The Northern Norrbotten Ore Province in northernmost Sweden includes the type localities for Kiruna-type apatite iron deposits and has been the focus for intense exploration and research related to Fe oxide-Cu-Aumineralisation during the last decades. Several different types of Fe-oxide and Cu-Au±Fe oxide mineralisationoccur in the region and include: stratiform Cu±Zn±Pb±Fe oxide type, iron formations (including BIF´s), Kiruna-type apatite iron ore, and epigenetic Cu±Au±Fe oxide type which may be further subdivided into different styles of mineralisation, some of them with typical IOCG (Iron Oxide-Copper-Gold) characteristics. Generally, the formation of Fe oxide±Cu±Au mineralisation is directly or indirectly dated between ~2.1 and 1.75 Ga, thus spanning about 350 m.y. of geological evolution.The current paper will present in more detail the characteristics of certain key deposits, and aims to put the global concepts of Fe-oxide Cu-Au mineralisations into a regional context. The focus will be on iron deposits and various types of deposits containing Fe-oxides and Cu-sulphides in different proportions which generally have some characteristics in common with the IOCG style. In particular, ore fluid characteristics (magmatic versus non-magmatic) and new geochronological data are used to link the ore-forming processes with the overall crustal evolution to generate a metallogenetic model. Rift bounded shallow marine basins developed at ~2.1-2.0 Ga following a long period of extensional tectonics within the Greenstone-dominated, 2.5-2.0 Ga Karelian craton. The ~1.9-1.8 Ga Svecofennian Orogen is characterised by subduction and accretion from the southwest. An initial emplacement of calc-alkaline magmas into ~1.9 Ga continental arcs led to the formation of the Haparanda Suite and the Porphyrite Group volcanic rocks. Following this early stage of magmatic activity, and separated from it by the earliest deformation and metamorphism, more alkali-rich magmas of the Perthite Monzonite Suite and the Kiirunavaara Group volcanic rocks were formed at ~1.88 Ga. Subsequently, partial melting of the middle crust produced large volumes of~1.85 and 1.8 Ga S-type granites in conjunction with subduction related A-/I-type magmatism and associated deformation and metamorphism.
In our metallogenetic model the ore formation is considered to relate to the geological evolution as follows. Iron formations and a few stratiform sulphide deposits were deposited in relation to exhalative processes in rift bounded marine basins. The iron formations may be sub-divided into BIF- (banded iron formations) and Mg-rich types, and at several locations these types grade into each other. There is no direct age evidence to constrain the deposition of iron formations, but stable isotope data and stratigraphic correlations suggest a formation within the 2.1-2.0 Ga age range. The major Kiruna-type ores formed from an iron-rich magma (generally with a hydrothermal over-print) and are restricted to areas occupied by volcanic rocks of the Kiirunavaara Group. It is suggested here that 1.89-1.88 Ga tholeiitic magmas underwent magma liquid immiscibility reactions during fractionation and interaction with crustal rocks, including metaevaporites, generating more felsic magmatic rocks and Kiruna-type iron deposits. A second generation of this ore type, with a minor economic importance, appears to have been formed about 100 Ma later. The epigenetic Cu-Au±Fe oxide mineralisation formed during two stages of the Svecofennian evolution in association with magmatic and metamorphic events and crustal-scale shear zones. During the first stage of mineralisation, from 1.89-1.88 Ga, intrusion-related (porphyry-style) mineralisation and Cu-Au deposits of IOCG affinity formed from magmatichydrothermal systems, whereas vein-style and shear zone deposits largely formed at c. 1.78 Ga. The large range of different Fe oxide and Cu-Au±Fe oxide deposits in Northern Norrbotten is associated with various alteration systems, involving e.g. scapolite, albite, K feldspar, biotite, carbonates, tourmaline and sericite. However, among the apatite iron ores and the epigenetic Cu-Au±Fe oxide deposits the character of mineralization, type of ore- and alteration minerals and metal associations are partly controlled by stratigraphic position (i.e. depth of emplacement). Highly saline, NaCl+CaCl2 dominated fluids, commonly also including a CO2-rich population, appear to be a common characteristic feature irrespective of type and age of deposits. Thus, fluids with similar characteristics appear to have been active during quite different stages of the geological evolution. Ore fluids related to epigenetic Cu-Au±Fe oxides display a trend with decreasing salinity, which probably was caused by mixing with meteoric water. Tentatively, this can be linked to different Cu-Au ore paragenesis, including an initial (magnetite)-pyrite-chalcopyrite stage, a main chalcopyrite stage, and a late bornite stage. Based on the anion composition and the Br/Cl ratio of ore related fluids bittern brines and metaevaporites (including scapolite) seem to be important sources to the high salinity hydrothermal systems generating most of the deposits in Norrbotten. Depending on local conditions and position in the crust these fluids generated a variety of Cu-Au deposits. These include typical IOCG-deposits (Fe-oxides and Cu-Au are part of the same process), IOCG of iron stone type (pre-existing Fe-oxide deposit with later addition of Cu-Au), IOCG of reduced type (lacking Fe-oxides due to local reducing conditions) and vein-style Cu-Au deposits. From a strict genetic point of view, IOCG deposits that formed from fluids of a mainly magmatic origin should be considered to be a different type than those deposits associated with mainly non-magmatic fluids. The former tend to overlap with porphyry systems, whereas those of a mainly non-magmatic origin overlap with sediment hosted Cu-deposits with respect to their origin and character of the ore fluids.
2016. doi: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2016.02.011