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Sulitjelma

Norway

Main commodities: Cu Au Zn Ag
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The Sulitjelma group of ophiolite hosted massive sulphide copper deposits are located in northern Norway, approximately 70 km inland from Bodo, 160 km SSW of Narvik, and 450 km NNE of Trondheim.

The district contains more than 20 separate deposits which together contain more than 35 Mt of economic mineralisation.   They have been actively mined for more than 100 years and represent one of a string of districts spread over much of the length of Norway, the largest example of which is the Lokken district 10 km south of Trondheim (see also the Lokken, Røros district and Folldal records).

The deposits of the Sulitjelma district are hosted within a Cambrian to Silurian succession of the Scandinavian Caledonides, a belt of late Proterozoic to early Palaeozoic rocks emplaced as a series of thrust nappes (Roberts and Gee 1985; Hacker and Gans 2005), that overlie the Palaeoproterozoic rocks of the Fennoscandian Shield and constitute the northernmost section of the composite Caledonian-Appalachian belt in Scandinavia and eastern North America (Grenne et al., 1999).

The nappes forming the Caledonides have been grouped into four main allochthons, the Lower, Middle, Upper, and Uppermost Allochthons (Roberts and Gee 1985). The Sulitjelma district deposits are located in part of the Upper Allochthon, which comprises the Seve and overlying Köli Nappe systems, consisting of continental rocks thought to represent the outermost margin of Baltica, and ophiolitic rocks interpreted to represent remnant oceanic lithosphere of the former Iapetus ocean (Hacker and Gans 2005). The Sulitjelma deposits lie within the middle and upper Köli nappe.

The Sulitjelma orebodies are developed at the contact between a dominantly basaltic sequence, the Otervatn Volcanic Formation and the overlying thick sedimentary unit, the Furulund Group. The basalts represent the extrusive component of the Sulitjelma Ophiolite Complex. The Sulitjelma Gabbro Complex and the Mierjerpakte Intrusive Complex are regarded to be the intrusive and hypabyssal equivalents of the same complex.   All of these rocks have undergone amphibolite grade metamorphism.

The largest individual deposit in the Sulitjelma district contained 9 Mt @ 1.82% Cu, 0.4% Zn, 10 g/t Ag, 0.25 g/t Au. Each orebody is elongate or tabular in shape and confined to a single stratigraphic level. They are in general composed of massive sulphides and related underlying stringer sulphides and are 500 to 1200 m in length, 200 to 400 m wide and 1 to 15 m thick. Mineralisation is enveloped by zones of intense chlorite alteration, while 1 to 5 m thick manganiferous garnet horizons, represented by spessartine garnet occur some 1 to 10 m above the ore.

Grade and tonnage details are included above.

For detail consult the reference(s) listed below.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 1990.     Record last updated: 14/11/2012
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
 References to this deposit in the PGC Literature Collection:
Cook N J,  1996 - Mineralogy of the sulphide deposits at Sulitjelma, northern Norway: in    Ore Geology Reviews   v11 pp 303-338
Cook N J, Halls C, Kaspersen P O  1990 - Geology of the Sulitjelma Ore Field, northern Norway - Some new interpretations: in    Econ. Geol.   v85 pp 1720-1737


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