Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences




The Permian Kanigorgeh bauxite horizon is one of the typical titanium-rich bauxite deposits in the northeast of Bukan, West Azerbaijan Province, NW Iran. It is a part of the Irano-Himalayan karst bauxite belt and was developed as discontinuous stratified layers and lenses in Upper Permian carbonates. Mineralogically, diaspore and kaolinite are 2 major mineral phases accompanied by boehmite, smectite, illite, rutile, anatase, hematite, goethite, chlorite, quartz, and plagioclase as minor phases. Geochemical considerations for a selected profile indicate that the concentration values of rare earth elements (REEs) in the bauxite ores range from 8.9 to 200.4 ppm. Eu and Ce anomalies show varying values within the range 0.42-0.65 and 0.12-3.23, respectively. On the basis of Ce behavior, the studied profile can be divided into 2 parts by redox boundary. The most pronounced geochemical characteristics of the studied profile are the occurrences of positive Ce anomalies in the ores of low REE content in the upper part of the profile and negative Ce anomalies in the ores of high REE content in the lower part of the profile. The occurrence of positive and negative Ce anomalies are due to the change of oxidation state of Ce (from Ce^{3+} to Ce^{4+}) in the upper part and the complexing of Ce^{4+} with carbonate ligands in the lower part of the profile. The concordance of the analytical values of Na and Ca with those of Eu revealed that the degree of plagioclase alteration is the most important controlling factor for Eu anomalies in the ores. The obtained results revealed that the variations in the chemistry of weathering solutions (e.g., pH), function of carbonate bedrocks as a geochemical barrier, and discrepancy in degree of stability of lanthanide-bearing primary minerals are the major factors influencing the mobilization, distribution, and fractionation of REEs. The correlation coefficients among elements suggest that Mn-oxides are the principal hosts for REEs in the ores at Kanigorgeh.

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