Nickel Sulfide Ores and Impact Melts:
Origin of the Sudbury Igneous Complex
By Peter C. Lightfoot, Ph.D.,P.Geo.
A classic case study forging research from the fields of economic geology, petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, and the study of large terrestrial and extra-terrestrial impact structures.
Nickel Sulfide Ores and Impact Melts: Origin of the Sudbury Igneous Complex presents a current state of understanding on the geology and ore deposits of the Sudbury Igneous Complex in Ontario, Canada. As the first complete reference on the subject, this book explores the linkage between the processes of meteorite impact, melt sheet formation, differentiation, sulfide immiscibility and metal collection, and the localization of ores by magmatic and post-magmatic processes.
The discovery of new ore deposits requires industry and government scientists and academic scholars to have access to the latest understanding of ore formation process models that link to the mineralization of their host rocks. The ore deposits at Sudbury are one of the world’s largest ore systems, representing a classic case study that brings together very diverse datasets and ways of thinking. This book is designed to emphasize concepts that can be applied across a broad range of ore deposit types beyond Sudbury and nickel deposit geology. It is an essential resource for exploration geologists, university researchers, and government scientists, and can be used in rock and mineral analysis, remote sensing, and geophysical applications.
Exploration geologists, university researchers, and government scientists. Environmental monitors and researchers in rock and mineral analysis, remote sensing and geophysical applications.
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Manitoba Geological Survey
“…a unified hypothesis for the formation of the SIC and associated ore deposits is proposed by looking into the processes and mechanisms which operated within the SIC. The origin of the SIC starts with the event of impact-induced melting of crustal rocks forming the melt sheet, differentiation and evolution of the crustal melt upon cooling, sulfide saturation forming immiscible dense sulfide melts (liquids) that undergo segregation, settling, fractionation, and concentration in structural embayments at the base or footwall breccias or flowing along the offset dykes, and ends with the formation of orebodies (or deposits) in diverse sulfide mineral systems. The primary SIC and associated ore deposits are deformed and metamorphosed by postimpact tectonism.”
Reid R Keays
“This book constitutes an invaluable resource for anyone exploring for or doing research on magmatic Ni-Cu-(PGE) sulphide ores. The book is very well written, providing a comprehensive account of the geology one of the world’s great mining camps. The many illustrations are excellent and much of the critical information is summarized in tables, making the book highly useable. Although the main focus of the book is the Sudbury Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide ores and their genesis, there is much in it that is applicable to all magmatic Ni-Cu-(PGE) sulphide deposits such as a useful synthesis of the processes involved in their formation.”
"The publication of Nickel Sulphide Ores and Impact Melts marks the first time that a century of industry and academic learning have been integrated to provide a comprehensive model of the formation of the Sudbury Structure and its ores. Within the pages of this book lies all the information needed for a modern understanding of the geology, petrology, geochemistry and metallogeny of the Sudbury basin, establishing it as an indispensable resource for students, academics and industry professionals with interests in magmatic ore deposits. The importance of the book cannot be overstated; it establishes a new level of understanding of the Sudbury Structure that will underpin the next generation of research and discovery."
Christina Yan Wang
Key Laboratory of Mineralogy and Metallogeny,
Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry,
Chinese Academy of Sciences
“In this book, the ideas and conclusions present in each chapter are supported by a plenty of beautiful geological maps and photographs, geochemical diagrams, tables and quantitative modeling. The impact structures and ore bodies are clearly illustrated with color-toned cross-sections and plan views of different scales and 3D models. Every chapter includes fantastic photographs showing outcrops, main rock types and sulfide ores in different scales and gorgeous textures of the rocks and ores in this particular impact event. Tables in this book are highly informative and concise. Each table is a good summary for a specific issue on the SIC and associated sulfide ore deposits, for example, Table 1.1 is five-page long and presents a complete summary for the important historic events in the discovery, exploration and development of the Sudbury ore deposits from 1856 to 2014, enclosing with the original references for each event. Overall, I am convinced that this book will be very useful to both young and experienced geologists who wish to learn complete and updated progresses about ore-forming processes of magmatic Ni-Cu and PGE sulfide deposits related to impact event. I believe that this book could become an excellent textbook for the students and young researchers who are interested in meteorite impact geology and/or magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide deposits. It also conforms to audience in the field of industry who dedicate to regional exploration for magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide deposits as the book provide important guidelines on it.”
Grenvyn Consulting Inc.
“This is undoubtedly the most detailed and comprehensive book on the ore deposits of Sudbury and their origin ever published. The nickel sulfide ores of the Sudbury Igneous Complex comprise one of the most famous and economically important mineral deposits in the world, and thus it is studied to some extent by most geologists. It is particularly intriguing because of its interpreted meteorite impact origin and the long history from discovery to understanding and acceptance of the current model. Despite the enormous number of papers written about it, Sudbury has a truly elegant and exciting story that has not been described previously in a single publication. With its in-depth research, this book represents an outstanding contribution to that end.
The references and bibliography section is enormous with well over a thousand citations. The book also boasts a convenient index, an invaluable asset considering the progressive presentation of information throughout. It is enriched by beautiful illustrations and immensely detailed tables.
In summary this is a well-written, readable, and extensive review of one of the world’s premier mining camps. With thorough support of data and observations, it describes theories of formation, including the first integrated and linear explanation for Sudbury's unique history. It goes on to provide context for the exploration and future production of global nickel. The book is available both in print and electronic formats and will be of interest on different levels- from those with a passing interest in Sudbury to advanced exploration and research geoscientists.”