 0.72, very similar to what has been reported before in bulk sample analyses. New fluid inclusion data show that the mineralising fluids were ~100 °C, which is not anomalous in the context of carbonate-hosted base-metal deposits. The fluids exhibit no significant spatial variation in homogenisation temperature in the 2-km-long 'upper lens' of the ore deposit, but recrystallisation and modification of fluid inclusions took place in the immediate vicinity of the cross-cutting ~720 Ma "mine dyke". The deposit is broadly inferred to have formed during late Mesoproterozoic assembly of supercontinent Rodinia, when regional hydrostatic head developed under the influence of far-field stresses originating in the developing Grenville orogen. The Nanisivik deposit remains anomalous only in its age; most other aspects of this ore deposit are now shown to be quite typical for carbonate-hosted ore deposits.