Abstract

Representative sampling of a diamond-bearing basal horizon in the Carnian Stage (Upper Triassic) on the northeastern margin of the Siberian Platform revealed a wide spectrum of indicator minerals, first of all, garnets, whose compositions are the same as in the inclusions in the regional diamonds. Of special interest are garnets of potential eclogite paragenesis with an abnormally high impurity of MnO (0.5–3.2 wt.%), which was earlier detected in more than 20% of garnets present as inclusions in diamonds of northern Quaternary placers and recommended as a new mineralogical criterion for diamond presence. Subcalcic Cr-pyropes of dunite–harzburgite paragenesis were also found in variable amounts, from 0.7 to 3.9 rel.%, in the sample of 973 grains of pyropes of lherzolite and websterite parageneses. Three grains contain 11.9, 12.6, and 16 wt.% Cr2O3, which corresponds to the presence of 30–34% of Mg–Cr-knorringite component. Such pyropes have been revealed for the first time in the study region. Cr-spinels are a mixture of compositions typical of kimberlites and the regional alkali-ultrabasic rocks. All studied samples contain picroilmenites with a variable content of Cr2O3 impurity. Since Mg–Fe–Ca-garnets with Mg# < 35 can be partly hosted in metamorphic rocks of the Anabar Shield, the elevated content of Na2O impurity (>0.09 wt.%) was also taken into account. The different contents of indicator minerals in the samples might be due to the variable composition of the diamond orebodies. The Carnian placers call for new systematic sampling. Special attention should be given to estimation of the composition of garnets of presumably eclogite paragenesis with elevated contents of TiO2, MnO, CaO, and Na2O and to search for perovskite and Nb-containing rutile. These minerals, together with zircons, are of interest for determining the U–Pb isotopic age of probable diamond orebodies—kimberlites.

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