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Muskox Complex

Northwest Territories, Canada

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The Muskox ultramafic to mafic layered intrusion occurs towards the northern margin of the Canadian Shield in the North-west Territories of Canada.   It was emplaced at 1270 Ma in a rift environment, with an associated regional dyke swarm and extensive plateau flood basalts (the Coppermine Basalt).

The Muskox Complex is some 125 km long, with widths varying from 11 km in the north to 100 m to the south.   It plunges at 3 to 4° to the north.   Airborne geophysics indicate that it widens and continues for a further 250 km to the north where it is concealed by the intruded 1900 Ma paragneiss and orthogneiss of the Wopmay orogen and the younger arenites and dolomites of the Dismal Lake Group.

The complex has been divided into four zones, as follows:  1). the Keel Dyke in the thinner southern section of the complex which comprises gabbronorites at the margin to olivine gabbronorites to picrite to gabbronorite in the centre,  2). the marginal zone with a similar zonation, but containing more orthopyroxene,  3). the layered series comprising 25 cyclic units grouped into four megacycles, the first three of which begin with olivine cumulate which becomes interbedded with cyclic pyroxenite layers up-section, while the fourth is dominated by three pyroxene gabbro cumulates (in contrast to the thin troctolite layers of the other three megacycles).   The pegmatitic reef layer with associated chromite is at the transition from ultramafic to gabbro cumulates in mega cycle 4.  4). granophyre zone.

Disseminated sulphides occur in association with chromite-rich orthopyroxenite in the layered series, as described above.   They have a stratabound character and contain 1 to 10 ppm PGE and anomalous Ni and Cu.

For more detail consult the reference(s) listed below.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 1995.    
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:
Barnes S-J, Francis D  1995 - The distribution of Platinum-group elements, Nickel, Copper, and Gold in the Muskox layered intrusion, Northwest Territories, Canada: in    Econ. Geol.   v90 pp 135-154


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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