Uranium mineralization in the muscovite-rich granites of the Shalatin region, Southeastern Desert, Egypt

Research paper by Gehad M. Saleh

Indexed on: 01 Jan '06Published on: 01 Jan '06Published in: Chinese Journal of Geochemistry


The younger granitoids of the Shalatin district in the Southeastern Desert of Egypt, are of biotite and two-mica granite compositions. The geochemistry of rare-earth elements (REE), yttrium, thorium and uranium forms the basis for many important methods to reconstruct igneous petrogenesis. Since the recognition that REE, Y, Th, U-rich accessories may play an important role in controlling the geochemistry of crustal melts, a considerable amount of work has been done in an attempt to understand their effects. However, this effort has been almost exclusively focused on three minerals: zircon, monazite and apatite. Nevertheless, the variety of REE-Th-U-rich accessories in granite rocks are neither limited to these three minerals nor are they always the main REE, Y, Th carriers. The geochemistry of REE, Y, Th and U reflects the behavior of accessories and some key major minerals such as garnet and feldspars, and may therefore give valuable information about the conditions of partial melting, melt segregation and crystallization of granite magmas in different crustal regimes. The geochemistry of U and Th during magmatic differentiation has been studied in many granites from different areas and it has been known that the U and Th contents of granitic rocks generally increase during differentiation, although in some cases they decrease. The Th/U ratio can either increase or decrease, depending on redox conditions, the volatile content or alteration by endogene or supergene solutions. The accessory assemblage of muscovite-rich granites and high-grade rocks is composed of monazite, xenotime, apatite, Th-orthosilicate, secondary U-mineralization and betafite-pyrochlore. REE, Y, Th and U are not suitable for geochemical modeling of granitoids by means of equilibrium-based trace element fractionation equations, but are still useful petrogenetic tools.