The comprehensive petrographical, petrochemical and mineralogical study of the Kovdor magnetite-apatite-baddeleyite deposit in the phoscorite–carbonatite complex (Murmansk Region, Russia) revealed a spatial distribution of grain size and chemical composition of three economically extractable minerals — magnetite, apatite, and baddeleyite, showing that zonal distribution of mineral properties mimics both concentric and vertical zonation of the carbonatite-phoscorite pipe.The marginal zone of the pipe consists of (apatite)-forsterite phoscorite carrying fine grains of Ti–Mn–Si–rich magnetite with ilmenite exsolution lamellae, fine grains of Fe–Mg-rich apatite and finest grains of baddeleyite, enriched in Mg, Fe, Si and Mn. The intermediate zone accommodates carbonate-free magnetite-rich phoscorites that carry medium to coarse grains of Mg–Al-rich magnetite with exsolution inclusions of spinel, medium-grained pure apatite and baddeleyite. The axial zone hosts carbonate-rich phoscorites and phoscorite-related carbonatites bearing medium-grained Ti–V–Ca-rich magnetite with exsolution inclusions of geikielite–ilmenite, fine grains of Ba–Sr–Ln-rich apatite and comparatively large grains of baddeleyite, enriched in Hf, Ta, Nb and Sc. The collected data enable us to predict such important mineralogical characteristics of the multicomponent ore as chemical composition and grain size of economic and associated minerals, presence of contaminating inclusions, etc. We have identified potential areas of maximum concentration of such by-products as scandium, niobium and hafnium in baddeleyite and REEs in apatite.
Ore Geology Reviews – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2016
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