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Economic Geology Vol. 89, 1994, pp.


Magmatic Features of Iron Oresof the KirunaType in ChileandSweden: Ore Textures andMagnetiteGeochemistry
Swedish Museum of NaturalHistory, S-10405 Stockholm, Sweden


Departamento deMinas, Universidad deSantiago, Casilla 10233, Satiago, Chile

Magnetitelavas andfeederdikesonthe flanks of the volcano El Lacoin the ChileanAndes are characterized by textures demonstrating rapidcrystal growthfromsupersaturated melts. Columnar magnetite, a conspicuous form of magnetite at El Lacowith occasional dendritic branching, hasbeen foundin two other apatiteiron provinces: the Cretaceous iron belt in Chile, a 600-km-long zonealongthe Pacific with about40 deposits, andthe EarlyProterozoic Kirunaore field in Sweden.Presence of columnar magnetite in an iron ore is suggested to be diagnostic of a magmatic origin.Platymagnetite, another dendriticformwidespread at Kiruna,alsooccurs at El Laco.Moreover,manyoresof the three provinces contain pyroxene or pseudomorphs afterit with dendritic morphology. The occurrence of similar rapid-growth textures in the investigated apatiteiron oresdemonstrates a similar originwith emplacement of ore magmas at or near the surface. In fact, existence of vesicular ore lavaandpyroclastic ore at Kiirunavaara shows that this depositis volcanic. A commonorigin of the oresis supported by similarcompositions of their magnetites. Analysis of ca. 50 concentrates from 17 deposits shows that the magnetites are very poor in Cr (<10 ppm)andrelativelyrich in V (ca.1,000-2,000 ppm);the Ti contentistypicallylow (ca.100-1,000 ppm,with occasional values up to 5,000 ppm).Common ranges (in ppm)for other elements are AI -- 200 to 1,500, Mg -- 500 to 2,000, Mn -- 200 to 900, Ni = 100 to 250, Co = 20 to 140, Zn = 50 to 120, andCu = 10 to 50. The magnetites fromE1LacoandKiruna are remarkably similar with the exception of Mg values whichareaboutfive timeshigherat El Laco(4,000-8,000 ppm).Magnetite in sedimentary oresappears to be significantly lower

ironoresthrough leaching of cooling plutons by latemagmatic (deuteric)fluidswasproposed by HildeAPATITE iron ores, also known as ores of the Kiruna brand(1986), M&nard (1986), andRuiz andPeebles (1975a,b, 1984, 1985) and type (Geijer, 1931), occurin manypartsof the world (1988). However,Parftk associated with volcanicrocks or high-level intru- severalearlier authors(see referencesin Frietsch, sions. They are usually composed of magnetite with 1978) havearguedthat the Kirunaoresare exhalai.e., precipitated aschemical sedivaryingamounts of apatiteandactinolite, andrange tive-sedimentary, in sizefrom large bodiescontaining manyhundred ments in a volcanic-marine environment. millionsof tonsof high-grade ore, to smalldikesand The principal evidence for a magmatic originisthe veinlets. The discussion of their originhasfocused on tabularor dikelikeshape of undeformed orebodies, of"ore breccia" (anetwork ofdikes and the Kiirunavaara deposit--the type locality--and thepresence veinletsof magnetitewith a structure other iron deposits in the Kiruna area of northern anastomosing Sweden. suggestive of forcefulinjection)at the contact with rocks whicharemagmatic, typically volcanic There are still widelydiverging opinions aboutthe thehost under continental conditions, and originof the apatite ironores, in spiteof a century of rocksdeposited studies of Kiirunavaara and the discovery of better the primaryore textures(Geijer, 1910, 1931, 1967; 1974;Frietsch, 1978, 1984; preserveddeposits of the Kiruna type elsewhere. Geijerand Odman, Many authorshave advocated a magmaticorigin, in- Lundberg and Smellie, 1979; Nystr/Sm, 1985; andHenrquez, volvingemplacement of volatile-richmagmas or de- Wright, 1986;Lyons,1988; Nystr/Sm positionfrom residualfluids.Amongthe processes 1989). The sedimentary evidence offered by ParS, k suggested are m..agmatic differentiation (Geijer, (1975a,b, 1984, 1985) for the Kirunaoresincludes 1910; Geijer andOdman,1974; Frietsch,1978) and structures like banding,gradedbedding,and crossliquid immiscibility(Lundbergand Smellie, 1979; bedding, features attributed to erosion (e.g., ore Weidner, 1982; Lyons,1988). Generation of apatite fragments in the hanging wall) and a continuous upIntroduction




82 ]

ward gradationfrom apatite iron ore into quartzbanded ore.The deuterichypothesis is mainlybased on the stronghydrothermalalterationassociated with some ChileanandCanadian deposits (Ruizet al., 1968; Hildebrand, 1986). Several attempts havebeenmadeto usethe chemicalcomposition of the Kirunaores or magnetite separated from them for geneticpurposes. Landergren

