The Use of Rare Earth Elements Patterns in the Exploration of Massive Sulphide Ores, Ariab Area, Red Sea Hills, NE Sudan

  • Samia IbrahimEmail author
  • Elshiek Mohammed
  • Murad Ali
Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)


The Rare Earth Elements study relevant to the Ariab massive sulphides has illustrated the persistence of a positive Europium (Eu) anomaly conserved when massive sulphides appear to be subjected to greenschist grade of metamorphism and supergene weathering. The positive Eu anomaly, as detected in the Ariab gossans, are considered as a product of supergene weathering of massive sulphides, displaying a similar positive Europium anomaly. Positive Europium anomalies, as detected in the hydrothermally altered schists and gossans, can be used as a guide for massive sulphide-ore discoveries. Such an ossanization process has led to a complete consumption of ore metals Cu and Zn from the gossan, which makes the conservation of the positive Eu anomaly stand as a good sign of massive sulphide gossan. In hydrothermally altered schists, this positive anomaly is also a sign of the influence of an intense hydrothermal metal-bearing sulphide system. A clear correlation between Eud and Pb has been established in the massive sulphide ores. The observed REE patterns of the Ariab mineral district rocks have their explanation in an input of hydrothermal solutions noticeable in the chemical sedimentation site. The characterizing REE pattern and consistent stratigraphic positioning of the chemical sediment zones have led to a sequence of events detected within the hydrothermal system. It started with the alteration of volcanic glass and ferromagnesian minerals, resulting in the release of Cu and Fe into the solution forming the Cu-rich sulphide. Then, the alteration of feldspar with very concentrated brine proved to enrich the solution in Pb, Zn, Ba, and heavy REE, forming silica barite. Finally, the continuous removal of Fe from the volcanic rocks without any noticeable alteration in the large amount of the solid phases proves to result in the formation of an iron cape.


Rare earth elements Massive sulphides Ariab area Europium (Eu) 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of KhartoumKhartoumSudan
  2. 2.Ministry of Minerals, Geological Research Authority of the Sudan & al Neelain University Faculty of Petroleum and MineralsKhartoumSudan
  3. 3.Department of GeologyUniversity of TaizTaizYemen

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