Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 53, Issue 5, pp 601–628 | Cite as

Uranium metallogenesis of the peraluminous leucogranite from the Pontivy-Rostrenen magmatic complex (French Armorican Variscan belt): the result of long-term oxidized hydrothermal alteration during strike-slip deformation

  • C. BallouardEmail author
  • M. Poujol
  • J. Mercadier
  • E. Deloule
  • P. Boulvais
  • J. M. Baele
  • M. Cuney
  • M. Cathelineau


In the French Armorican Variscan belt, most of the economically significant hydrothermal U deposits are spatially associated with peraluminous leucogranites emplaced along the south Armorican shear zone (SASZ), a dextral lithospheric scale wrench fault that recorded ductile deformation from ca. 315 to 300 Ma. In the Pontivy-Rostrenen complex, a composite intrusion, the U mineralization is spatially associated with brittle structures related to deformation along the SASZ. In contrast to monzogranite and quartz monzodiorite (3 < U < 9 ppm; Th/U > 3), the leucogranite samples are characterized by highly variable U contents (~ 3 to 27 ppm) and Th/U ratios (~ 0.1 to 5) suggesting that the crystallization of magmatic uranium oxide in the more evolved facies was followed by uranium oxide leaching during hydrothermal alteration and/or surface weathering. U-Pb dating of uranium oxides from the deposits reveals that they mostly formed between ca. 300 and 270 Ma. In monzogranite and quartz monzodiorite, apatite grains display magmatic textures and provide U-Pb ages of ca. 315 Ma reflecting the time of emplacement of the intrusions. In contrast, apatite grains from the leucogranite display textural, geochemical, and geochronological evidences for interaction with U-rich oxidized hydrothermal fluids contemporaneously with U mineralizing events. From 300 to 270 Ma, infiltration of surface-derived oxidized fluids leached magmatic uranium oxide from fertile leucogranite and formed U deposits. This phenomenon was sustained by brittle deformation and by the persistence of thermal anomalies associated with U-rich granitic bodies.


Uranium deposits Syntectonic granites Apatite geochemistry and U-Pb dating Fluid-rock interactions Hercynian South Armorican shear zone 



We want to thank AREVA (in particular D. Virlogeux, J.M. Vergeau, and P.C. Guiollard) for providing uranium oxide samples, historical reports, and data and for fruitful discussions. We are grateful to Y. Lepagnot (Geosciences, Rennes) for crushing the samples. Many thanks to J. Langlade (IFREMER, Brest), O. Rouer, S. Matthieu, and L. Salsi (SCMEM - Géoressources, Nancy) for their technical supports during EPMA and SEM analyses. Thank you to N. Bouden (CRPG, Nancy) for the help during SIMS analyses. J.M., M.C., and M.C. would also like to thank AREVA for the permission to publish the present manuscript. This manuscript benefited from the comments of R. Shail and an anonymous reviewer. We want to thank R.L. Romer and G. Beaudoin for editorial handling.

Funding information

This study was supported by 2012–2013 NEEDS-CNRS and 2015-CESSUR-INSU (CNRS) research grants attributed to M. Poujol.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Ballouard
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • M. Poujol
    • 1
  • J. Mercadier
    • 3
  • E. Deloule
    • 4
  • P. Boulvais
    • 1
  • J. M. Baele
    • 5
  • M. Cuney
    • 3
  • M. Cathelineau
    • 3
  1. 1.UMR CNRS 6118, Géosciences Rennes, OSURUniversité Rennes 1Rennes CedexFrance
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of JohannesburgAuckland ParkSouth Africa
  3. 3.CNRS, CREGU, GeoRessourcesUniversité de LorraineVandoeuvre-lès-NancyFrance
  4. 4.CRPG, UMR 7358 CNRSUniversité de LorraineVandoeuvre CedexFrance
  5. 5.Department of Geology and Applied GeologyUniversity of MonsMonsBelgium

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