(1948), Hegemann and Albrecht(1954), Frietsch (1970), Partk (1975a,b), andLobergandHorndahl (1983) compared the geochemistry of the Kiruna oresandothertypesof irondeposits, but these studies were inconclusive becausethe magmatic reference material used for the comparisons (magnetite segregations and accessory or minor magnetitein

igneous rocks) is too different in character fromthe magnetite constituting the predominant phaseof apatite ironores. The discovery of lavaflows of massivemagnetite at the volcano E1Lacoin the Chilean Andes (Park, 1961; Henrquezand Martin, 1978) demonstrates that apatiteiron orescan form from melts,andprovides an opportunity to determine if the composition of the Kirunamagnetites is consistent with a magmatic origin. Here, we give the resultsof a comparative geo-

[]iron ore

alluvial & glacial

'[] hydrothermal alteration [] Pleistocene Qndesite J---1 El LacoQndesite


chemicalstudyof magnetitefrom E1 Laco, other belonging to a Pliocene-Recent volcanic arc(see Fig. 2 forlocawell-preserved deposits of the Kirunatypein Chile, tion). Total resources ofore(>60wt %Feequiv) isontheorder of
consist of sul)horizontal lavaflows(Laco and the Kiruna area and describeore texturesdiag- 500 Mr. The deposits

FIG. 1. Iron deposits at El Laco,a volcano in northern Chile

runavaara depositis volcanic. It is not our purpose to white (Rodados Negros includes a boulderfield and is much discuss howthe ore magmas formed. The geochemis- smaller thanthe mapsuggests). Modified fromRuizet al. (1,9t35).

Norte,LacoSur,andSanVicenteAlto), a domelike intrusion (San nostic of a magmatic originwhichshow thatthe Kii- Vicente Bajo),anddikes. Ore dikes withindeposits areshown in

try of the associated apatite will be treated by Henrquez andNystr/Sm in a forthcoming paper.The emphasis during the sampling of the Kirunamaterial Ramirez, 1985;Frutos et al., 1990)aresituwason ore with primarytextures in orderto allowa wegand volcano comparison with analogous texturaltypesat E1Laco ated on the flanksof an andesite-rhyodacite andelsewhere, andto avoid possible influence onthe at an altitude of 4,700 to 5,300 m. The ores were at about2 Ma agoaccording to fissionchemistry by recrystallization during metamorphism.emplaced in the ore (2.1 _ 0.1 Ma;MakTextures canprovidemuchinformation on ore for- trackdatafor apatite datingof an mation:"In recentyearssomuchemphasis hasbeen saevet al., 1988) andK-Ar whole-rock placed onisotopes, fluids, chemistry, anddeposit and andesitefrom the eastern flank of Pico Laco (2.0 _ and Ramirez,1985). Within an process models that the texturalfeatures havebeen 0.3 Ma; Gardeweg areaof 30 km2thereare seven deposits (Fig. 1), with ignored"(Barton,1991).
total resources on the order of 500 million tons corre-

sponding approximately to one-fourth ofthepreminof Kiirunavaara (cf. Figs.1 and3). Laco Oursamples come fromthreedifferent apatite iron ingtonnage body.Drillingandsurface obseroreprovinces, eachrepresented by several deposits: Norteisthe largest
the PlioceneE1Laco ores(Fig. 1), an extensive Cre- vationshere showthe followingupward succession:

Investigated Deposits

lava, pyroclastic ore(upto 30 m thick),magtaceous province parallel to the Pacific coast of cen- andesite pyroclastic unit tral Chile, generally referredto asthe Chileaniron netite lava (up to 50 m), a second of massive ore (about20 m), and a belt (Fig. 2), and the Early ProterozoicKiruna ore with fragments field(Fig.3). Samples froma limestone-hosted strati- second andesite flow. The ores occur as lava flows and related feeder formdeposit in the ironbelt (Bandurrias; Fig. 2) are dikes(LacoNorte,LacoSur,andSanVicenteAlto), alsoincludedfor comparison. material, andsubvolcanic bodies (San ViThe E1Lacoirondeposits (Park,1961;Ruizet al., pyroclastic intrusion, andRodados Ne1965; Haggerty, 1970; Frutos and Oyarzfn, 1975; centeBajo, a domelike Henrquez andMartin,1978;Wegner,1982;Garde- gros, Laquito, and CristalesGrandeswhich are



Et Laco i;'

openspaces are oftenpitted by molds with a square cross section after pyroxene. Hematite is a ubiquitous oxidationproduct after magnetite in extrusive andpyroclastic ore;occasionally cavitiesare lined by well-developed crystals of hematite.The orebodies are surrounded by narrow metasomatic aureoles (upto 1 m thickin lavabut considerably wider in tuff) wherethe andesitic hostrock





