Abstract

In situ laser ablation high resolution ICP-MS analyses of scheelite from hydrothermal veins at the Archaean Mt. Charlotte gold deposit (Western Australia) show inhomogeneous REE distribution at small scale (<100 μm). In a limited number of samples, variations of the cathodoluminescence (CL) colours from blue to yellow are linked to the REE content of scheelite, and reveal oscillatory zoning of the REE with zone widths between 1 μm and 100 μm. However, CL failed to reveal the zoning in most inhomogeneous scheelite samples. A nuclear microprobe has been used to characterize the distribution of REE in these samples. No reasonable map for the distribution of REE could be obtained by particle induced X-ray emission, because of interferences with W-L lines. However, monochromatic ionoluminescence (IL) maps collected at the wavelength of the main REE3+ luminescence peaks revealed oscillatory zoning. Therefore, IL is a powerful tool for mapping the distribution of REE in natural scheelite. Monochromatic IL maps allow us to determine the nature of the inhomogeneous distribution of REE in scheelite, fundamental information for using the REE in this mineral as a marker for the chemistry of ore-forming fluids, and for interpreting Sm-Nd isotopic data.

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