Petrogenetic characterization of pegmatites and their host rocks in southern Akwanga, North-Central Basement Complex, Nigeria

Abstract

The pegmatites in southern Akwanga occur within the reactivated belt of the basement complex of Nigeria. The pegmatites consist of dominantly albite–muscovite pegmatites (rare-metal), southern parts of the map areas and biotite-microcline pegmatites (barren) central parts of the map. The pegmatites intruded gneiss-migmatitic complex consist of metasedimentry rocks; granitic gneisses and biotite gneisses and rarely meta-igneous, amphibolites. The rare metal pegmatites are composed of quartz, albite and muscovites and tourmaline. Garnets, ilmenites and minor tin–columbite–tantalite mineralization constitute accessory minerals in contrast to the biotite-microcline pegmatites. The host rocks are composed of quartz, plagioclase (An5–21; albites–oligoclase), microcline and muscovite. Minor constituents include biotites, cordierites and hornblendes. Ilmenite occurs as opaques. The pegmatites and their host rocks are corundum and hypersthene normative, highly peraluminous, exhibiting similar geochemical signatures; however, the rare metal pegmatites are more fractionated than the host rocks and the biotite-microcline pegmatites. The rare metal pegmatites are relatively enriched in Rb, Li, Cs, B, Be, Nb and Ta, low in K/Rb and Al/Ga ratios than the biotite–microcline–pegmatites and their host rocks. The pegmatites are products of crustal anatexis of sedimentary origin. This indicates that the rare metal pegmatites are source rock controlled (product of post-collision activities) rather than fractional crystallization.

Research highlights

  • Rare metal pegmatites occur in Southern Akwanga, north central Nigeria

  • Highly peraluminous and LCT pegmatites

  • Sn–Nb–Ta mineralization potentials in the pegmatite

  • They are related to the migmatitic-gneiss complex by anatexis

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Acknowledgements

The authors are very grateful to the Association of Applied Geochemists (AAG) for sponsoring the whole rock geochemical analyses (in-kind analytical support) as parts of the first authors PhD research work. Efforts of the management of Genalysis (Intertek) Laboratory Services, Australia, are highly appreciated for their prompt responses, quality and detailed laboratory analyses. We are very grateful to Prof. T C Davies for his countless assistance in obtaining the in-kind analytical support from AAG for the geochemical analyses. Efforts of the Editor, R Bhutani and other anonymous reviewers are highly appreciated for their constructive reviews.

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The first author (A Chukwu) carried out the field work, sampling, geochemical interpretations, and results and discussions under the direct supervision of the second author (S C Obiora). The second author also guided and supported the first author on securing the sponsorship for the geochemical analysis.

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Correspondence to Anthony Chukwu.

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Communicated by Rajneesh Bhutani

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Chukwu, A., Obiora, S.C. Petrogenetic characterization of pegmatites and their host rocks in southern Akwanga, North-Central Basement Complex, Nigeria. J Earth Syst Sci 130, 18 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-020-01498-7

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Keywords

  • Nigerian basement complex
  • southern Akwanga rare metal pegmatites
  • LCT and peraluminous
  • crystal fractionation
  • anataxis