Los Coloradc


50 km
i I

sampled apatite vein


>100 J equivalent Fe
Dorado DOR,'

<2 tmittion ton ore

with $0 %

I1 Pliocene-Recent .... upper Miocene Cretaceous lower Cretaceous ,;-'/.,, preCretaceous


PG-K9 PG-Sal

I ironore .... ": quartzite

rio. 2. Iron deposits in the Chileanironbelt (Ruizet al., 1965)

andsome associated apatite veins. The country rocks of the Cretaceous deposits consist of basicto intermediate lavas andgranitoids. The geology issimplified fromSERNAGEOMIN (1982).The locations of the El Laco(Pliocene) andMagnetita Pedernales (MP; Tertiary)irondeposits are givenin the inset.

.PP.p!i!!?:! $. :;t]::,oU.;i ::", Lower hauk, volcanics

.:*?:.,1'.*.:.' oacid & interm. volconics
',i!::<::f'['-:o;8 JJbasic volcanic rocks

dikes).Apatite is locallyabundant in the intrusions but is merely an accessory phasein the lavas.The orescontain highlyvariableamounts of pyroxene in the form of thin elongated prisms, frequently with Fla. 3. Early Proterozoiciron depositsin the Kiruna area, of dendriticbranching.It has been erroneously re- northernSweden(simplifiedfrom Partk,1975a). The reserves ore (>60 wt % Fe) at Kiirunavaara, the largest individportedasamphibole (actinolite) in the literaturedue high-grade orebody, exceed 2,000 Mt. The oresdip 50to 75to the east to the unusual habit.The pyroxene is partlyto com- ual and are hosted 1)v acid and intermediate volcanic rocks of the Porpletelyalteredto talc, opal,goethite, and smectite. phyry Group. TJe Lower Hauki voleanics comprise pyroclastic The octahedral facesof magnetitecrystals lining and sedimentary rocks.



The Cretaceous volcanicrocksandgranitoids hosting the iron deposits are interpretedascomagmatic (Bookstrom, 1977' Pich6n,1981; Montecinos, 1983; OyarzfinandFrutos,1984) or derivedfromdifferent parent magmas (Gonzalezand Henr[quez, 1991). The volcanic pile is dominated by basaltic to andesalunite, and depositionof fumarolic sulfur in frac- itic lava flows,and mostof the granitoids are dioritic tures(Vivalloet al., 1991). membersof a large batholith, seeminglyyounger Frutos and Oyarz6n (1975), quoting Thomas than the lavas. The ores are coeval with the volcanic (1970), reported that incompletelydigestedfrag- rocks according to Espinoza(1984a) and Oyarzfn mentsof itabirite occurin the magnetite lavasat E1 andFrutos(1984), but Ruiz et al. (1965, 1968) conyounger.AvailableraLaco.Thisistotallymistaken; no such thinghasever sideredthem to be somewhat been observed and the whole idea is based on a mis- diometricagesof the rocksassociated with the ores understanding by Thomas.Whether there are sedi- fall in the range 100 to 128 Ma (Zentilli, 1974; Pi1983; the rangeisbased on mentary iron strata ("lower Paleozoicferruginous ch6n, 1981; Montecinos, schists") or not below the volcanic complex as im- 11 K-Ar mineral and whole-rockagesfor four depliedby FrutosandOyarz6n(1975) andFrutoset al. posits). (1990) is not known.To the best of our knowledge The lavasaway from ore deposits and granitoids there is no outcropof suchrocksin the E1Laco area are affectedby nondeformational regionalmetamor~ (cf.Boricet al., 1990).The nearest sedimentary iron phism, usually at prehnite-pumpellyite facies (Leviet deposit (itabirite)is situated in Argentina about200 al., 1989). The gradeof the alterationreflectedby km northeast of E1 Laco, across the generalnorth- extensive development of amphibole is higher near south strike of the formations. large orebodies due to contactmetamorphism from The Chileaniron belt (Geijer, 1931; Ruiz et al., nearbygranitoids or processes relatedto the forma1965, 1968; Park, 1972; Espinoza, 1984a, 1990; tion of the ores,or both (Espinoza, 1984a). The amOyarz6n andFrutos, 1984; Menard, 1986; Ruiz and phibolization is overprintedby hydrothermal alter(Galatztn andHenrquez, Peebles, 1988) is approximately 600 km longand25 ationof lowertemperature km wide.It consists of seven large(100 milliontons 1979). of high-grade ore) and about40 medium-sized and We havesampled all the irondeposits indicated by in Figure 2 exceptCerro NegroNorte andBosmalldeposits of apatiteiron ore (Fig. 2). The sizes names 1977), reprerefer to preminingreserves sincemanyof the ores quer6nChafiar.Romeral(Bookstrom, is typicalof havebeenexploited; only Romeral, Algarrobo, Los sentedin this studyby severalsamples, It iscomposed of two majorbodies Colorados, and E1 Tofo were in productionduring the largedeposits. Principal andRomeral Norte), partlydelim1993. Threeof the largedeposits (Boquer6n Chafiar, (Cuerpo Cerro Negro Norte, andCristales)are unexploitedor ited by zones of faulting and mylonitization,and (ROM-59 to ROMonly partially mined. The apatite contentshowsa three smallbodies.Five samples large variationwithin and between the different de- 62, andROM-66) were collectedfrom CuerpoPrinposits;geneticallyrelated apatite veinsoccur abun- cipal and its envelopeof ore breccia. This body is lenticular,with a lengthof 850 m, an average width dantlyin the ore-bearing region. (ROMThe deposits of the iron belt have been divided of 250 m, anda depthof 600 m. One sample the strongly deformed andmartitized into four groups according to their geologic setting 58) represents (Espinoza, 1984a, 1990).The firstgroup,comprising Romeral Norte orebody (300 m long, 50-120 m a feworebodies situated approximately 20 kmeastof wide, and up to 240 m deep), and two come from of ore in meta-andesite andquartzthebelt axis, arestratified andsediment hosted (e.g., veinsandpatches rock near a youngerdiorite Bandurrias; Cisternas, 1986; Espinoza,1986). They apatite-calcite-scapolite lack apatite and were depositedin an Early Cre- intrusion(the low-gradeSicilianoore; ROM-63 and taceous shallow-marine basin. The ores of the other ROM-64). Bookstrom (1977) regarded Romeral ore hosted by schists in a late three groups were formedin a magmatic arc along Norte asa replacement basement. In addition,samples from two the westernmarginof this basin(Espinoza, 1990). Paleozoic apatiteveinsin the Romeralarea Some deposits are hostedby granitoids, othersby magnetite-bearing (La Escoba= ESC and volcanicrocksbut mostof them--including all the are includedfor comparison large ones--occur associated with metavolcanic Yayita -- YAY in Fig. 2). Algarrobo (Geijer, 1931; Ruiz et al., 1965; rocksin tectoniccontactwith granitoids within the

