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Minerals 2018, 8(9), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8090397

The Saint-Honoré Carbonatite REE Zone, Québec, Canada: Combined Magmatic and Hydrothermal Processes

Sciences de la Terre, LabMaTer, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, QC G7H 2B1, Canada
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Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Deposits of Critical Elements)
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Abstract

The Saint-Honoré carbonatite complex hosts a rare earth element (REE) deposit traditionally interpreted as being produced by late-stage hydrothermal fluids that leached REE from apatite or dolomite found in the early units and concentrated the REE in the late-stage units. New evidence from deeper units suggest that the Fe-carbonatite was mineralized by a combination of both magmatic and hydrothermal crystallization of rare earth minerals. The upper Fe-carbonatite has characteristics typical of hydrothermal mineralization—polycrystalline clusters hosting bastnäsite-(Ce), which crystallized radially from carbonate or barite crystals, as well as the presence of halite and silicification within strongly brecciated units. However, bastnäsite-(Ce) inclusions in primary magmatic barite crystals have also been identified deeper in the Fe-carbonatite (below 1000 m), suggesting that primary crystallization of rare earth minerals occurred prior to hydrothermal leaching. Based on the intensity of hydrothermal brecciation, Cl depletion at depth and greater abundance of secondary fluid inclusions in carbonates in the upper levels, it is interpreted that hydrothermal activity was weaker in this deepest portion, thereby preserving the original magmatic textures. This early magmatic crystallization of rare earth minerals could be a significant factor in generating high-volume REE deposits. Crystallization of primary barite could be an important guide for REE exploration. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbonatite; rare earth elements; REE; deposit; hydrothermal; magmatic carbonatite; rare earth elements; REE; deposit; hydrothermal; magmatic
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Néron, A.; Bédard, L.P.; Gaboury, D. The Saint-Honoré Carbonatite REE Zone, Québec, Canada: Combined Magmatic and Hydrothermal Processes. Minerals 2018, 8, 397.

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