Zircons and granite metallogeny

N.J. Gardiner, C.J. Hawkesworth, L.J. Robb, A.I.S. Kemp, H. Delavault, B. Dhuime

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterOtherpeer-review


A global supply shortage of a number of key metals is forecast over the next few decades. There have been considerable advances in the application of in situ isotope and trace element analyses of accessory phases instudies of magmatic processes, and in this study we evaluate uses of the mineral zircon in selected mineralised systems. Zircons are widely used because they yield precise ages, their trace element contents can be linked to processes of magma differentiation and mineralisation, and they contain inclusions of minerals that further constrain the composition of the parental magmas. There are links between fO2 and degree of fractionation of magmas associated with different types of mineralisation, and a key question remains over the extent to which these can be evaluated from zircons, specifically within their rare earth element (REE) signatures. There are concerns that in some systems zircon is such a late stage mineral that it only records the composition of the last remnants of residual magma. However, the strong negative correlation of whole rock Rb/Sr and average Eu/Eu* of zircons from I- and S-type granites from the Lachlan Fold Belt, highlight that the zircon data can be used as a measure of the degree of fractionation of the whole rocks, at least in these systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58
Number of pages1
JournalApplied Earth Science: Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy: Section B
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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