Abstract

We describe an ilmenite-bearing aplitic syenite dyke in the roof zone of the Tibchi granite, exposed at Kalato, in the Tibchi ring-complex, northern Nigeria. Inclusions of ferrocolumbite, rutile and ixiolite in the ilmenite are inferred to have been trapped at the magmatic stage. The main mafic mineral is annite. Compositionally, the ilmenite, rutile and ferrocolumbite have near-end-member compositions. A positive correlation between Sc and Ta/(Ta+Nb) indicates that Sc behaved incompatibly as ferrocolumbite grew. Such entrapped accessory minerals may well have formed by local saturation at the ilmenite-melt and annite-melt interface. During and after their crystallization, the melt reached saturation in H2O and degassed. A second generation of ilmenite enriched in Mn and Zn replaced the primary ilmenite along fractures and grain margins. As fO2 began to increase, composite blebs and rinds of ‘ferropseudobrookite’, rutile and hematite began to develop by oxidation-induced exsolution in the primary ilmenite. Incorporation of Nb, Ta, Sc and Si in the ‘ferropseudobrookite’ may well have stabilized it at Kalato. Ultimately, it is transformed to hematite + rutile. The IMA-sanctioned view that the solid solution between pseudobrookite and Ti3O5 is complete, and thus that ‘ferropseudobrookite’, as an intermediate member of the series, does not merit species status, needs to be re-evaluated.

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