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Research articles

ScienceAsia 50 (2024):ID 2024040 1-11 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2024.040

Characteristics of rare earth minerals in greisen and skarn Sn deposits at Ban Khao area, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand

Bussayawan Sukbunjonga, Ladda Tangwattananukula,*

ABSTRACT:     Rare earth mineralization in Thailand occurs related to Sn deposits in many provinces including Kanchanaburi, Ranong, and Phuket. Kanchanaburi is one of the large Sn mineralization provinces, which contains the Jarin Sn mine in Ban Khao. The geology of the Ban Khao area comprises limestone, sandstone, and mudstone from Ordovician to Permian, intruded by Cretaceous granites, which are associated with greisenization and skarn Sn deposits. This paper clarifies the hydrothermal alterations related to the rare earth element (REE) mineralization in the greisen and skarn at the Ban Khao area, Kanchanaburi Province based on their rare earth mineral characteristics, mineral assemblages in the veins, and the hydrothermal alteration of granite and skarn. The geology of the Huai Heang area comprises tourmaline-biotite granite and aplite. These rocks are associated with the quartz-zinnwaldite-muscovitecassiterite-tourmaline and quartz veins which contain greisenization Sn deposits. Monazite and xenotime are present as accessory minerals in the tourmaline-biotite granite and aplite in the Huai Heang and Khao Phu I Kang areas. In contrast, thorite, euxenite, columbite, and britholite occur in the strongly altered tourmaline-biotite granite and the quartz-zinnwaldite-muscovite-cassiterite-tourmaline vein of greisen Sn deposit in the Huai Heang area. Monazite contains high concentrations of light rare earth elements (LREEs) (Ce2O3 , La2O3 , and Nd2O3 ). Xenotime contains heavy rare earth elements (HREEs) (Y2O3 , Gd2O3 , and Dy2O3 ). Thorite, euxenite, and columbite are major HREE minerals, whereas britholite, occurring in fractures of apatite, contains both LREEs and HREEs. These rare earth minerals were formed by hydrothermal activities that caused greisenization and Sn mineralization in the strongly altered tourmalinebiotite granite.

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a Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900 Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: fscildt@ku.ac.th

Received 7 Jul 2023, Accepted 27 Dec 2023