is transformed to pyroxene,scapolite, quartz, and garnet.The andesiteshows no granoblastic texture close to the ore.The volcanic complex including ores isaffected by a locallystrong hydrothermal alteration with silicification (cristobalite, tridymite,andamorphoussilica),development of gypsum, jarosite,and

north-trending Atacama megafault zone (Espinoza, Montecinos, 1983; Espinoza, 1984a; Gonzalez and very simi1984a,b, 1990;Oyarz6nandFrutos,1984).The iron Henrquez,1991) is anotherlargedeposit of two major bodies belt coincides spatially with thiszone,andindividual lar to Romeral.It alsoconsists (Algarrobo C and Penoso); our samples comefrom orebodies are elongated parallelto it.



the former which is 1,100 m long, has an average width of 400 m, and reaches a depth of 400 m. Ojos de Agua(Geijer, 1931, 1967; DobbsandHenrquez, 1988), situatedin the northern continuationof the Algarrobo district,is composed of six steepdikelike bodies of apatite-rieh ore (thelargest is200 m long,4 m wide, and 100 m deep). This smallwell-exposed andunexploited deposit isof special interestbecause it shows manyof the featuresof the largerbut now exploited ores. Two other depositsrich in apatite
treated here are E1 Dorado and Carmen. The latter is

telling evidenceof crystallization from volatile-rich melts.Several of the E1Laeosamples included in this studyarefromore of unequivocal volcanic character: a volcanic bomb,lavawith ropy surface, andvesicular lava.The bomb(FHL-121) is 9 by 16 emin cross section andhasa regularfusifbrm shape with longitudinalfluting.Its inner part is a porous aggregate of ca. 0.2-mm-large magnetiteoetahedra coatedby a film of iron phosphate. The porous ore lavas alsoare composed of oetahedrawhich coalesce in massive

a 500-m-long, 25- to 60-m-wide, and 50- to 200-mThe pyroelastic ore at E1Laeo occurs in thevicinity volcanicbombsand deep tabularbody hostedby volcanic rockswithout of feeder dikes and comprises known intrusions in the vicinity (Henrlquez et al., finer air-fall material, alone or mixed with blocksof 1991). E1Dorado and two other oresincludedin the ore lava. The structuresare indistinguishable from matestudy,E1Tofo (Geijer, 1931) and Cerro Imtn(Ruiz thosenormallyfoundin near-ventpyroelastic and et al., 196.5), belong to the Romeral-Algarrobo rial. The E1Laeomaterialis poorlyconsolidated

