Ilmenite as a recorder of kimberlite history from mantle to surface: examples from Indian kimberlites

Jingyao Xu*, Joan Carles Melgarejo, Montgarri Castillo-Oliver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Five compositional-textural types of ilmenite can be distinguished in nine kimberlites from the Eastern Dharwar craton of southern India. These ilmenite generations record different processes in kimberlite history, from mantle to surface. A first generation of Mg-rich ilmenite (type 1) was produced by metasomatic processes in the mantle before the emplacement of the kimberlite. It is found as xenolithic polycrystalline ilmenite aggregates as well as megacrysts and macrocrysts. All of these ilmenite forms may disaggregate within the kimberlite. Due to the interaction with low-viscosity kimberlitic magma replacement of pre-existing type 1 ilmenite by a succeeding generation of geikielite (type 2) along grain boundaries and cracks occurs. Another generation of Mg-rich ilmenite maybe produced by exsolution processes (type 3 ilmenite). Although the identity of the host mineral is unclear due to extensive alteration and possibility includes enstatite. Type 4 Mn-rich ilmenite is produced before the crystallization of groundmass perovskite and ulvöspinel. It usually mantles ilmenite and other Ti-rich minerals. Type 5 Mn-rich ilmenite is produced after the crystallization of the groundmass minerals and replaces them. The contents of Cr and Nb in type 2, 4 and 5 ilmenites are highly dependent on the composition of the replaced minerals, they may not be a good argument in exploration. The highest Mg contents are recorded in metasomatic ilmenite that is produced during kimberlite emplacement, and cannot be associated with diamond formation. The higher Mn contents are linked to magmatic processes and also late processes clearly produced after the crystallization of the kimberlite groundmass, and therefore ilmenite with high Mn contents cannot be considered as a reliable diamond indicator mineral (DIM) and kimberlite indicator mineral (KIM).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-581
Number of pages13
JournalMineralogy and Petrology
Issue numberSuppl. 2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
EventInternational Kimberlite Conference (11th : 2017) - Gaborone, Botswana
Duration: 18 Sep 201722 Sep 2017
Conference number: 11th


  • Magnesian ilmenite
  • Manganoan ilmenite
  • Geikielite
  • Kimberlite
  • India


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