Geology and Evaluation of the Asbestos Hill Ore Body

Stewart, R. V. ; Znamensky, V. S.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
This chrysotile asbestos ore body is located near the northern tip of the Province of Quebec, Canada. It is some 1818 km (1130 miles) north of Montreal, 480 km (300 miles) north of the tree line, and is situated within the zone of continuous permafrost. The open pit ore zone is approximately 0.4 km (1% mile) in length, some 61 m (2OO ft) in width and plunges at 25o to 30 o below surface to a vertical depth of at least 610 m (2000 ft). The ore body was originally evaluated by programs of surface mapping, diamond drilling, and bulk sampling. The fiber is semicrude, possesses excellent strength, and good fiber length distribution. GEOLOGICAL SETTING, LOCATION, AND DISCOVERY The chrysotile asbestos mineralization at the Asbestos Hill mine occurs in serpentinized ultrabasic rocks of Precambrian age. These intrusive rocks are found in older volcanic sedimentary rocks known as the Cape Smith-Wakeham Bay belt and are shown in Fig. 1. The rocks comprising this belt overlie older basement rocks composed of granite and granite gneiss. This belt has a width of 32 to 64 km (20 to 40 miles), and trends in a general east- west direction, a distance of about 370 km (230 miles) from Wakeham Bay on the east coast of the Ungava Peninsula to Cape Smith, located on the east side of Hudson Bay. Two sequences of rock have been recognized in this belt. The lower (oldest) rocks are known as the Povungnituk group, and consist principally of massive lavas and sediments. The upper (younger) rocks are known as the Chukotat group, and are composed of pillowed lavas with interbedded sedimentary rocks. Sills of ultrabasic rocks exist in both younger and older rocks, but are more often found in the Povungnituk group. Concentrations of chrysotile asbestos, as well as nickel and copper minerals are found at or near the base of ultrabasic sills, and are most common where a change in dip occurs. The mine is situated about 1818 km (1130 miles) north of Montreal, approximately 1126 km (700 miles) north of the start of continuous permafrost, and about 482 km (300 miles) north of the tree line. The depth of permafrost at the mine site has been calculated to be approximately 549 m (1800 ft). This rich deposit of asbestos was discovered in 1957 during extensive exploration for nickel in the Ungava nickel belt. During that year, traverses conducted by Murray Watts spotted interesting looking ultrabasic rocks, and followup ground examination disclosed rich surface showings of asbestos mineralization near the present open pit. In 1958, a two-man prospecting party returned to the discovery site and a mineral exploration license was granted to Fig. 1. Location map Keewa Quebec Mines Ltd., a wholly owned
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