Tourmalinites Associated with Australian Proterozoic Submarine Exhalative Ores

  • I. R. Plimer
Part of the Special Publication of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits book series (MINERAL DEPOS., volume 5)


Tourmalinites and tourmaline-rich sediments are associated with exhalative mineralization in greenschist, amphibolite, and granulite metamorphic terrains. They have undergone mild to intense deformation, have stratigraphic continuity around fold structures and display sedimentary structures such as bedding, graded bedding, cross-bedding, intraformational slumps, and pull-aparts. In higher metamorphic grade areas they display metamorphic textures and are commonly cut by remobilized quartz-tourmaline veins. Tourmaline-rich rocks are present beneath, within, laterally equivalent to, and above submarine exhalative mineralization of Pb-Zn-Ag, Cu-Co, Cu-Bi, W, Sn, Au, and rare earth elements. In some places tourmalinites have no associated mineralization and in no environment are they associated with granitic rocks which could be interpreted as their source. The tourmaline composition is schorl-dravite and reflects the bulk rock composition and cannot be used as a guide to mineralization. Although tourmaline is a common mineral associated with granites, metasomatized rocks and breccia pipes, the tourmaline-rich rocks described herein are interpreted as boron-rich siliceous iron formations derived from the metamorphism of a silica-tourmaline precursor. They are a common exhalite type and most commonly are present in thick sequences of Lower-Middle Proterozoic pelitic metasediments and evaporites. It is suggested that the boron has derived from leaching of clays which contained adsorbed and substituted boron or from leaching of borate-bearing evaporites.


Iron Formation Band Iron Formation Bulk Rock Composition Grade Bedding Breccia Pipe 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. R. Plimer
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of GeologyUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia

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