The Patterson Lake corridor is a new uranium district located on the southwestern margin of the Athabasca Basin. Known resources extend almost one kilometer below the unconformity in graphite- and sulfide-bearing shear zones within highly altered metamorphic rocks. Despite different host rocks and greater depths below the unconformity, alteration assemblages (chlorite, illite, kaolinite, tourmaline and hematite), ore grades and textures are typical of unconformity-related deposits. This alteration includes at least three generations of Mg-rich tourmaline (magnesio-foitite). The boron isotopic composition of magnesio-foitite varies with generation: the earliest generation only observed in shallow samples from the Triple R deposit (Tur 1) contain the heaviest isotopic signature (11B ≈ +26 to +19 ‰), whereas subsequent generations (Tur 2, Tur 3) yield lighter and more homogeneous isotopic signatures (11B ≈ +17.5 to +19.9 ‰). These results are consistent with precipitation from low temperature, NaCl- and CaCl2-rich brine(s) derived from an isotopically heavy boron source (e.g. evaporated seawater) that interacted with tourmaline and silicates in the basement rocks and/or fluids derived from depth (with low 11B values). The lower 11B values in paragenetically later magnesio-foitite reflect greater contributions of basement-derived boron over time whereas minor compositional variations reflect local metal sources (e.g. Cr, V, Ti) and evolving fluid chemistry (decreasing Na and Ca, increasing Mg) over time. The 11B and chemical variation in magnesio-foitite over time reinforce the strong interactions with basement rocks in these systems while supporting incursion of basinal brines well below the unconformity contact.
Thematic collection: This article is part of the Uranium Fluid Pathways collection available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/cc/uranium-fluid-pathways