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Minerals 2016, 6(4), 113; doi:10.3390/min6040113

Analysis of Au-Ag Mineralization in the Caribou Base-Metal VMS Deposit, New Brunswick; Examination of Micro-Scale Inter- and Intra-Sulphide Distribution and Its Relation to Geometallurgy

1
Department of Earth Sciences, University of New Brunswick, 2 Bailey Dr., Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of New Brunswick, 15 Dineen Dr., Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Cristiana L. Ciobanu and Nigel J. Cook
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 8 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 October 2016 / Published: 21 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Analytical Techniques)
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Abstract

The Caribou Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit located in northeast New Brunswick represents a significant base-metal resource in the Bathurst Mining Camp. Zinc, Pb and Cu are the primary resources that are being extracted from this deposit; however, Au and Ag are important by-products that could help offset costs. This study used mineral liberation analysis supported further by in situ laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometry methods to document variations in Au and Ag distribution between and within sulphide minerals. The variations in Ag and Au distribution provide critical inputs to the optimization of mineral processing design. The greatest influence on Au recovery at Caribou is the proportion of Au hosted in arsenopyrite and pyrite; consequently, considerable Au will report to the tailings. Silver recovery at Caribou is highly affected by the proportion of Ag hosted in galena and tetrahedrite-tennantite. Proximal to the vent complex, Ag values are primarily hosted in galena, whereas further from the vent complex, Ag values are likely primarily hosted in tetrahedrite-tennantite. Galena Ag values will report mostly to the Pb concentrate, while tetrahedrite-tennantite Ag values will report to the Cu concentrate. View Full-Text
Keywords: gold; silver; geometallurgy; sulphides; Caribou mine; Bathurst Mining Camp gold; silver; geometallurgy; sulphides; Caribou mine; Bathurst Mining Camp
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Wright, J.; Lentz, D.R.; Rossiter, S.; Garland, P. Analysis of Au-Ag Mineralization in the Caribou Base-Metal VMS Deposit, New Brunswick; Examination of Micro-Scale Inter- and Intra-Sulphide Distribution and Its Relation to Geometallurgy. Minerals 2016, 6, 113.

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