The Epembe Complex is one of the Mesoproterozoic (~1200 Ma) carbonatite alkaline complexes situated along the southern margin of the Congo Craton in northwestern Namibia. Nepheline syenites and minor syenites constitute the main lithologies, cross-cut by a calcite-carbonatite dyke. In order to constrain zircon forming-processes and magma sources, cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging combined with trace elements (including REE) as well as Hf isotope compositions of zircon grains extracted from one syenite, five nepheline syenite samples and one carbonatite sample are presented. Syenite zircons are generally unaltered and are characterised by positively sloping REE patterns in a chondrite-normalised diagram, with positive Ce anomalies. Syenite zircon further displays significant negative Eu anomalies attributed to earlier plagioclase formation and fractionation. These features are consistent with zircon formation in a magmatic environment. In the nepheline syenite samples, two zircon types are recognised. Type 1 zircon is magmatic, with homogeneous-grey, unzoned and oscillatory-zoned domains in CL, while type 2 zircon underwent low temperature fluid alteration and displays a cloudy appearance. Type 2 zircon is characterised by enrichment in LREE, Nb and Ti when compared to magmatic type 1 zircon. Carbonatite zircon displays a variety of textures and variable chemical compositions suggestive of the presence of both xenocrystal, altered and magmatic zircon. The Hf concentration and Hf isotope composition of type 1 and type 2 zircon are similar suggesting that zircon alteration did not affect the Hf isotope systematics. The similarity of ƐHf(t) values in zircon from syenite (+0.5 ± 0.4 to +1.5 ± 0.4), nepheline syenite (+1.6 ± 0.3 to +2.7 ± 0.5) and carbonatite (+1.5 ± 0.2 to +1.9 ± 0.1) is consistent with the melts having been derived from a moderately Depleted Mantle.

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