The Kirunaore field (Fig. 3) andsurrounding areas in northern Swedenconstitutethe greatestconcentrationof apatiteiron oresin the world.The deposits occurastabularbodieswithin a thick sequence composedlargelyof intermediateto acid volcanic rocks (the PorphyryGroup), which contains ignimbrites and whoselower part.wasinterpretedas a caldera filling by Geijer and Odman(1974). The deposits at the top of the PorphyryGroup (Rektorn,Henry, Nukutusvaara, and Haukivaara;Fig. 3), collectivelyreferred to asthe Per Geijer ores,differ from KiirunavaaraandLuossavaara by higherapatiteandhematite contents andthe presence of quartzand/orcarbonate in significant amounts. Radiometric datingof the host rocksand a crosscutting granophyrie dike indicates that the oresformedat about 1880 to 1890 Ma (Welin, 1987; Cliff et al., 1990; U-Pb zircon and Sm-Nd

friable,whichcauses the structures to be easilydestroyedexceptwhere the ore hasbeen sintered by heatfroma nearbymagnetite flowor dike.The pyroelastic oresconsist of ironoxidewith magnetite asthe primary constituent,and some oxide grains have filmsof greenironphosphate. Apatite,usually absent or accessory, canbe present in considerable amounts and givesrise to a fine stratification that canbe followed up to severalmeters (Fig. 4A). Presenceof bombsags demonstrates the falloutnatureof the material.

whole-rockdata). Veins with gypsumand pyrite in the ore are expressions of hydrothermal activity(Nystr/Sm, 1985). The oresare locallydeformedby shearing and are reerystallized, but relict primarytexturesand structurescannevertheless be seen,especially at Kiirunavaara (Nystr/Sm,1985; Nystr/Smand Henrquez, 1989). This is consistent with the nondeformational nature of the greenschist faciesregionalmetamorphismthat characterizes the country rock. Contact metamorphic effectsin the latter, if present,are inconspicuous(reerystallizationand eoarseningof grainsize).Detailed geologic descriptions of the Kirunaareacanbe foundin the numerous publications by Geijer, Frietseh,and Partk(see referencesin Frietseh, 1978, 1984).
Primary Textures

The existence of pyroelastic ore (Fig. 4A and B) andore lavas with flow layeringandhighlyvesicular upper parts at E1 Laco (Figs. 5A and B, and 6A) is

The stratification canbe attributedto sorting during the eruption.Magnification revealsthat the apatire layersconsist of euhedralapatiteprisms, generally lyingwith their longaxiswithin the stratification plane, and somemagnetiteoetahedra(Fig. 4B). A varying number of apatite prismsalso occur in the magnetite layers(the amount of apatiteis constant at eachlevel),but the prisms show a less regularorientation here, consistent with simultaneous deposition of the two minerals. Their euhedralshape andthe fabric of the stratified ore (Fig. 4B) identifythe materialas pyroelastic. Tiny platescomposed of magnetite oetahedrain parallelintergrowth(el. Fig. 7D) are widespread. Oreswith apatitebandingare morecommon in the Kirunaarea. In manyeases the bandingis clearlyof tectonic character, but some structures appearto be primary,caused by a process of sedimentation. They are represented in this studyby samples with crossbedding(PG-531; illustratedin Nystr/Sm, 1985, fig. 8) and fine stratification of uniform thickness (Fig. 4C-D; seedetaileddescription of the stratification in Geijer, 1967). The stubbyapatiteprisms in the apatite layers(Fig. 4D) havethe sameorientation asthat described abovefor the pyroelastic ore at E1 Laco, andtiny magnetite platesare abundant in the magnetite layers where octahedraalso can be discerned. The stratification is locallydisturbed by intraformationalfoldingandbrecciation at a smallscale.



Fic. 4. Stratified (apatite-banded) pyroclastic ore.A. Crystal tuff,LacoSur(sample ELS-2;black= magnetite, white = apatiteand reflecting crystalfaces of magnetite), The wavystratification is only apparent because of surface irregularities. B. SEMphotomicrograph of anapatitelayerandsurrounding orein the same sample (ELS-2)showing the euhedral habitoftheconstituent minerals andthe lowdegree of consolidation in the loose crystal aggregate. The smallrounded growths on the apatiteprisms and magnetite octahedra consist of SiOn. C. Crystal tuff, Kiirunavaara (sample PG-235;black= magnetite, white= apatite, the latterpartlyremoved by weathering). D. Photomicrograph of a thin section of the
samesample(PG-235; crossed nicols).


