Abstract

The Proterozoic (ca. 2.1 Ga) Blatchford Lake suite hosts significant concentrations of rare metals at the core of a peralkaline granite–syenite pluton. After emplacement of the Grace Lake Granite and the Thor Lake Syenite within it, bodies of nepheline syenite, ijolite, and urtite were intruded beneath the present-day Lake zone. This is the largest of five zones of mineralization and lies close to the apex of the Thor Lake Syenite, a region which was then subjected to albitization, microclinization, and, finally, rare-metal mineralization. The underlying silica-undersaturated rocks contain clots of rare-metal-bearing minerals, including cerianite-(Ce), britholite-(Ce), thorite, and calcium catapleiite, interstitial to nepheline and aegirine. The Lake zone itself contains major quantities of Zr (in zircon), Nb (in ferrocolumbite, pyrochlore group minerals, aeschynite group minerals, and fergusonite-(Y)), and Ce (in allanite-(Ce), monazite-(Ce), and bastnäsite group minerals). Lesser amounts of Ta, Y, heavy rare earth elements, U, Th, and Ga are also present, mainly as minor components of rare-metal-bearing minerals. Electron microprobe analyses of the major rare-metal-bearing minerals are presented.

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