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Mineralogy study of rare-metal granites in South China : case study of Huangshan and Songshugang granite, Jiangxi Province

Abstract : Rare metals, including niobium (Nb), tantalum (Ta), tungsten (W) and tin (Sn), are defined as “strategic resources” or “critical materials”. For this work, we studied the Huangshan Nb deposit and Songshugang Ta deposit, in the Lingshan complex, Jiangxi Province, South China, as examples. The rocks from Huangshan granite are classified in two categories based on the occurrence of Nb-rich mica and the amount of columbite-tantalites minerals: medium-grained granites with Nb-rich mica and devoided of columbite-tantalites and fine-grained granites and pegmatites rich in columbite-tantalite minerals. Columbite-tantalite minerals are classified as columbite-(Fe), and characterized by complex zonings with various “go and back” processes, indicating that their formation is linked to multi-mixing processes of two different magma sources. The medium-grained granites in the Huangshan suite differed from the other granites of the Lingshan complex by their mica compositions: lithian annite (MA granite) and “protolithionite” (MP granite). They are characterized by elevated Nb contents (average 144 ppm in MP and 158 ppm in MA) and very high Nb/Ta ratios (average 15.3 in MP and 31.2 in MA). Niobium is mainly hosted in the micas, with an average Nb content of 1,347 ppm in the lithian annite, and 884 ppm in the “protolithionite”. Such contents are the highest ever reported in magmatic-related micas. With an estimated content of ~80 kt Nb, the Huangshan granites represent a new style of potential Nb resource. The Songshugang albite granite is found in the west of Lingshan complex and is specifically enriched in Ta. The major Songshugang albite granite is buried and covered by layers of K-feldspar granite, greisen and pegmatite. All the granites are strongly peraluminous. The compositions of columbite-tantalite minerals, the zircons and cassiterites are constant and display a similar two-stage texture. Petrographic features indicate that the early-stage columbite and zircon were formed in magmatic environment, whereas the later-stage of rare-element minerals were influenced by fluid fluxes at the magmatic-hydrothermal transitional stage. Micas also show a two-stage texture. The Rb-enrichment in the margin of the zinnwaldite is the result of magmatic fractionation, as also demonstrated by the decrease of Nb contents (16.3-108 ppm compare with core of 109-313 ppm). The invariable low contents of Ta, W and Sn demonstrate that the residual melt has no influence on later post-magmatic stages, contrary to the columbite minerals. Finally, in-situ U-Pb dating of zircon and columbite-tantalite by SIMS and LA-ICP-MS indicates that both Huangshan and Songshugang granites were emplaced at ca. 130 Ma during Later Yanshanian (or Cretaceous) and contemporary with the formation of the Lingshan complex. This result indicates that the Later Yanshanian is a prospective geological period for Nb-Ta deposits, and this result enlarges the time frame of rare-metal mineralization.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 11:48:42 AM
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Ze-Ying Zhu. Mineralogy study of rare-metal granites in South China : case study of Huangshan and Songshugang granite, Jiangxi Province. Earth Sciences. Université de Lorraine; Nanjing University (Chine), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018LORR0141⟩. ⟨tel-02351097⟩



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