Flin Flon greenstone belt

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The clouds with small droplets in the left image, indicated by yellow, were seeded by the aerosols from the copper smelter in Flin Flon. Pollution is particularly noticeable from satellites in areas where the air is otherwise clean.

The Flin Flon greenstone belt, also referred to as the Flin Flon-Snow Lake greenstone belt, is a Precambrian greenstone belt located in the central area of Manitoba and east-central Saskatchewan, Canada (near Flin Flon). It lies in the central portion of the Trans-Hudson orogeny and was formed by arc volcanism during the Paleoproterozoic period.[1] The Flin Flon-Snow Lake greenstone belt is 250 km long by 75 km wide and is exposed just north of McClarty Lake. The belt is bounded by metasedimentary gneisses and metavolcanics of the Kisseynew Domain to the north and extends to the south where it is unconformably overlain by Ordovician age dolomite.

The belt is composed of volcanic and sedimentary assemblages that were emplaced in a variety of tectonic environments, and the eastern and western portions of the belt have distinct tectonic histories. The Proterozoic stratigraphy of the Snow Lake area is dominated by metavolcanic rocks of the Amisk Group, overlain unconformably by coarse clastic sediments of the Missi Group. Synvolcanic mafic to felsic sills and dikes, as well as granitic intrusions are found throughout the Amisk Group.[2] Basaltic and rhyolitic volcanics, associated with gabbros and ultramafic bodies from the Saskatchewan part of the Flin Flon greenstone belt are all chemically tholeiitic.

Economic geology[edit]

The Flin Flon-Snow Lake greenstone belt is one of the largest Paleoproterozoic volcanogenic massive sulfide ore deposit (VMS) districts in the world, containing 27 copper-zinc-(gold) deposits from which more than 183 million tonnes of sulfide ore have been mined. There are currently three copper-zinc mines within the belt: the 777 and Trout Lake mines in the Flin Flon area, and the Chisel North Mine in the Snow Lake area. There was limited diamond drilling in 1997 and 2000 that tested a 50-meter strike length and intersected a pyrite horizon that hosted some gold and silver.[2]

"The Flin Flon-Snow Lake belt is one of the most prolific mining belts in the world. A multitude of base and precious metal deposits of various sizes have been found in this relatively small area, some 250 km long and 45 km wide. There have been 25 operating mines in this area starting with the Mandy Mine, which first went into production in 1916. Most of these mines produce copper-zinc and associated precious metals, although at least three produced principally gold and silver."[3]

A panoramic photograph of the Flin Flon area and outcrop. Picture taken on top of pillowed Andesite by Big Island Lake.

See also[edit]

General topics

Canadian provincial geology


  1. ^ Stern, Richard A.; Syme, Eric C.; Bailes, Alan H.; and Stephen B. Lucas (1995). "Paleoproterozoic (1.90 1.86 Ga) arc volcanism in the Flin Flon Belt, Trans-Hudson Orogen, Canada". Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 119 (2/3): 117–141. Bibcode:1995CoMP..119..117S. doi:10.1007/BF00307276. 
  2. ^ a b Norris, Jessica (2007). "Report on the 2007 Diamond Drilling Program McClarty Lake Project, Manitoba" (PDF). Aurora Geosciences Ltd. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  3. ^ "All-Weather Road to Pukatawagan Economic Assessment Study". Dillon Consulting Limited/ Westdal & Associates (Transportation and Government Service, Government of Manitoba): 30. August 2001. http://www.gov.mb.ca/mit/tspd/pdf/studies/pukatawagan.pdf.

Coordinates: 54°46′N 101°53′W / 54.77°N 101.89°W / 54.77; -101.89