The North Purulia Shear Zone that dissects the granulite basement of the Chotanagpur Granite Gneissic Complex of the East Indian Shield exposes a deformed and metamorphosed nepheline syenite. The studied ‘foid-monzosyenite’ shows high abundances of large ion lithophile elements and high field strength elements with low abundances of compatible elements. Trace-element signatures show negative U, Th, Zr, Ti and Pb and positive Sr, Ba and Eu anomalies with respect to the primitive mantle. The chondrite-normalized diagram shows strongly fractionated rare earth element patterns ((La/Lu)N ∼23–87). Geochemical fingerprints suggest that the basanitic protolith was formed by low-degree partial melting of garnet peridotite in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle. The enriched large ion lithophile, high field strength element and light rare earth element concentrations (relative to primitive mantle) can be explained by a mixed mantle source with components from a previously deformed alkaline rock/carbonatite. Geochemical data do not support any significant crustal contamination and suggest variable fractionation of clinopyroxene, ilmenite, titanite and apatite from the parental melt. Petrological data are consistent with the view that the nepheline syenite magma was emplaced in a rift setting with a minimum temperature of 800–900°C, low fO2 conditions (below the fayalite–magnetite–quartz buffer) at a mid-crustal depth between 950 and 900 Ma. The continental rift zone, however, did not lead to the formation of an open ocean basin. Subsequently, the studied rock and its basement was deformed and metamorphosed in a continent–continent collisional setting at ∼900 Ma. Combining information from the other Indian occurrences with this study, it is demonstrated that the deformed alkaline rocks and carbonatite are potentially valuable for tracing the birth and demise of the palaeo-supercontinents.

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