A Petrological Investigation of the Host Rocks for the Kuj-Kiirunavaara Ore
Sammanfattning: The Kiirunavaara mine hosts one of the world’s largest apatite-iron ore mineralisations. This ore body has been subject to large amounts of research as well as extensive mining. The ore body is situated between the syenitic foot wall and the rhyodacitic hanging wall, of which consists of differing mineralogy and characteristics. Both these rock masses contain intrusive porphyry dykes, with distinct characteristics of it own. The aim of this study was to analyse 31 samples, mainly in the form of thin sections, and determine the mineralogy and identify eventual microstructures. This was done through the use of optical mineralogy as well as EDS/WDS analysis at the National Microprobe Lab at Uppsala University. The foot wall consists of syenite-porphyry and is dominated by feldspar in both groundmass as well as phenocrysts. Characteristic for the syenite-porphyry is the rounded nodules containing actinolite, titanite, magnetite and chlorite. The hanging wall is defined as quartz-bearing porphyry. It is a rhyodacitic rock with large amounts of feldspar along with green silicates, quartz, titanite and calcite. The intrusive porphyry dyke-rocks share many similarities with the quartz-bearing porphyry, but contain a finer groundmass with larger amounts of clinopyroxene, as well as lower amounts of quartz, magnetite and titanite. Hydrothermal alteration is prevalent in all the types of rock. Alteration minerals such as actinolite, biotite and chlorite are very common within the Kiirunavaara-rocks. The quartz-bearing porphyry displays the most extensive exposure to hydrothermal fluids. The hydrothermal fluids have penetrated several samples, replacing minerals and leaving very few remnant, older minerals. The quartz-bearing porphyry contains the most prominent deformation structures, of varying extent and magnitude. Magmatic flow structures can be seen in the groundmass, as parallel alignment of feldspar and silicate grains. Evidence of solid-state deformation most commonly occurs as pressure shadows around feldspar phenocrysts.
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