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Using sedimentary pyrite chemistry to inform regional exploration for sediment-hosted gold deposits - a gold fertility case study from the Selwyn Basin Area, Yukon

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 10:06 authored by Sack, PJ, Gregory, DD, Ross LargeRoss Large, Leonid Danyushevsky
Regional-scale exploration for sediment-hosted gold deposits is hampered by the challenge of evaluating the fertility of ancient sedimentary sequences that host these deposits. Recent developments in laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry allow for the evaluation of the gold fertility of sedimentary sequences using chemistry of early-formed sedimentary pyrite. We present a case study from the Selwyn basin area of Yukon, Canada, where significant sediment-hosted gold exploration has been ongoing for the last five years. Data from sedimentary pyrite in some Neoproterozoic shales are anomalous in Au and As compared to a global data set of unmineralised sedimentary pyrite. If at least some of the gold and associated trace elements in sediment-hosted gold deposits are derived from recrystallisation of early sedimentary pyrite, it follows that strata containing anomalous sedimentary pyrite should be more prospective. Based on this premise, our data clearly show that Yusezyu Formation Neoproterozoic shales in the Selwyn basin area of Yukon are a fertile source rock for sediment-hosted gold deposits, while pyrite from Nadaleen formation shales are strongly anomalous in Hg and Tl, but not Au. We suggest that the area warrants continued exploration for sediment-hosted gold.


Publication title

Proceedings of the PACRIM 2015 Congress






School of Natural Sciences


The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

Place of publication


Event title

PACRIM 2015 Congress

Event Venue

Hong Kong, China

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2015 The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other mineral resources (excl. energy resources) not elsewhere classified

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