Abstract

In hypabyssal and crater-facies kimberlites of the Lac de Gras kimberlite field, perovskite occurs as reaction-induced rims on earlier-crystallized Ti-bearing minerals (magnesian ilmenite and priderite), inclusions in atoll spinels and discrete crystals in a serpentine-calcite mesostasis. The mineral is associated with spinels, apatite, monticellite, phlogopite, baryte, Fe-Ni sulphides, ilmenite, diopside and zircon. Uncommon accessory phases found in an assemblage with perovskite include titanite, monazite-(Ce), witherite, strontium-apatite, khibinskite, djerfisherite, wollastonite, pectolite, suolunite, hydroxy-apophyllite and bultfonteinite. Three types of perovskite can be distinguished on the basis of composition: (I) REE-Nb-Al-poor perovskite with relatively high Sr and K contents (up to 2.2 and 0.6 wt.% oxides, respectively) occurring as mantles on priderite and inclusions in atoll spinels; (II) perovskite with elevated Al, Fe, Nb and LREE (up to 1.4, 8.3, 9.1 and 17.0 wt.% oxides, respectively) found as discrete crystals and rims on macrocrystic ilmenite; (III) perovskite significantly enriched in Na, Sr, Nb and LREE (up to 3.3, 3.4, 13.0 and 22.6 wt.% oxides, respectively) found as rims on perovskite I and II. The overwhelming majority of perovskite is represented by discrete crystals of type II. In some occurrences, this type of perovskite also has high Th contents (up to 5.5 wt.% ThO2) and Zr contents (up to 3.7 wt.% ZrO2). Textural evidence indicates that perovskite shows an overall evolutionary trend from the most primitive type I towards type III showing the highest Na, Nb and LREE contents. Perovskite of type I probably crystallized under relatively high pressures prior to the precipitation of MUM spinels. Perovskite II crystallized after magnesiochromite, pleonaste and MUM (magnesian ulvöspinel-magnetite) spinels, under increasing fO2. The most compositionally evolved type III formed during near-solidus re-equilibration of the earlier-crystallized perovskite. The compositional variation of the Lac de Gras perovskite can be adequately characterized in terms of five major end-members: CaTiO3 (perovskite), CeFeO3, NaNbO3 (lueshite), Na0.5LREE0.5TiO3 (loparite), and CaFe0.5Nb0.5O3 (latrappite).

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