print 2570-7337
online 2570-7345

Minerals of columbite and microlite groups in granitic pegmatite near Liešťany: the first occurrence of rare-element Nb-Ta mineralization in the Strážovské vrchy Mts. (Slovak Republic)

Volume 28, issue 2 (2020), pages 347-352



Accessory minerals of columbite and microlite groups were identified in granitic pegmatite dike intruded into parental Carboniferous (~350 Ma) leucogranites of the crystalline basement of the Tatric Unit, Central Western Carpathians. The pegmatite is situated on E slope of Bystrý Hill near Liešťany village, the Strážovské vrchy Mts., Slovakia. Primary columbite-(Fe) forms euhedral crystal (~3 mm across) with diffuse internal zoning reflecting a relatively small compositional variations: Mn/(Mn + Fe) = 0.40 - 0.45 and Ta/(Ta + Nb) = 0.21 - 0.24. Secondary anhedral domains of Ta-rich columbite-(Fe) to tantalite-(Fe) (≤200 μm) with Mn/(Mn + Fe) = 0.45 - 0.47 and Ta/(Ta + Nb) = 0.45 - 0.62 partly replace primary columbite-(Fe) along crystal rims. Moreover, secondary subhedral crystals of microlite-group minerals (≤25 μm) form fracture fillings in columbite-(Fe). The microlites show uniform high Ta/(Ta + Nb) ratio (0.77 - 0.80) and U content (7.7 - 10.2 wt.% UO2; 0.18 - 0.21 U apfu) but different contents of F, Ca, Na and Pb: central parts locally show fluorcalciomicrolite composition (~2 wt.% F, ~9.5 wt.% CaO, 2.2 - 2.7 wt.% Na2O), whereas main microlite mass forms zero-valent-dominant microlite with inclusions (≤8 μm) of Pb-rich zero-valent-dominant microlite (16.8 - 19.7 wt.% PbO; 0.46 - 0.56 Pb apfu). Textural relationships and chemical compositions of Nb-Ta minerals indicate primary magmatic origin of columbite-(Fe) and post-magmatic (early subsolidus to late hydrothermal) formation of secondary Ta-rich columbite-(Fe) to tantalite-(Fe) and microlite-group minerals.


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