The characteristics and origin of the Hoidas Lake REE Deposit
The Hoidas Lake Rare Earth Element (REE) Deposit is one of several REE showings which are spatially associated with a regional-scale fault system that cuts through the Rae Province in northern Saskatchewan. The showings occur along the Hoidas-Nisikkatch fault, believed to be a subsidiary of the Black Bay Fault, and consist of multiple REE-enriched veins. Surface outcrops and drilling have delineated a vein system, called the JAK zone, which extends for over 1 km along strike, with the system remaining open both along strike and down dip. The majority of the REE are hosted by fluorapatite and allanite-(Ce), although there are also minor amounts of monazite, bastnaesite and chevkinite which can contain significant concentrations of REE. The veins are dominantly LREE-enriched, specifically La, Ce, and Nd. The mineralization at Hoidas Lake is complex, with the chemical and mineralogical compositions changing with each vein generation. The earliest veins consist of REE-bearing allanite and chevkinite which occur in association with clinopyroxene, titanite, and hyalophane. The allanite-rich veins are followed by veins dominated by red or green apatite, both of which are typically brecciated. Finally, there is a late apatite which crosscuts all previous vein generations. Each of the distinct apatite generations shows discrete chemical variations, particularly in their light rare earth element content, with the total rare earth oxide content ranging from approximately 1.5% in the oldest apatite to as much as 5% in the green apatite. The majority of the apatite and allanite crystals are strongly zoned, reflecting the chemical changes in the mineralizing system through time and, particularly in the earliest vein generations, there are signs of hydrothermal alteration. The early apatite generations typically show the development of monazite inclusions which suggests interaction with hydrothermal fluids, as do the REE-poor rims and bastnaesite alteration observed in the majority of the allanites. The veins are fault controlled and are interpreted to be late magmatic- hydrothermal in origin, with the fluid derived from a magmatic source at depth. Although the exact source of the fluids remains uncertain, the high concentration of REE, as well as Sr and Ba, and a relative depletion in high field strength elements suggests that the mineralization may be related to either an alkali or carbonatitic source.
Allanite, Apatite, Rare Earth Elements
Master of Science (M.Sc.)