Trace-element geochemistry and U-Pb dating of perovskite in kimberlites of the Lunda Norte province (NE Angola): petrogenetic and tectonic implications

Montgarri Castillo-Oliver*, Salvador Galí, Joan Carles Melgarejo, William L. Griffin, Elena Belousova, Norman J. Pearson, Manuel Watangua, Suzanne Y. O'Reilly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Perovskite (CaTiO3) has become a very useful mineral for dating kimberlite eruptions, as well as for constraining the compositional evolution of a kimberlitic magma and its source. Despite the undeniable potential of such an approach, no similar study had been done in Angola, the fourth largest diamond producer in Africa. Here we present the first work of in situ U-Pb geochronology and Sr-Nd isotope analyses of perovskite in six Angolan kimberlites, supported by a detailed petrographic and geochemical study of their perovskite populations. Four types of perovskite were identified, differing in texture, major- and trace-element composition, zoning patterns, type of alteration and the presence or absence of inclusions. Primary groundmass perovskite is classified either as anhedral, Na-, Nb- and LREE-poor perovskite (Ia); or euhedral, strongly zoned, Na-, Nb- and LREE-rich perovskite (Ib). Secondary perovskite occurs as reaction rims on ilmenite (IIa) or as high Nb (up to 10.6 wt% Nb2O5) perovskite rims on primary perovskite (IIb). The occurrence of these four types within the Mulepe kimberlites is interpreted as an evidence of a complex, multi-stage process that involved mingling of compositionally different melts.U-Pb dating of these perovskites yielded Lower Cretaceous ages for four of the studied kimberlites: Mulepe 1 (116.2 ± 6.5 Ma), Mulepe 2 (123.0 ± 3.6 Ma), Calonda (119.5 ± 4.3 Ma) and Cat115 (133 ± 10 Ma). Kimberlite magmatism occurred in NE Angola likely due to reactivation of deep-seated translithospheric faults (>. 300 km) during the break-up of Gondwana. Sr-Nd isotope analyses of four of these kimberlites indicate that they are Group I kimberlites, which is consistent with the petrological observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-134
Number of pages17
JournalChemical Geology
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2016


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