Nyerereite and nahcolite inclusions in diamond: Evidence for lower-mantle carbonatitic magmas

F. Kaminsky*, R. Wirth, S. Matsyuk, A. Schreiber, R. Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


Nyerereite and nahcolite have been identified as micro- and nano-inclusions in diamond from the Juina area, Brazil. Alongside them are Sr- and Ba-bearing calcite minerals from the periclase-wüstite series, wollastonite II (high), Ca-rich garnet, spinels, olivine, phlogopite and apatite. Minerals of the periclase-wüstite series belong to two separate groups: wüstite and Mg-wüstite with Mg# = 1.9-15.3, and Fe-periclase and periclase with Mg# = 84.9-92.1. Wollastonite-II (high, with Ca:Si = 0.992) has a triclinic structure. Two types of spinel were distinguished among mineral inclusions in diamond: zoned magnesioferrite (with Mg# varying from 13.5-90.8, core to rim) and Fe spinel (magnetite). Olivine (Mg# = 93.6), intergrown with nyerereite, forms an elongate, lath-shaped crystal and most likely represents a retrograde transformation of ringwoodite or wadsleyite. All inclusions are composed of poly-mineralic solid mineral phases. Together with previously found halides, sulphates and other mineral inclusions in diamond from Juina, they form a carbonatitic-type mineral paragenesis in diamond which may have originated in the lower mantle and/or transition zone. Wüstite inclusions with Mg# = 1.9-3.4, according to experimental data, may have formed in the lowermost mantle. The source for the observed carbonatitic-type mineral association in diamond is lower-mantle natrocarbonatitic magma. This magma may represent a juvenile mantle melt, or be the result of low-degree partial melting of deeply-subducted carbonated oceanic crust. This magma was rich in volatiles, such as Cl, F and H, which played an important role in the formation of diamond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-816
Number of pages20
JournalMineralogical Magazine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbonates
  • Carbonatitic magma
  • Diamond
  • Halides
  • Inclusion
  • Lower mantle
  • Nahcolite
  • Nyerereite
  • Tem


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