Geochemistry and Petrogenesis of Late Ediacaran Rare‐metal Albite Granites of the Arabian‐Nubian Shield

Journal Article
Azer‎, ‎Bassam A. Abuamarah, Habis Ghrefat, Mokhles . 2019
Publication Work Type: 
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
Journal of Geology
-Accepted on line
Publication Abstract: 

Abstract: The Abu Dabbab albite granite (ADAG), in the central Eastern Desert of Egypt, hosts the most significant rare metal ore deposit in the northern part of the Neoproterozoic Arabian-Nubian Shield. Here, we report detailed field, petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical investigation of the ADAG, an isolated stock-like granitic body with sharp intrusive contacts against metamorphic country rocks, probably emplaced at about 600 Ma. The fine-grained porphyritic upper unit is a preserved remnant of the shallowly-emplaced apex of the magma chamber, whereas the medium-grained lower unit crystallized at deeper levels under subvolcanic conditions. The peraluminous leucocratic ADAG shares common geochemical characteristics with postcollisional intraplate A-type magmas. In addition to the conspicuous enrichment in Na2O, the ADAG is remarkable for its anomalous concentrations of Ta, Nb, Li, Hf, Ga, Sn, Zn and heavy rare-earth elements. Nb-Ta minerals in the ADAG are mixed with Fe-Mn oxides, forming black patches that increase in abundance toward of the base of the intrusion. Columbite–tantalite, cassiterite and wolframite are the most important ore minerals. Pronounced negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.10-0.24) reflect extreme magmatic fractionation and perhaps the effects of late fluid-rock interaction. The ADAG was most likely generated by partial melting of the juvenile middle crust of the ANS as the geotherm was elevated by erosional uplift following lithospheric delamination and it was emplaced at the intersection of lineations of structural weakness. Although formation of the ADAG and its primary enrichment in rare metals are essentially due to magmatic processes, late-stage metasomatism caused limited redistribution of rare metals. Fluid-driven subsolidus modification was limited to the apex of the magma chamber and drove development of greisen, amazonite, and quartz veins along fracture systems.