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Matagami Camp - Mattagami Lake, Bell Allard, Bell Allard South, Orchan, Orchan West, Bracemac-McLeod, Perseverance, Isle Dieu, New Hosco, Radiore West, Norita, Bell Channel, Garon Lake, Garon Lake No. 2, Radiore No. 2

Quebec, Canada

Main commodities: Zn Cu Au Ag
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The Mattagami Lake mine exploits Archaean volcanic hosted massive sulphide Zn-Cu deposits in north-western Quebec, Canada, 250 km NE of Noranda and is associated with the northernmost volcanic centre of the Abitibi greenstone belt.

Most of the 13 known orebodies (ranging from a few thousand to 20 Mt each) and mineralised zones in the Matagami mining camp are distributed on the limbs of a north-west trending and plunging antiform, spread over a 30 km interval on the northern limb and 10 km on the southern.

These deposits include Mattagami Lake, Bell Allard, Bell Allard South, Orchan, Orchan West, Bracemac-McLeod, Perseverance and Isle Dieu on the south limb, and New Hosco, Radiore West, Norita, Bell Channel, Garon Lake, Garon Lake No. 2 and Radiore No. 2 on the northern.

All are found at the top of the Watson Lake Group rhyolites and are overlain by the Key Tuffite, a distinctive unit of mixed chemical and epiclastic sediments.   Most share the characteristics:  (1) a stratabound disposition,  (2) upper orebody contacts are well defined while the lower margins are gradational through a zone of dispersed sulphides to the footwall rocks,  (3) a predominance of pyrite and pyrrhotite with lesser sphalerite, magnetite and chalcopyrite,  (4) alteration of the hosts largely restricted to the footwall.

The ore in the main Mattagami Lake mine is composed of pyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite, magnetite, chalcopyrite, talc, actinolite, tremolite, cummingtonite, quartz, carbonates, stilpnomelane, manganopyrosmalite and other iron-manganese minerals.   Footwall rocks have been strongly altered mainly to chlorite, with biotite and phlogopite increasing as the ore is approached with increasing associated irregular veinlets of sulphide (pyrite, pyrrhotite and sphalerite).

The two main orebodies at Mattagami Lake contained (in 1983) 21 and 2 Mt respectively of:
 12.8% Zn, 0.70% Cu, 40 g/t Ag, 0.6 g/t Au.
The larger has dimensions of approximately 550 x 200 x150 m.
In 1990 the orebody was reported to have contained:
  25.65 Mt @ 8.16% Zn, 0.55% Cu, 21.6 g/t Ag, 0.34 g/t Au

The Norita deposit is the largest and best explored on the northern limb.   It comprises 5 massive sulphide lenses that dip vertically and face north.   These are the Upper, Lower, Main, Marker and A Zones.   All except the Marker lie on a contact (upper or lower) of the Watson Lake Group rhyodacite (the Norita Rhyolite) which interdigitates with a generally overlying monomictic coarse angular lapilli tuff.   The Marker Zone is 30 m higher and above that tuff unit.   The massive sulphides are either  1). zinc rich, massive and dominated by a ribbon composition of fine grained alternating pyrite and sphalerite, with boudins of pyrite and quartz in recrystallised sphalerite, or  2). copper rich, recrystallised breccias of chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite and magnetite forming veins which are separated into boudins, cut in turn by veins of coarse grained chalcopyrite.   The copper rich zones are near the bottom of the lenses, while the zinc rich intervals are in the upper and western sections of the deposit.

A stratabound copper rich and chloritic stringer zone connects the massive sulphide zones in their footwalls in the deeper parts of the mine.

Norita contained around 3.7 Mt of ore.

For detail see the reference(s) listed below.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 2012.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.


  References & Additional Information
   Selected References:
Carr P M, Cathles L M and Barrie C T,  2008 - On the Size and Spacing of Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Deposits within a District, with Application to the Matagami District, Quebec: in    Econ. Geol.   v103 pp 1395-1409
Costa U R, Barnett R L, Kerrich R  1983 - The Mattagami Lake Mine Archean Zn-Cu Sulfide Deposit, Quebec: hydrothermal coprecipitation of Talc and Sulfides in a sea-floor brine pool - evidence from geochemistry, 18 O/ 16 O, and mineral chemistry: in    Econ. Geol.   v78 pp1144-1203
Debreil, J.-A., Ross, P.-S. and Mercier-Langevin, P.,  2018 - The Matagami District, Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Canada: Volcanic Controls on Archean Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Deposits Associated with Voluminous Felsic Volcanism: in    Econ. Geol.   v.113, pp. 891-910.
Genna D, Gaboury D and Roy G,  2014 - The Key Tuffite, Matagami Camp, Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Canada: petrogenesis and implications for VMS formation and exploration: in    Mineralium Deposita   v.49 pp. 489-512
Ioannou S E, Spooner E T C and Barrie C T,  2007 - Fluid Temperature and Salinity Characteristics of the Matagami Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide District, Quebec: in    Econ. Geol.   v102 pp 691-715
Piche M, Guha J, Daigneault R  1993 - Stratigraphic and structural aspects of the volcanic rocks of the Matagami mining camp, Quebec: implications for the Norita ore deposit: in    Econ. Geol.   v88 pp 1542-1558
Ross P-S, McNicoll V J, Debreil J-A and Carr P,  2014 - Precise U-Pb Geochronology of the Matagami Mining Camp, Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Quebec: Stratigraphic Constraints and Implications for Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Exploration: in    Econ. Geol.   v.109 pp. 89-101
Ross, P.-S., Bourke, A., Schnitzler, N. and Conly, A.,  2019 - Exploration Vectors from Near Infrared Spectrometry near the McLeod Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Deposit, Matagami District, Quebec: in    Econ. Geol.   v.114, pp. 613-638.


Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo takes no responsibility what-so-ever for inaccurate or out of date data, information or interpretations.

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