blocks of ore with vesiclelike


grown toformsmall plates. Minorquartz isdeposited

were foundin a few placesduring a recent visit to in manyholes. Someore texturesat El Laco constituteindepenKiruna(Fig. 6B). The blocks were dumpedduring of a magmatic origin.Henrquez and the open-pit stage of the mining of Kiirunavaara, and dent evidence a columnar formof magnetheir present position indicates thattheycamefrom Martin (1978) described

thehanging-wall sideof thesouthern halfof theorebody.The ore consists solelyof magnetite except in one dumpwhere it is strongly oxidizedto hematite andhydrous ferricoxides. There is no evidence that the holes represent cavities generated by weathering

tite that locallygrades into spherulitic fiber and/or octahedral crystal (Fig.8D) andshowed thatthecolumns and spherulites are rapid growth features caused by sudden supersaturation of degassing oxide melts. The columnar magnetite iscommon at El Laco of sulfides,calcite, or other minerals.The holes are whereit typically occurs asuniform arrays of parallel columns oriented perpendicular oftenelongated although highlyirregular in detail 0.5- to 15-cm-long like flow topsandgasescape because the ore seems to be a crystal aggregate. Sev- to nearbyopenspaces, in feederdikes(Fig. 8A andD). Oftenseveral eral samples show that the aggregates are composed tubes arrays aresuperimposed above each other, of octahedra, which here and there may be inter- columnar



(Fig. 8C) whichformlenses up to a few meters long

in the ore. The columns of each band are uniform in

sizeand orientedperpendicular to the extension of the lens;the lenses are parallelwith the contacts of the orebody.A detailedstudyof a few crosscuts in the Kiirunavaara mine has shownthat lessregular smallarraysof columnarmagnetiteare quite widespread andcanbe foundin oretypesof verydifferent apatitecontent(Nystr6mandHenriquez, 1989). A searchfor columnarmagnetitein the Chilean ironbelt revealed thatit ispresent locallyin sixoutof eightinvestigated deposits (Table 1). It wasnot seen at Bandurrias whichis a nonapatitic stratiform ore or at El Tofo wherethe ore appears to be partlyrecrystallized. However, poorly preservedmagnetitecolumnshavebeenobserved in a smalliron deposit just north of the main El Tofo orebody.The parallelarrangement of the columns foundat El Laco(Fig. 8A) and Kiirunavaara (Fig. 8C) is rare in the iron belt, wherethey tendto be orientedat random (Fig. 8E). Thisnonoriented varietyof columnar magnetite also
occurs at El Laco.

Columnar magnetite isnotthe onlyformof magnetite that may showdendriticmorphology in the Kiruna ore field. The so-called skeletonore (Geijer,

FIG. 5. Magnetitelavawith contorted flowstructure. Note the drawnout shape of thevesicles dueto flowage. A. LacoNorte(outcrop).B. LacoNorte (sample ELN-19,).

resulting in a banded structure. Column surfaces displaya striation at anangleof 45to 90to the axis of the column;the striae are the edgesof very thin platesstacked on eachother. Locallythe magnetite shows a dendriticmorphology, occurring asradiating arraysof branching fibresand smallcolumns. Columnar magnetite has also been observedat

Kiirunavaara (Geijer, 1910, 1967; Nystr6m,1985)as photographed with a coating of ammonium chloridein order to reflexes). B. Kiirunavaara (sample KIR-34). composite bands ofparallel1- to 12-cm-long columns eliminate

FIG.6. Vesicular magnetite lava.A. LacoSur(sample ELS-20;



: - ....'...'

.:..,...,f.' '..


.?::'. .-_-. ... ." ...


...., ..- _.,..


... :-


. :.": .. < :

.. ,. .. .. : ...


:?:. .:._
: .

:.":. :: .'
.... ; .
.. ;..

.. -:.
-- .. ...

FIG. 7. P!atymagnetite. A. Skeleton ore, i.e., dendriticmagnetite platesembedded in apatite,Kiirunavaara (sample PG-36:lA). B. Closeup of a magnetite platein skeleton ore showing parallelgrowthof octahedra, Kiirunavaara (sample KIR-55). C. Apatite-free analogue of skeleton ore, LaeoSur (sample ELS-I). D. SEMphotomierograph of a tiny magnetite platecomposed of intergrown octahedra in pyroelastic ore, LaeoSur (crystal tuff, sample ELS-2;cf. Fig. 4A-B).





2 mm
FIG. 8. Columnar magnetite. A. Array of parallelcolumns, LacoNorte (sample FHL-76). B. Artificiallygrown columnar magnetite, Degerfors Ironworks. Notethe gas bubbles in the lowerandupperpart of the sample. (Fromthe collection of C. Benedicks l1875-19581,anoutstanding Swedish experimental metallurgist. The collection of Benedicks wasdonated by the Swedish Institutefor Metal Research in 1989 to the Swedish Museum of NaturalHistory.No note or report describing the conditions under whichthe magnetite wasgrown accompanied the collection.) C. Coarse arrayof parallel columns, Kiirunavaara(sample K1R-15).D. Columns terminatedby octahedral faces,Laco Sur (sample ELS-19). E. Chaotic arrayof broadcolumns, Algarrobo (sample ALG-24).




