Neoproterozoic 'anomalous' kimberlites of Guaniamo, Venezuela: mica kimberlites of 'isotopic transitional' type

Felix V. Kaminsky*, Sergei M. Sablukov, Ludmila I. Sablukova, Dominic M De R Channer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


In Venezuela, kimberlites have so far only been found in the Guaniamo region, where they occur as high diamond grade sheets in massive to steeply foliated Paleoproterozoic granitoid rocks. The emplacement age of the Guaniamo kimberlites is 712±6 Ma, i.e., Neoproterozoic. The Guaniamo kimberlites contain a high abundance of mantle minerals, with greater than 30% olivine macrocrysts. The principal kimberlite indicator minerals found are pyrope garnet and chromian spinel, with the overwhelming majority of the garnets being of the peridotite association. Chrome-diopside is rare, and picroilmenite is uncommon. Chemically, the Guaniamo kimberlites are characterized by high MgO contents, with low Al2O3 and TiO2 contents and higher than average FeO and K2O contents. These rocks have above average Ni, Cr, Co, Th, Nb, Ta, Sr and LREE concentrations and very low P, Y and, particularly, Zr and Hf contents. The Nb/Zr ratio is very distinctive and is similar to that of the Aries, Australia kimberlite. The Guaniamo kimberlites are similar in petrography, mineralogy and mantle mineral content to ilmenite-free Group 2 mica kimberlites of South Africa. The Nd-Sr isotopic characteristics of Guaniamo kimberlites are distinct from both kimberlite Group 1 and Group 2, being more similar to transitional type kimberlites, and in particular to diamondiferous kimberlites of the Arkhangelsk Diamond Province, Russia. The Guaniamo kimberlites form part of a compositional spectrum between other standard kimberlite reference groups. They formed from metasomatised subcontinental lithospheric mantle and it is likely that subduction of oceanic crust was the source of this metasomatised material, and also of the eclogitic component, which is dominant in Guaniamo diamonds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-590
Number of pages26
Issue number1-4 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Geochemistry
  • Isotopes
  • Kimberlite
  • Mineralogy
  • Neoproterozoic
  • Pyrope
  • Venezuela


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