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A new look at the geology of the White Pine Cu-Ag deposit and the Midcontinent Rift System

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 14:52 authored by Jones, SM, Jonathan CloutierJonathan Cloutier, Raub, TD, Prave, AR
The White Pine Cu-Ag deposit in the Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) is one of the archetype sediment-hosted stratiform copper deposits, with an initial resource of ∼10Mt contained Cu metal. A reinterpretation of reflection seismic data shows the basin lacks many features characteristic of rifts such assyn-sedimentary faults and alluvial fans. Mineralisationis hosted in the ∼1.1 Ga Oronto Group, between braided fluvial sandstone and conglomerate of the Copper Harbor Formation, and siltstones and shales of the Nonesuch Formation deposited in an estuarine setting during a marine transgression. New stable isotope and petrographic data reveal the ingress of seawater into the Copper Harbor Formation aquifer that facilitated the leaching of metals from basaltic detritus during diagenesis. The mineral paragenesis suggests that rapid burial compaction of the aquifer, in tandem with incipient inversion, drove fluid flow. Formation waters reutilised earlier petroleum migration pathways, flowing towards the margins of the sag basin where they were focused by faults on the margins of a paleo-topographic high. Metals were deposited in a zoned sequence during thermochemical sulphate reduction across a redox front of liquid petroleum and in situ organic matter.


Publication title

Proceedings of the 15th SGA Biennial Meeting: Life with Ore Deposits on Earth, volume 1






School of Natural Sciences


Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits

Place of publication

United States

Event title

15th Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits Biennial Meeting

Event Venue

Glasgow, Scotland

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright unknown

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Mining and extraction of copper ores; Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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