Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 89, Issue 3–4, pp 133–158 | Cite as

The origin of rutile-ilmenite aggregates (“nigrine”) in alluvial-fluvial placers of the Hagendorf pegmatite province, NE Bavaria, Germany

  • H. G. Dill
  • F. Melcher
  • M. Füßl
  • B. Weber


Titanium placer deposits occur in alluvial-fluvial drainage systems which dissect Moldanubian gneisses intruded by Late Variscan pegmatites (Hagendorf province) in southern Germany. Based upon their texture (zonation, exsolution lamellae, intergrowth), microchemical data (Nb, Cr, Ta, V, Fe, W, Sn) and mineral inclusions, two major grain types of intergrown rutile and ilmenite have been established. Grains of type A are always zoned and consist of rutile cores enveloped by ilmenite containing small inclusions of wolframite. A core-rim transition zone is characterized by complex relations of rutile and ilmenite, with rutile lamellae being rich in Nb, V and Fe. Types B1 and B2 aggregates consist of ilmenite with lamellae of niobian rutile and/or ilmenorutile, and additionally have inclusions of ferrocolumbite, pyrochlore, betafite, sphalerite, pyrrhotite and Fe oxides. Such grain types featuring an intimate intergrowth of rutile and ilmenite were called nigrine. Type-C grains are quite similar in their morphological appearance but consist of W-enriched rutile devoid of mineral inclusions and reaction products. Pseudorutile and leucoxene replacing minerals of the nigrine aggregates are presumably caused by supergene alteration under fluctuating redox conditions. Phosphate and aluminum remobilized by supergene processes led to the formation of hydrous Ti-rich phases containing Al, P and Fe. High Nb and W concentrations in nigrine aggregates and in rutile type C may be taken as a marker for highly differentiated granites or pegmatites. This has implications for both, heavy-mineral-based provenance analysis and stream sediment exploration.


Rutile Quartz Vein Heavy Mineral Mineral Inclusion Placer Deposit 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. G. Dill
    • 1
  • F. Melcher
    • 1
  • M. Füßl
    • 1
  • B. Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural ResourcesHannoverGermany

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