Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 90, Issue 3–4, pp 223–248 | Cite as

New evidence from a calcite-dolomite carbonatite dyke for the magmatic origin of the massive Bayan Obo ore-bearing dolomite marble, Inner Mongolia, China

  • M. J. Le Bas
  • Y. Xueming
  • R. N. Taylor
  • B. Spiro
  • J. A. Milton
  • Z. Peishan


New data on Sr and Nd isotope composition and major and trace element distribution in dolomite-calcite carbonatite dykes at Bayan Obo are provided, and a Mid-Proterozoic age is deduced. The dykes and the neighbouring massive dolomite (H8) body have similar geochemical characteristics, interpreted to indicate a carbonatitic magmatic origin. The occurrence of riebeckite-bearing fenitized quartzites marginal to both dykes and H8 dolomite body, and the presence of xenoliths in the latter, supports this conclusion. Taken together with previously published stable isotope data, these data confirm a mantle-derived origin for the H8 body.

The oxygen isotope composition of the dolomite and magnetite in the dykes is lower than that in the fine-grained dolomite. Oxygen data from samples of the coarse-grained dolomite host are either similar to the dykes or to the fine-grained type in agreement with their other geochemical characteristics. The carbonate-magnetite thermometric pairs of the fine-grained dolomite indicate a range of 350–540 °C, which is probably lower than that of the original main magmatic emplacement. This supports the distinction made between the original coarse-grained dolomite marble and dyke composition from the later fine-grained dolomite.

Thus the large H8 dolomite is interpreted as a carbonatite intrusion that contains wall-rock xenoliths and caused fenitization of the hanging wall, foot wall and the xenoliths, and that the coarse-grained portions of the H8 marble are those portions that, in the Late Proterozoic to Palaeozoic, escaped recrystallization to fine-grained dolomite and subsequent REE-Fe mineralization.


Magnetite Dolomite Apatite Contrib Mineral Petrol Trace Element Distribution 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Le Bas
    • 1
  • Y. Xueming
    • 2
  • R. N. Taylor
    • 3
  • B. Spiro
    • 4
  • J. A. Milton
    • 3
  • Z. Peishan
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  2. 2.INCO Exploration, Copper CliffCanada
  3. 3.National Oceanography CentreUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  4. 4.Department of MineralogyNatural History MuseumLondonUK
  5. 5.Institute of GeologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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