Abstract

An updated global compilation of 377 new and previously published ages indicates that granitic pegmatites range in age from Mesoarchean to Neogene and have a semi-periodic age distribution. Undivided granitic pegmatites show twelve age maxima: 2913, 2687, 2501, 1853, 1379, 1174, 988, 525, 483, 391, 319, and 72 Ma. These peaks correspond broadly with various proxy records of supercontinent assembly, including the age distributions of granites, detrital zircon grains, and passive margins. Lithium-cesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites have a similar age distribution to the undivided granitic pegmatites, with maxima at 2638, 1800, 962, 529, 485, 371, 309, and 274 Ma. Lithium and Ta resources in LCT pegmatites are concentrated in the Archean and Phanerozoic. While there are some Li resources from the Proterozoic, the dominantly bimodal distribution of resources is particularly evident for Ta. This distribution is similar to that of orogenic gold deposits, and has been interpreted to reflect the preservation potential of the orogenic belts where these deposits are formed. Niobium-yttrium-fluorine (NYF) pegmatites show similar age distributions to LCT pegmatites, but with a strong maximum at ca. 1000 Ma.

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