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Origin of Gold Deposits: Geochemistry of Intrusion-related Gold Systems of the Tintina Gold Province, interior Alaska and western Yukon

The relatively recently recognized intrusion-related gold systems of the Tintina gold province, interior Alaska and Yukon, continue to be a poorly understood group of mineral deposits.

Abstract


The relatively recently recognized intrusion-related gold systems of the Tintina gold province, interior Alaska and Yukon, continue to be a poorly understood group of mineral deposits. The source of the fluids responsible for generation of these economically important resources remains equivocal. Without a better understanding of the dynamics of the gold-depositing hydrothermal systems, the establishment of a reliable predictive exploration model for this important mineral deposit type in the Northern Cordillera will be unsuccessful. This task has been attempting to comprehensively define the geochemical characteristics of the ore fluids and granitoids associated with the major intrusion-related gold systems of the Tintina gold province. High-precision geochemical and state-of-the-art microanalytical techniques are being applied to samples collected from the deposits. Results will attempt to better fingerprint and discriminate between mid-Cretaceous fluids of a regional metamorphic, contact metamorphic, and magmatic exsolution origin. Far more exploration dollars have been spent for identification of new gold resources in the Tintina gold province than for any other commodity or in any other part of Alaska during the past decade. An improved understanding as to what process(es) localize these low-grade, high tonnage gold resources can only serve to better define and constrain exploration targets within Alaska. In addition, from a scientific standpoint, this research will go a long way to defining what exactly comprise an intrusion-related gold system. This remains as a huge matter of heated debate in the recent economic geology literature and the critical questions can only be solved by applying the latest analytical methods to such deposits from this well-recognized type area.

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