Abstract

The Kiruna-type Pea Ridge iron oxide-apatite (IOA) deposit is hosted by a sequence of 1.47 Ga rhyolite tuffs of the St. Francois Mountains, southeast Missouri, USA. It consists of a series of altered zones composed mainly of amphibole, magnetite, hematite, and quartz, together with the presence of several rare earth element (Y + REE)-rich breccia pipes. In many cases, the fluorapatite within these zones is rich in inclusions of monazite, iron oxide, and quartz inclusions, plus minor xenotime. Monazite and minor xenotime are also found intergrown as inclusions in the fluorapatite, as well as in surrounding recrystallized magnetite and hematite in the magnetite ore. Monazite and xenotime typically occur as inclusions within both oxides. Monazite-(Ce) and xenotime-(Y) are both relatively poor (<2 wt %) in ThO2 and UO2. No significant compositional differences exist in the (Y + REE) chemistry between monazite and xenotime inclusions in fluorapatite compared to grains intergrown with magnetite and hematite, suggesting that these two REE-rich minerals are cogenetic. Monazite-xenotime geothermometry and geochronology of monazite inclusions in fluorapatite provide evidence that formation/remobilization of the (Y + REE) phosphates took place at ca. 50° to 400°C, approximately 5 to 10 m.y. after emplacement of the main iron oxide-phosphate orebody. Evidence from field relationships and fluid inclusion chemistry, together with the massive recrystallization and remobilization of fluorapatite, monazite, xenotime, and iron oxides at Pea Ridge, suggest a subvolcanic origin coupled with a strong metasomatic reworking of the IOA deposit.

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