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Vol. 52 (2016)

Geochronology and lithogeochemistry of granitoid rocks from the central part of the Central plutonic belt, New Brunswick, Canada: implications for Sn-W-Mo exploration

November 6, 2015
April 29, 2016


The central part of the Central plutonic belt in New Brunswick is underlain by numerous plutons of calc-alkaline, foliated and unfoliated granite that intrude Cambrian to Early Ordovician metasedimentary rocks. U-Pb (zircon) dating demonstrates that granites range in age from Middle Ordovician to Late Devonian, although most are late Silurian to Early Devonian. An age of 467 ± 7 Ma has been obtained on the foliated McKiel Lake Granite, whereas unfoliated intrusions yield ages of 423.2 ± 3.2 Ma (Bogan Brook Granodiorite), 420.7 +1.8/-2.0 Ma (Nashwaak Granite), 419.0 ± 0.5 Ma (Redstone Mountain Granite), 416.1 ± 0.5 Ma (Beadle Mountain Granite), 415.8 ± 0.3 Ma (Juniper Barren Granite), 409.7 ± 0.5 Ma (Lost Lake Granite), and 380.6 ± 0.3 Ma (Burnthill Granite). All plutons exhibit mixed arc-like and within-plate geochemical signatures, although the Redstone Mountain and Burnthill granites are dominantly of within-plate type. Trace element data reveal a close overall geochemical similarity between Ordovician and Silurian – Devonian plutons, indicating that all were generated by partial melting of the same crustal source. Late Silurian to Early Devonian plutons mainly comprise biotite and/or muscovite-bearing, peraluminous granite and are considered prospective for granophile-element mineralization. All plutons contain Sn well in excess of the granite global average abundance, and several contain average tin values comparable to productive stanniferous granites elsewhere. The Burnthill, Lost Lake, Beadle Mountain, and Nashwaak granites are geochemically most evolved and enriched in Sn and W. The Burnthill Granite in particular has experienced late-stage hydrothermal processes that have resulted in local enrichments of these elements.