Alkaline Rocks and Carbonatites of the World

Setup during HiTech AlkCarb: an online database of alkaline rock and carbonatite occurrences

Ririwai (Liruei)


Occurrence number: 
Longitude: 8.73, Latitude: 10.73

Ririwai is one of the most studied of the Nigerian ring-complexes with an extensive literature on the geology, petrology and mineralization. The complex of 17x16 km forms an isolated massif rising to over 500 m above the surrounding plains and with steep outer slopes against a ring-dyke of porphyritic fayalite granite. About half of the complex is composed of volcanic rocks, the rest of peralkaline and biotite granites. The volcanics are the earlier and were divided by Jacobson and MacLeod (1977) into an early extrusive group, including rhyolites, tuffs, breccias and basalts, and an early intrusive group which includes further rhyolites, tuffs and basalts together with vent agglomerates and explosion breccias; a late intrusive volcanic phase comprises quartz-pyroxene-fayalite porphyry, rhyolites and breccias. The early basalts are not voluminous and much altered but appear to be a series from alkali olivine basalt through hawaiite to mugearite. The rhyolitic rocks include a high proportion of ignimbrites with varying degrees of welding and of peralkalinity. The development of aegirine and arfvedsonite is assumed by most researchers to be a primary magmatic feature but Kinnaird et al. (1985) argue that it is a subsolidus mineralogy related to late fluid phases. Occasional areas of compact aphyric rocks may be lavas or examples of extreme welding and compaction. Three major volcanic vents have been preserved within the complex the largest of which, Dutsen Shetu, has a crude annular structure and concentrically disposed vent agglomerates and other rocks around a central fayalite porphyry plug. A general succession of 19 units in the northwestern part of the complex is described in some detail by Jacobson and MacLeod (1977) with similar accounts for other areas of extrusive volcanics within the complex, while the intrusive volcanic rocks, which are centred on three complexes, are similarly described in detail. The volcanic rocks are probably preserved because of development of a caldera, a plutonic phase being initiated by emplacement of a granite porphyry ring-dyke along the outer margin of which is a major ring-fault. The ring-dyke has been truncated by later intrusions of granite and in the southwest it is narrow and discontinuous. The rock consists of quartz, alkali feldspar, fayalite, ferrohedenbergite - aegirine-hedenbergite, ferrorichterite, aenigmatite, Fe-Ti oxides and accessories including allanite and fluorite. Three areas of peralkaline granite are located in the southeast of the complex. A small intrusion cutting the ring-dyke comprises phenocrysts of perthite and quartz in a groundmass of alkali feldspar and quartz, often graphically intergrown, and prisms of arfvedsonite. The largest late granite contains aegirine and arfvedsonite and accessories including astrophyllite, aenigmatite and fluorite. In the third granite, known as the Kaffo Valley albite-riebeckite granite, aegirine is subordinate to, and generally enclosed by, lithian arfvedsonite with accessories including cryolite, thomsenolite, astrophyllite, topaz and uraniferous pyrochlore. A large biotite granite covering some 30 km2 occupies the central area of the complex and is itself cut by small bodies of biotite granite and microgranite. Accessories of these granites include fluorite, columbite, xenotime and thorite, and the roof area of the granite has been extensively altered by late stage magmatic and post-magmatic fluid processes (Kinnaird et al., 1985; Kinnaird, 1985). Subsolidus episodes of albitization that accompany columbite mineralization of the biotite granites are described by Martin and Bowden (1981) and detailed descriptions, with numerous analyses, of thorite and coffinite, both of which are exceptionally rich in Zr, are given by Pointer et al. (1988) and of zircon in the same rocks by Pointer et al. (1989). The fullest account of the geology and some analyses of the main rock types and of mica, aenigmatite and aegirine will be found in Jacobson and MacLeod (1977). Analyses of amphiboles will be found in Borley (1963), other mafic minerals in Borley (1976a) and aenigmatite in Borley (1976b). Fadipe (1987) gives a partial analysis of pyrochlore. The fullest chemical and mineralogical data are in Kinnaird et al. (1985), including REE and other trace elements for rocks and analyses of columbite. The geochemistry of the granites, with particular reference to their mineralization and ore-bearing potential, has been studied by Ekwere and Olade (1984), while Ekwere (1985) considers the same topics in the light of Li, F, Rb, Ba and Sr data. Analyses for U and Th in numerous granites and some volcanic rocks are presented by Bowden et al. (1981) and REE data by Bowden et al. (1979); Rb-Sr isotopic data are to be found in van Breemen et al. (1975). Pb, Sr and Nd isotope analyses are given for three granites by Dickin et al. (1991). The chemistry of the Kaffo Valley granite has been investigated by Orajaka (1986). A gravity survey over Ririwai is described by Ajakaiye (1968).

