We report here the results of 54 boron isotope analyses of tourmaline associated with the giant Sullivan Pb-Zn-Ag deposit in southeastern British Columbia, Canada. The ??11B values range from -11.1 to -2.9???, which is almost as great as the range found worldwide in tourmalines from 33 massive sulfide deposits and tourmalinites in dominantly clastic metasedimentary terranes. The major control on the overall ??11B values of the Sullivan tourmalinites is the boron source. Potential controls over the large range of the data also include: (1) differences in formation temperatures of the tourmalinites, (2) different stages of tourmaline formation, (3) variations in the proportions of dissolved boron incorporated into the tourmaline (Rayleigh fractionation), (4) seawater entrainment, and (5) post-depositional metamorphism. The boron isotope data at Sullivan are consistent with boron derivation from leaching of footwall clastic sediments. However, the great abundance of tourmaline in the Sullivan deposit suggests that the local clastic sediments were not the sole source of boron, and we argue that non-marine evaporites, buried deep below the orebody, are the most viable source of this additional boron. It is likely that some of the variation in tourmaline ??11B values reflect mixing of boron from these two sources. Comparison of the potential effects of these controls with geologic and other geochemical evidence suggests that major causes for the wide range of ??11B values measured at Sullivan are seawater entrainment and Rayleigh fractionation, although in places, post-depositional alteration and thermal metamorphism were important in determining ??11B values of some of the recrystallized tourmalinites.
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Boron isotope systematics of tourmaline formation in the Sullivan Pb-Zn-Ag deposit, British Columbia, Canada