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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Economic GeologyEconomic Geology, Volume 103, Number 6, p.1091-1096 (2008)




The Abitibi greenstone belt contains some of the world’s largest Cu-Zn and Au deposits and significant amounts of Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization. Discoveries early in the 20th century were made by classic prospecting with subsequent discoveries commonly resulting from diamond drilling of targets identified by electromagnetic surveys. The next generation of deposits will be found at greater depth, based on geological and geophysical models, principally beneath the extensive overburden that covers most of the Abitibi greenstone belt. Thus, exploration will require improved knowledge of the geologic characteristics of the existing deposits, particularly the relationship between deposit- and regional-scale features, including the stratigraphic, plutonic, structural, and metamorphic architecture of the region, and will rely more heavily on expensive geophysical and geochemical techniques, verified by diamond drilling.<br/><br/>The papers in this Special Issue are part of the Discover Abitibi Initiative, a geoscience program funded by federal, provincial, and municipal governments in collaboration with the mining industry. Many of the results reported here are from projects funded by Phase II of the Discover Abitibi Initiative which commenced in 2003 and was focused on the Timmins-Kirkland Lake region (Fig. 1⇓), a high mineral potential portion of the Abitibi greenstone belt that has been the source of exceptional mineral wealth. As part of the Discover Abitibi Initiative, the Greenstone Architecture Project was undertaken by the Mineral Exploration Research Center at Laurentian University to bridge the gap between academic and company information at the scale of individual deposits and the broad-based knowledge derived from government mapping. The project was designed as a multidisciplinary approach involving faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students in collaboration with geoscientists from the Ontario Geological Survey, the Geological Survey of Canada, consultants, and company geologists. As can be seen in the papers in this Special Issue, the program had both geological and geophysical components. The preliminary results of the Discover Abitibi Initiative and the Greenstone Architecture Project were released as a series of technical reports summarized in Ayer and Calhoun (2005) and Ayer et al. (2005). The more complete outcomes of a number of the projects are presented in this issue as well as results from other affiliated research projects.