The Western Balkan lithium-boron metallogenic zone can be traced for 1500 km, extending subparallel to the Sava-Vardar and Western Vardar zones toward its Turkish counterpart, the Izmir-Ankara-Erzincan zone. Common features are: (1) lithium-boron mineralization is hosted in Lower-Middle Miocene extensional lacustrine basins; (2) lacustrine series consisting of fine-grained siliciclastic sediments and scarce evaporites with intercalations of volcaniclastics, tuff, or travertine indicating syndepositional volcanic activity; (3) lacustrine basins that are usually normal-fault-controlled extensional grabens, with the fault system probably acting as a major fluid pathway; (4) northernmost sodium borate/borosilicate deposits (Jadar, Valjevo, Rekovac; with jadarite, borax, probertite, searlesite) gradually transition to calcium borate deposits southward (Jarandol-Piskanja, Pobrđe; with colemanite ± ulexite); (5) Oligocene/Miocene granitic rocks from the westernmost part of the zone host pegmatite and greisen occurrences with surface lithium anomalies of 0.02–0.08 wt% Li2O extending for several km2; (6) igneous Li enrichment by fractionation processes is indicated for some younger (?Early/mid-Miocene) peraluminous granite plutons; (7) the formation of the lacustrine basins and associated Li-B mineralization was contemporaneous with the emplacement of the younger phase of Li-bearing granitic intrusions and exhumation of metamorphic core complexes which provided the large-scale heat flow for hydrothermal systems and syngenetic Li-B mineralization.
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The authors are grateful to Prof. Elvir Babajić from University of Tuzla, alongside Ana Anzulović, Lucia Hergotić, Lucija Asić, and Magdalena Mirt from University of Zagreb Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering, for support during field work, sample preparation, and laboratory analysis. Constructive review of Vladica Cvetković and Bernd Lehmann significantly improved the original version of the manuscript.
This work has been funded by the EIT RawMaterials project 18036 iTARG3T — Innovative targeting and processing of W-Sn-Ta-Li ores: towards EU’s self-supply, and by the Virtulab project (KK.01.1.1.02.0022), co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
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Borojević Šoštarić, S., Brenko, T. The Miocene Western Balkan lithium-boron metallogenic zone. Miner Deposita 58, 639–658 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00126-022-01151-x
- Lithium-boron mineralization
- Extensional setting
- Li-bearing granitic rocks
- Miocene lacustrine basins
- Sava-Vardar zone
- Izmir-Ankara-Erzincan zone