Till lithology and geochemistry in the Upsalquitch Forks area in northern New Brunswick

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University of New Brunswick


The discovery of a gold-bearing boulder by a prospector in 1985 sparked the recent gold rush in northern New Brunswick. At about the same time a regional till geochemistry program reported a relatively large gold anomaly (678 ppb) for a sample taken from the till in the Upsalquitch Forks area (Pronk, 1986). This thesis was undertaken to determine the presence and abundance of gold in the till surrounding the original anomalous sample. In addition, the thesis would determine whether or not the gold (if present) is 'free' or is associated with other minerals. A final goal was the documentation of the mineralogy and lithology of the till blanket in order to determine the direction of the local ice flow as well as the possible bedrock sources for the gold anomaly in the till. Geochemical analysis of the till samples did not support the high gold value reported by Pronk (1986). In fact, reanalysis of the original anomalous sample resulted in a much lower gold value (< 1 ppb). Possible reasons for this irreproducibilty of the original anomaly are suggested in the thesis. Most of the data in this thesis support the conclusion that the local ice flow was northerly. This conclusion is based upon an analysis of the till composition and the orientation of striae in the Upsalquitch Forks area.