Abstract

The Daixian rutile deposit is located in the Hengshan Mountains in the Trans-North China Orogen; it is considered to be one of the largest rutile deposits in China, with 6 million metric tons (Mt) of contained titanium. Most of the rutile ores are hosted in garnet-free anthophyllite gneiss with minor Mg hornblende, feldspar, quartz, phlogopite, rutile, zircon, and titanite. Rutile grains are euhedral, 0.02 to 0.50 mm in size, contain 98.649 to 99.784 wt % TiO2, and form chains, thin layers along the foliation, and dense aggregates. Rutiles are compositionally homogeneous and contain no detectable mineral inclusions except local ilmenite lamellae and zircon. Crystallization temperatures of the rutile are estimated at ~640°C at 0.7 GPa, and ~647°C without pressure calibration according to the Zr-in-rutile thermometer, recording amphibolite facies metamorphism of an intermediate P/T ratio series. Variations in Nb versus Cr in rutiles indicate a connection of the ores to mafic protolith; not a pelitic rock derived from aluminous sedimentary rocks. SIMS U-Pb analyses of rutiles from the deposit yield a mean 207Pb/207Pb age of 1780.2 ± 9.6 Ma. Considering the closure temperature (up to ~650°C), grain sizes and recrystallization of the rutile, this age is more likely to represent closure and/or recrystallization time rather than peak metamorphism period, so the rutile deposit formed not younger than ~1780 Ma. This unique garnet-free rutile deposit was metamorphosed from mafic rocks in amphibolite facies during the Paleoproterozoic or Archean, being distinct from any other metamorphic rutile deposits, such as the known eclogite-related types.

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