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Rare Earths in fluorite deposits of Elika Formation (East of Mazandaran Province

Journal of Economic Geology. 2016;8(1):201-221


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Journal of Economic Geology

ISSN: 2008-7306 (Print)

Publisher: Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

Society/Institution: Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Research Center for Ore Deposit Eastern Iran

LCC Subject Category: Science: Geology

Country of publisher: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Language of fulltext: Persian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Zahra Mehraban (Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran)

Behnam Shafiei Bafti (Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran)

Gholam Hossein Shamanian (Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 8 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Introduction<br> The Central Alborz in eastern Mazandaran province is host to the most important carbonate-hosted fluorite deposits in Iran, such as Pachi-Miana, Sheshroodbar, Era and Kamarposht. In these deposits, mineralization occurs in the upper parts of the middle Triassic Elika formation (Vahabzadeh et al., 2009 and references therein). These deposits have long been studied, and various models are presented for ore genesis. Nevertheless, ore genesis in these deposits is still unclear. The present study of the geochemistry of the REEs of these deposits is intended to improve genetic models. <br><br> Materials and methods <br> Three hundred samples were taken from above mentioned deposits. Samples were categorized into 5 groups: (1) fluorite ore types, (2) ore-stage calcite, (3) carbonate host rocks, (4) basaltic rock around the deposits, and (5) shale of the Shemshak formation. Fourteen pure fluorite samples, 4 samples of pure calcite, 4 samples of carbonate host rock, 1 sample of basalt and 1 sample of shale were analyzed for REEs by ICP-MS at West Lab in Australia. <br><br> Results <br> Analytical data on fluorite from the Elika deposits show very low REE concentrations (0.5-18ppm), in calcite(0.5-3ppm) in carbonate host rocks – limestone (1.8-7ppm), and in dolomitic limestone 6.5ppm, compared with upper Triassic basalt (43ppm) and shale (261ppm). REE in fluorite of these deposits are strongly enriched (10 3 to 10 6 times) relative to normal sea water, ore stage calcite and carbonate host rocks, especially for mid-REEs (Eu, Gd) and heavy REEs (Lu, Yb, La/Yb=~0.05). <br> Also, LREEs depletion (La/Sm= 2-10) and HREEs (La/Yb=0.01-0.08) relatively enrichment of fluorites compared with limestone (La/Sm=2.5-4, La/Yb=0.1-1.5) and dolomitic limestone (La/Sm=4.28, La/Yb=0.07-0.4) host rocks as well as positive Eu anomaly are the most important REEs signatures in fluorites. <br> Fluorite elsewhere in the world with low total REE conten thas been interpreted to have a sedimentary origin (Ronchi et al., 1993; Hill et al., 2000; Sasmaz et al., 2005). Strong enrichment of REEs in fluorite and carbonate host rocks worldwide, relative to normal sea water indicates that diagenetic and/or hydrothermal processes have contributed to the process. Depletion of LREEs and moderately strong HREE enrichment in fluorite relative to carbonate host rocks is interpreted to be post-sedimentation (Ronchi et al., 1993;Hill et al., 2000). Thisis supported by the hydrothermal character of the fluorite in the Elika deposits and similarity between REE profiles and those of fluorine-rich MVT deposits with hydrothermal origin (Chesley et al.,1994; Bau et al., 2003). Positive Eu anomalies in fluorite elsewhere suggest deposition reduced conditions and temperatures~250°C (Bau et al., 2003; Sverjensky, 1989). The present study indicates that low total REEcontents in fluorite precipitated from reduced hydrothermal solutions could be caused by (1) increasing pH of the ore-forming solution during interaction with carbonate host-rock, (2) gradually decreasing F concentration in hydrothermal solutions due to different generations of fluorite mineralization, and (3) low REE contents of carbonate hostrocks. <br><br> References<br> Bau, M., Romer, R.L., Luders, V. and Dulski, P., 2003. Tracing element sources of hydrothermal mineral deposits: REE and Y distribution and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes in fluorite from MVT deposits in the Pennine Orefield, England. Mineralium Deposita, 38(8): 992–1008. <br> Chesley, J.T., Halliday, A.N., Kyser, T.K. and Spry, P.G., 1994. Direct Dating of MississipValley-type mineralization: Use of Sm-Nd in fluorite. Economic Geology, 89(9):1192-1199. <br> Hill, G.T., Campbell, A.R., and Kyle, P.R., 2000. Geochemistry of southwestern New Mexico fluorite occurrences: implications for precious metals exploration in fluorite-bearing systems. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 68(1): 1–20. <br> Ronchi, L.H., Touray, J.C., Michard, A.¬ and Dardenne, M.A., 1993. The Riberia fluorite district, Southern Brazil. Geological and geochemical (REE, Sm–Nd isotopes) characteristics. Mineralium Deposita, 28(1): 40–52. <br> Sasmaz, A., Yavuz, F., Sagiroglu, A.¬ and Akgul, B., 2005. Geochemical patterns of the Akdagmadeni (Yozgat, Central Turkey) fluorite deposits and implications. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 24 (3): 469–479. <br> Sverjensky, D.A., 1989. The diverse origins of Mississippi Valley-type Zn–Pb–Ba–F deposits. Chronicle of mineral research and exploration, 495(1): 5 – 13. <br> Vahabzadeh, G., Khakzad, A., Rasa, I.¬ and Mosavi, M.R., 2009. Study on S isotopes in galena and barite of Savad Kuh fluorite deposits. Journal of Basic Science, Islamic Azad University, 69(18): 99-108 (in Persian). <br>