Minor andTraceElementCompositions of Magnetite fromSwedish andChileanApatiteIron Ores(in ppm)

El Laco












Ore type
Pyroxene-apatite-rich ore
Vesicular ore


FHL-18 FHL-67 FHL-76 FHL-82 FHL-101 FHL-105 FHL-106 FHL-109 FHL-113 FHL-121 FHL-126
Iron belt

382 289 265 118 162 189 4,860 429 2,860 22 433 340

1,540 1,030 1,200 951 911 1,210 1,300 941 2,020 961 1,710 1,930

<1 <1 <3 <3 <3 <3 122 <3 7 <3 <3 <3

562 437 721 492 429 345 1,760 1,300 2,820 197 689 492

4,020 7,610 7,810 5,610 3,490 6,670 5,010 7,980 8,250 7,580 5,250 2,260

92 382 534 570 398 742 690 741 559 569 440 666

278 267 235 255 108 118 136 110 93 222 288 312

88 124 135 152 100 119 149 109 125 147 133 122

20 53 118 120 116 140 105 124 65 119 107 58


33 52 13 16 12 7 7 19 9 10 7 129

2,300 2,310 2,220 1,120 1,010 2,240 1,740 1,450 2,620 3,340 1,760 793

Ore with pyroxene-rich bands Ore with ropysurface Columnar magnetite Pyroclastic ore Pyroclastic ore Columnar magnetite Columnar mt with pyroxene Spherulitic ore Pyroxene-rich ore Pyroclastic ore (bomb) Apatite-rich ore (vug) Columnar mt with ap and"px"
Ore breccia


CMN-14 CIM-5 CIM-9


153 278 187


1,640 1,830 732


<3 <3 <3


334 945 1,050


1,850 1,060 1,310


726 899 314


316 133 52

98 62 27

86 73 60

76 33 29

1,730 1,340 1,440


Columnar magnetite Columnar magnetite Columnar magnetite

Columnarmt with actinolite













Ore with dendritic "px"


ALG-21 ALG-25 TOF-40 ROM-58 ROM-59


179 1,980 143 1,980 1,810 2,600 93 1,860 174 1,070

849 2,490

6 4 <3 6 <3

1,610 2,100 1,320 1,550 1,250 3,060 448 536 603 1,140
1,190 1,580

245 235 986 194 375


100 94 141 57 206


12 13 108 27 16

57 64 57 53 57

16 17 10 612 209

2,090 1,490 852 891 1,300


Columnar magnetite Ore with dendritic "px" Recrystallized ore Pyrite-rich recrystallized ore Pyrite-rich orebreccia



4,260 473
6,270 4


1,620 1,980
1,580 1,010





2,190 Low-grade orebreccia

2,110 Ore breccia

ROM-63 ROM-64 ROM-66 DOR-2 DOR-3 ESC-14 YAY-2 BAN-1


326 251 135 61 51 1,910 1,040 118


3,300 3,310 2,550 1,430 1,590 5,220 4,870 <40


67 25 <3 <3 <3 8 1 4


847 587 611 339 246 1,380 848 3,240


580 510 68 631 364 86 2,300 167 59 850 159 116 979 168 90 2,270 361 197 1,050 510 303 1,330 1,070 <20
4,980 903 <20

14 12 63 30 26 81 36 19

54 169 1,290 56 256 1,270 52 7 1,170 50 297 898 51 51 1,120 8 16 1,270 19 48 1,080 138 10 6,950
123 18 4,590

Patches in q-ap-cc-scap rock Patches in q-ap-cc-scap rock Columnar mt with dendritic "px" Columnar mt in ap-banded ore Apatite-rich ore Ap-actinolite-magnetite rock Apatite-magnetite rock Massive recrystallized ore
Carbonate-banded ore

HjL-1 KUJ-3

116 99

1,130 1,390

<3 <3

220 290

1,450 1,140

549 524

183 216

93 74

75 70

64 44

1,570 Columnar magnetite 1,160 Columnar magnetite

671 Skeleton ore

PG-235 PG-530 PG-531 PG-618


31 95 147 211

891 1,090 1,270 1,410


<3 <3 <1 7


51 804 82 77

536 670 490 340 1,020 1,010 463 793

1,050 889

203 161 231 245


124 67 112 137


58 64 84 66

8 92 19 9

904 Apatite-banded ore (tuff) 954 Columnar magnetite 439 Ore withapatite crossbedding 448 Magnetite-banded apatite rock
644 Skeleton ore

PG-K9 PG-K14

227 335

1,140 1,260

7 8

206 247

1,700 1,610

896 866

237 245

123 97 131 107

97 54

7 6

1,830 Ore with dendritic "px" 2,140 Ore withdendritic "px"

