Ras Abda plutonic suite, North Eastern Desert of Egypt, consists predominantly of Neoproterozoic calc-alkaline older granites. Minor exposures of pink microgranite are occurring along Wadi Ras Abda within the older granites. Previous studies on this area demonstrated that the microgranite is altered in some parts and contains anomalous concentrations of rare metal elements (Zr, Th, and U). These altered and mineralized zones are re-assessed using field observations, chemical analysis, and by the application of various transmitted light and electron microscopic techniques. The rare metals exist as mineral segregation grew freely into open cavities of the microgranite and concordant with the NNE strike-slip fault movement. The mineralized zones contain an assemblage of secondary magnetite, zircon, uranothorite, columbite-(Mn), fergusonite-(Y), and allanite-(Ce). The extreme abundance of zircon in the mineralized zone, along with other evidence, indicates a hydrothermal origin of this zircon together with associated rare metals. The geochemical investigation and mass balance calculations revealed extreme enrichment of Zr, Th, U, Y, Nb, Ta, and REE. Post-magmatic hydrothermal alterations resulted in such pronounced chemical and mineralogical heterogeneity. The hydrothermal fluids are thought to be oxidizing, alkaline and of medium temperature (> 250 °C). The average contents of the elements Zr (1606 ppm), Th (1639 ppm), U (306 ppm), Nb (955 ppm), and REE (1710 ppm) in the mineralized microgranite reach sub-economic levels and could be a potential source of these elements.
Arabian Journal of Geosciences – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 5, 2018
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