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Open AccessArticle

Geochemical Contrasts between Late Triassic Rb-rich and Barren Pegmatites from Ningshan Pegmatite District, South Qinling Orogen, China: Implications for Petrogenesis and Rare Metal Exploration

1
Ministry of Natural Resources Key Laboratory of Metallogeny and Mineral Assessment, Institute of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China
2
Department of Exploration Technology, Minmetals Exploration and Development Co., Ltd., Beijing 100010, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(7), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10070582
Received: 22 May 2020 / Revised: 12 June 2020 / Accepted: 26 June 2020 / Published: 28 June 2020
The Ningshan pegmatite district in the South Qinling Orogen hosts numerous Rb-(Be) mineralized pegmatites. In this study, whole-rock geochemistry, mineral geochemistry, and zircon U–Pb isotopes of the Rb-rich and barren pegmatites were determined. The barren pegmatites consist mainly of muscovite, microcline, albite, quartz, and garnet, whereas the Rb-rich pegmatites are mainly composed of muscovite, albite, quartz, and beryl, with minor chrysoberyl, cassiterite and columbite-group mineral. The muscovite and albite are the main Rb-bearing minerals. The U–Pb zircon dating of the Rb-rich and barren pegmatites yielding an age of 212–203 Ma, which is similar to that of the neighboring two-mica monzogranites distributed in the Ningshan area. Compared with the two-mica monzogranites, geochemical features, such as the Zr/Hf, Rb/Sr and Nb/Ta ratios and trace element contents indicated that the Rb-rich and barren pegmatites derived from fractionation of the two-mica monzogranites. In combination, the current and previous results suggest that the fractionation of the two-mica monzogranites caused the generation of the affinitive residual melts that, finally, crystallized to form the pegmatites. Compared to those from the barren pegmatites, the apatite from the Rb-rich pegmatites have higher MnO (14.51–19.12 wt.%) and Cl (0.12–0.16 wt.%) contents and lower F/Cl rartios (20–29). We conclude that these differences reflect unique geochemical signatures, and the geochemical composition of the apatite can be used as exploration guidance for rare metal-rich pegmatites.
Keywords: whole-rock geochemistry; mineral geochemistry; zircon U–Pb age; pegmatite; rubidium mineralization; South Qinling Orogen whole-rock geochemistry; mineral geochemistry; zircon U–Pb age; pegmatite; rubidium mineralization; South Qinling Orogen
MDPI and ACS Style

Nie, X.; Wang, Z.; Chen, L.; Wang, G.; Li, Z. Geochemical Contrasts between Late Triassic Rb-rich and Barren Pegmatites from Ningshan Pegmatite District, South Qinling Orogen, China: Implications for Petrogenesis and Rare Metal Exploration. Minerals 2020, 10, 582.

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