Geology and ore genesis of the carbonatite-associated Yangibana REE district, Gascoyne Province, Western Australia

Slezak, Paul, Spandler, Carl, Border, Andy, and Whittock, Kieren (2021) Geology and ore genesis of the carbonatite-associated Yangibana REE district, Gascoyne Province, Western Australia. Mineralium Deposita, 56. pp. 1007-1026.

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The Yangibana rare earth element (REE) district consists of multiple mineral deposits/prospects hosted within the Mesoproterozoic Gifford Creek Carbonatite Complex (GCCC), Western Australia, which comprises a range of rock types including calcite carbonatite, dolomite carbonatite, ankerite-siderite carbonatite, magnetite-biotite dykes, silica-rich alkaline veins, fenite, glimmerites and what have historically been called "ironstones". The dykes/sills were emplaced during a period of extension and/or transtension, likely utilising existing structures. The Yangibana REE deposits/prospects are located along many of these structures, particularly along the prominent Bald Hill Lineament. The primary ore mineral at Yangibana is monazite, which is contained within ankerite-siderite carbonatite, magnetite-biotite dykes and ironstone units. The ironstones comprise boxwork-textured Fe oxides/hydroxides, quartz, chalcedony and minor monazite and subordinate rhabdophane. Carbonate mineral-shaped cavities in ironstone, fenite and glimmerite alteration mantling the ironstone units, and ankerite-siderite carbonatite dykes altering to ironstone-like assemblages in drill core indicate that the ironstones are derived from ankerite-siderite carbonatite. This premise is further supported by similar bulk-rock Nd isotope composition of ironstone and other alkaline igneous rocks of the GCCC. Mass balance evaluation shows that the ironstones can be derived from the ankerite-siderite carbonatites via significant mass removal, which has resulted in passive REE concentration by similar to 2 to similar to 10 times. This mass removal and ore tenor upgrade is attributed to extensive carbonate breakdown and weathering of ankerite-siderite carbonatite by near-surface meteoric water. Monazite from the ironstones has strong positive and negative correlations between Pr and Nd, and Nd and La, respectively. These relationships are reflected in the bulk-rock drill assays, which display substantial variation in the La/Nd throughout the GCCC. The changes in La/Nd are attributed to variations in primary magmatic composition, shifts in the magmatic-hydrothermal systems related to CO2 versus water-dominated fluid phases, and changes in temperature.

Item ID: 66153
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1866
Keywords: Rare earth element, Monazite, Gifford Creek Carbonatite Complex, Radiogenic isotopes, Carbonatite, Weathering
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC FT120100198
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2020 07:38
Downloads: Total: 2
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