Paleoproterozoic gold events in the southern West African Craton: review and synopsis

Quentin Masurel, Aurélien Eglinger, Nicolas Thébaud, Andrew Allibone, Anne Sylvie André-Mayer, Helen McFarlane, John Miller, Mark Jessell, Laurent Aillères, Olivier Vanderhaeghe, Stefano Salvi, Lenka Baratoux, Stephane Perrouty, Graham Begg, Denis Fougerouse, Patrick Hayman, Ousmane Wane, Asinne Tshibubudze, Luis Parra-Avila, Alain KouamélanPrince Ofori Amponsah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The southern part of the West African Craton includes the Baoulé-Mossi Domain, the world’s premier Paleoproterozoic gold province (~10,000 metric ton gold endowment). Structural, metamorphic, and geochronological data suggest gold mineralisation occurred during three episodes that span much of the Eoeburnean and Eburnean orogenic cycles. Eoeburnean orogenic and rare skarn-hosted gold deposits formed between ca. 2200 and 2135 Ma during repeated episodes of volcanism, plutonism, and shortening, which thickened the Paleoproterozoic crust. Early Eburnean orogenic and placer gold deposits formed between ca. 2110 and 2095 Ma during inversion, metamorphism, and subsequent oblique shortening of intra-orogenic basins filled after ca. 2135 Ma. This episode of mineralisation terminated when the Baoulé-Mossi Domain docked with the Archean Kénéma-Man Domain at ca. 2095 Ma. Late Eburnean orogenic and less common intrusion-related gold deposits formed between ca. 2095 and 2060 Ma during strike-slip to oblique-slip tectonics, post-collisional high-K plutonism and crustal reworking across the western and southern Baoulé-Mossi Domain. Eoeburnean gold deposits include ca. 10 % of the gold endowment of the Baoulé-Mossi Domain, whereas the Early Eburnean and Late Eburnean deposits include ca. 50–70% and 20–40%, respectively. Here, we highlight the favourable confluence of accretion-collision tectonics, involving juvenile crust formation as well as protracted magmatic, metamorphic, and deformation histories that resulted in diachronous gold events spread over at least 100 myr throughout the Baoulé-Mossi Domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-537
Number of pages25
JournalMineralium Deposita
Issue number4
Early online date4 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


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