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The Geologic Setting of Gold Deposits in the Coromadel Volcanic Zone, New Zealand


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Author Clarke DS, Sporli KB, Smith IEM, Locke CA, Kobe HW, Black PM and Balance PF


The Hauraki Goldfield consists of a
large number of volcanic-associated
epithermal gold deposits within the
Coromandel Volcanic Zone (CVZ), North
Island , New Zealand; it is the most
accessible and most studied of the
Southwest Pacific gold regions. The
deposits occur generally as steeply dipping
quartz veins and breccia sheets in faults
and fractures.
From a tectonic perspective, the CVZ
is generally considered a Neogene
convergent volcanic arc constructed under
an extensional tectonic regime; the common
tectonic setting for epithermal
mineralisation. The gold deposits are
mostly hosted in subaerial andesitic arc-
type volcanic rocks. Temporally, however,
mineralisation is associated with rhyolitic
rocks of a bimodal volcanic suite that may
represent a back-arc environment. Rifting
and calderas may be important components of
the latter regime, but this is not yet
clear; the general structural framework
controlling the location of CVZ gold
deposits remains poorly understood.
Geophysics, particularly aeromagnetics, has
a role in mapping regional fault patterns
in the CVZ