An extrusive rock unit in the Mesoproterozoic Pilanesberg alkaline complex that has been referred to as the “Beacon Heights Tinguaite” since the work of Shand (1928) has been reexamined in the field and studied by petrographic microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and whole-rock major and trace element analysis. The new observations indicate that the unit (here informally renamed the “Beacon Heights Phonolite” to comply with current petrographical nomenclature) is a laminated, volcanic rock in which mafic layers rich in sodic pyroxene alternate on any scale with discontinous, felsic layers consisting of alkali feldspar, nepheline, sodalite and their alteration products natrolite and analcime. Highly strontian apatite, fluorite, a manganiferous pectolite-group mineral, sphalerite and pyrrhotite are minor to accessory minerals. In addition, the rock carries indicator minerals typical of agpaitic rocks (including lamprophyllite and eudialyte-group minerals and their replacement products). The rock contains abundant crystal fragments of felsic minerals (alkali feldspar, nepheline and sodalite), fragments and elongated lenses of nepheline syenite, some of which contain primary magmatic lamprophyllite, and rare armoured lapilli. The overall structure of the rock is that of a welded ashflow tuff (igmimbrite) affected by post-magmatic recrystallisation processes. Whole-rock major and trace element compositions suggest a compositional affinity with members of the agpaitic, intrusive Green Foyaite Suite of the Pilanesberg Complex, and probably also a genetic relationship. The Beacon Heights Phonolite is a rare, possibly unique, example of an ashflow deposit of agpaitic, highly silica-undersaturated composition.

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