Geochemical Characterization and Economic Potential of Emure and Ijero Ekiti Pegmatites in Southwest Nigeria
Global demand increase for rare metals deposits has re-enacted the search for economically viable deposits. Precambrian pegmatites occurring as near dykes and massive types were studied for Emure-Ekiti and Ijero-Ekiti respectively, with the aim of characterizing them geochemically and determining their possible economics values. A total of twelve samples comprising seven from Emure-Ekiti, three whole rock muscovite extract for Ijero-Ekiti were analysed for major and trace elements using X-ray fluorescence method. Thin sections prepared for the Emure-Ekiti pegmatites show that quartz, microcline are major mineral constituents. The geochemical results reveals that the Emure-Ekiti and the whole rock samples of Ijero-Ekiti are considerably siliceous, with an average value of 68.72% and 68.6% respectively, while the muscovites extracts average 48.86%. Mean values of major oxides for the Emure, Ijero[whole rock, muscovite] are as follows; Al2O3 - 20.42%, [13.74%, 35.15%]; Fe2O3 - 1.83%, [1.24%, 2.19%]; MgO - 0.013%, [0.029%, 1.04%]; CaO - 0.02%, [0.34%, 2.4%]; Na2O – 1.01%, [4.40%, 1.045%]; K2O – 3.17%, [2.77%, 11.07%]. Trace and rare-earth elements result shows that the Emure-Ekiti pegmatites is “barren” – depleted in rare metals Ta, Nb, Cs, Sn, Rb, etc, and compare favourably with Apomu, Ago-Iwoye and Ijebu-Ife barren pegmatites. On the other hand, two of the whole rock samples are mineralized – fairly enriched in rare metals Ta, Nb, Rb while the remaining sample and the muscovite extract are barren; as depicted by the Rb vs Rb plot and when compared to the other rare metal pegmatites across the world.