Abstract

Local concentrations of tourmaline occur in the lower Proterozoic (Helikian) Aldridge Formation of southeastern British Columbia, in some places in association with stratiform lead–zinc mineralization as at the Sullivan, Stemwinder, and North Star orebodies. The amount of boron in the rock is as much as two orders of magnitude above average levels reported for the Aldridge Formation or other similar types of sedimentary rocks. The concentrations are not detrital, but are caused by an anomalously high boron level, in a local area, at the time of sedimentation. The appearance of tourmaline within rip-up clasts, and in laminae within pebbles, is evidence of syngenetic introduction of boron.Three populations of tourmalines, on the basis of composition as determined by microprobe analyses, are described from the area:(1) A Proterozoic stock intruding the Aldridge Formation contains abundant schorl.(2) A tourmaline intermediate in composition between dravite and schorl is typical of Aldridge metasediments. Texturally this type occurs as (a) fine felted aggregates in the footwall of the Sullivan orebody, (b) disseminated through waste beds, and (c) in local concentrations removed from the Sullivan orebody.(3) Coarse-grained recrystallized tourmaline associated with the Sullivan ore is magnesium-rich. Recrystallization is erratic, and is probably related to uneven heat flow during metamorphism and to differences in bulk composition.The economic importance of tourmaline concentrations in the Aldridge Formation is their association in both space and time with stratiform sulfides.

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