Alluvial cassiterite and columbite have been worked since the early years of the century. A series of quartz veins and associated greisens extends for 5 km across the centre of the main biotite granite and is known as the Ririwai Lode (Liruei in earlier publications). Although sphalerite is the principal ore mineral the lode has only been worked for cassiterite and wolframite. Underground workings were opened up in the 1970's (Kinnaird et al., 1985). Occasional crystals of beryl occur and genthelvite is locally abundant in some small tin veins (Jacobson and MacLeod, 1977)
Rb-Sr determinations on arfvedsonite-fayalite granite porphyry and riebeckite-arfvedsonite granite gave an isochron age of 175±5 Ma, on albite-riebeckite granite 176±5 Ma and on biotite granite 171±2 Ma (van Breemen et al., 1975).
AJAKAIYE, D.E. 1968. A gravity interpretation of the Liruei younger granite complex of northern Nigeria. Geological Magazine, 105: 256-63.Mineral Resources, 61: 1-65.BORLEY, G.D. 1963. Amphiboles from the Younger Granites of Nigeria. Part 1. Chemical classification. Mineralogical Magazine, 33: 358-76.BORLEY, G.D. 1976a. Ferromagnesian mineralogy and temperatures of formation of the Younger Granites of Nigeria. In C.A. Kogbe (ed) Geology of Nigeria, 159-76. Elizabethan Publishing, Lagos.BORLEY, G.D. 1976b. Aenigmatite from an aegirine-riebeckite granite, Liruei complex, Nigeria. Mineralogical Magazine, 40: 595-8.BOWDEN, P., BENNETT, J.N., WHITLEY, J.E. and MOYES, A.B. 1979. Rare earths in Nigerian Mesozoic granites and related rocks. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 11: 479-91.BOWDEN, P., BENNETT, J.N., KINNAIRD, J.A., WHITLEY, J.E., ABAA, S.I. and HADZIGEORGIOU-STAVRAKIS, P.K. 1981. Uranium in the Niger-Nigeria Younger Granite province. Mineralogical Magazine, 44: 379-89. DICKIN, A.P., HALLIDAY, A.N. and BOWDEN, P. 1991. A Pb, Sr and Nd isotope study of the basement and Mesozoic ring complexes of the Jos Plateau, Nigeria. Chemical Geology (Isotope Geoscience Section), 94: 23-32.EKWERE, S.J. 1985. Li, F and Rb contents and Ba/Rb and Rb/Sr ratios as indicators of postmagmatic alteration and mineralization in the granitic rocks of the Banke and Ririwai Younger Granite complexes, northern Nigeria. Mineralium Deposita, 20: 89-93.EKWERE, S.J. and OLADE, M.A. 1984. Geochemistry of the tin-niobium-bearing granites of the Liruei (Ririwai) complex, Younger Granite province, Nigeria. Chemical Geology, 45: 225-43.FADIPE, A.A. 1987. The chemical composition of niobotantalites from the granite pegmatites and alkali granites of Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Science, 21: 124-31.JACOBSON, R.R.E. and MACLEOD, W.N. 1977. Geology of the Liruei, Banke and adjacent younger granite ring-complexes. Bulletin, Geological Survey of Nigeria, 33: 1-117.KINNAIRD, J.A. 1985. Hydrothermal alteration and mineralization of the alkaline anorogenic ring complexes of Nigeria. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 3: 229-51.KINNAIRD, J.A., BOWDEN, P., IXER, R.A. and ODLING, N.W.A. 1985. Mineralogy, geochemistry and mineralization of the Ririwai complex, northern Nigeria. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 3: 185-222.MARTIN, R.F. and BOWDEN, P. 1981. Peraluminous granites produced by rock-fluid interaction in the Ririwai nonorogenic ring-complex, Nigeria: mineralogical evidence. Canadian Mineralogist, 19: 65-82.ORAJAKA, I.P. 1986. Geochemistry of Kaffo Valley albite-riebeckite-granite, Lirwuei granite ring-complex, northern Nigeria. Chemical Geology, 56: 85-92.POINTER, C.M., ASHWORTH, J.R. and IXER, R.A. 1988. The zircon-thorite mineral group in metasomatized granite, Ririwai, Nigeria. 1. Geochemistry and metastable solid solution of thorite and coffinite. Mineralogy and Petrology, 38: 245-62.POINTER, C.M., ASHWORTH, J.R. and IXER, R.A. 1989. The zircon-thorite mineral group in metasomatized granite, Ririwai, Nigeria. 2. Zoning, alteration and exsolution in zircon. Mineralogy and Petrology, 39: 21-37.VAN BREEMEN, O., HUTCHINSON, J. and BOWDEN, P. 1975. Age and origin of the Nigerian Mesozoic granites: a Rb-Sr isotopic study. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 50: 157-72.
Fig. 3_225 Ririwai (after Kinnaird, 1981).
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