Geochemical and REE mineralogical characteristics of the Zhaibei Granite in Jiangxi Province, southern China, and a model for the genesis of ion-adsorption REE deposits

Zhi Zhao, Denghong Wang, Leon Bagas, Zhenyu Chen

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18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Zhaibei Granite in Jiangxi Province, southern China, hosts an ion-adsorption light rare earth element (LREE) deposit. Recently, heavy REE (HREE) ores have also been reported from weathered crusts of the granitic rocks. In this study, petrological, geochemical, and mineralogical characteristics of the Zhaibei pluton were analysed to establish the genesis of this REE deposit. The pluton contains coarse-grained biotite syenogranite and minor hornblende–biotite–quartz monzonite in its central zone, medium-grained biotite syenogranite in its transitional zone, and fine-grained muscovitic alkali-feldspar granite and porphyritic muscovitic biotite–alkali-feldspar granite together with monzogranite porphyry intrusions in its marginal zone. The REE minerals include titanite, allanite, monazite, bastnasite, and thorite-(Y) in the central zone, allanite, monazite, xenotime, bastnasite, and thorite-(Y) in the transitional zone, and synchysite-(Y), thorite-(Y), and xenotime in the marginal zone. The SiO2 content increases from 62 to 77 wt% from the centre to the margin, whereas the Al2O3, TiO2, MgO, FeO, and CaO contents decrease. In addition, the size of the negative Eu anomaly and HREE content increase, accompanied by decreases in Co, Zr, Hf, Sr, and Ba and increases in Rb, Cs, Nb, and Sn. These observations indicate that the Zhaibei Granite might have been formed by crystallisation differentiation of magma. The granitic pluton was also influenced by reactions with late-magmatic F-, CO2–, and REE-rich fluids that altered magmatic minerals and crystallised as REE-fluorocarbonates and thorite. The hydrothermal REE minerals constitute ∼ 40% of the total REEs in the bedrock and are the major supplier of ion-exchangeable REEs in the ores of the Zhaibei deposit. LREE-rich ores may have been derived from the LREE-rich granitic rocks, which contain bastnasite, titanite, and allanite, whereas HREE-rich ores were sourced mainly from the HREE-rich granites, which contain synchysite-(Y) and thorite-(Y). Furthermore, REE ores with enrichment in both HREEs and LREEs were probably sourced from the monzogranite porphyry bedrock, which contains bastnasite-(Y), bastnasite, allanite, and thorite-(Y).

Original languageEnglish
Article number104579
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Volume140
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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