877 Skeleton ore


1,030 812 4,160 1,350

29 9

823 191

639 324

182 69

244 288

75 39

9 50

10 13

1,500 Ap-ankerite-quartz-banded ore 465 Apatite-banded ore (folded)

El Laco samples come fromseven different deposits (Fig.1);theChilean ironbelt(Fig.2) isrepresented by samples fromCarmen (CMN),Cerro Imfm (CIM),Bandurrias (BAN; nonapatitic), Ojos deAgua (ODA), Algarrobo (ALG), E1 Tofo(TOF), Romeral (ROM), E1 Dorado (DOR), andtworelated apatite veins (LaEscoba = ESCandYayita = YAY); thefirst tenKiruna samples arefrom Kiirunavaara, followed by onefrom Henryandtwofrom Rektorn (Fig.3); magnetite islargely replaced byhematite in KRE-1, PG-K5, and ROM-58
(Romeral Norte)andsignificantly replaced in FHL-18 andFHL-82

Abbreviations: ap= apatite, cc= calcite, mt = magnetite, "px"= pseudomorphs afterpyroxene or amphibole, q = quartz, scap=



1910; Park, 1975a, b; Nystr6m, 1985) is a more common dendriticvariety. It consists of magnetite platesembedded in apatite.The platesare oriented at random or formsubparallel arrays, locally with offshoots like branches from a stem(Fig. 7A). Nystr6m and Henrlquez(1989) observed that the platesare madeup of octahedra showing parallelgrowth(Fig. 7B). Skeletonore hasnot been reportedfrom any Chileandeposit, but apatite-free arrays of platymagnetitedendrites analogous to thosein Figure 7A are found asa raretextural typeat E1Laco(Fig.7C), and smallmagnetiteplatesseemto be quite widespread in the pyroclastic ore (Fig. 7D). At Kiirunavaara columnar andplaty magnetiteare intimately associated with eachotherin apatitesegregations found occasionally in the skeletonore (see illustrations in Nystr6mand Henrlquez,1989). The contact between theabout1- to 10-cm-large segregationsandsurrounding oreis marked by a millimeterthickshellof subparallel magnetite columns oriented perpendicular to the segregation. The magnetite outside(andinside)the shelloccurs asplaty dendrites embedded in a matrixof apatiteprisms. Some of the segregations display a trachytoid texturedefinedby slenderapatite prismsand thin magnetiteplates; othershave been interpretedas miniaturediapiric structures by Nystr/m andHenrlquez(1989). Amphibole (actinolite) isthe dominant silicate mineral in apatiteiron oresaccording to the literature. However,some deposits contain pyroxene instead of amphibole, for example,the extrusive and intrusive orebodies at E1Laco.The pyroxene tendsto be concentratedin layersof subparallel elongated prisms growingtoward flow tops, cavities,and dike interiors,alternating with layersof columnar magnetite andlayersof conicalapatiteprisms in intrusive bodies (a type of comblayering; Fig. 9A). The 0.5- to a few centimeters-long pyroxenes often form fanlike dendrites similarto thoseillustrated in Figure9B. Both monoclinic (diopside) and orthorhombic (ferroan enstatite) pyroxenes are found.The pyroxene in the aureoles at the ore-host rock contacts oc-

No pyroxenehasbeenreportedfrom the iron belt; however,there are dendritic pseudomorphs resembling the E1Laco pyroxenein manyof the deposits (Fig. 9B-C). Whether the originalmineralwaspyroxene, amphibole,or both is not known;in the followingwe refer onlyto a pyroxene precursor for simplicity. The pyroxene pseudomorphs consist of actinolite andvarying amounts of talc,quartz,andcalcite.They are common in apatite-richpartsof oresgrowingon apatiteprismsor formingcomblayersand they are

often associated withcolunnar magnetite.

Analytical Procedures

Fifty-oneconcentrates of magnetitefrom 18 iron deposits and two apatiteveins(Figs. 1-3) were obtained by repeated crushing,washingin destilled water, and treatmentwith a Franz isodynamic magnetic separator.A few sampleswere considerably martitized (Table 1). Small amountsof apatite remainedin samples from very apatiterich ore types; no attemptwasmadeto removeit by selective leaching.After anXRD puritycontrolof the magnetite, 1g of each samplewas dissolved in warm 5N HC1 to whicha smallquantityof hydroxylamine wasadded as a reducingagent.Silicates (mostlyactinoliteand quartz) difficult to separatecompletelyfrom some magnetite concentrates remainedassolidresidue(up to 0.04 g in onesample; usually lessthan0.01 g). The dissolved magnetites were analyzed for Fe, Ti, V, Cr, A1,Mg, Mn, Ni, Co, Zn, Cu, Si, Na, K, Ca, andP with ICP emission spectrometry at the Departmentof Geology and Geochemistry, Stockholm University,by BirgittaBostr/m. The valuesfor the elements from Ti to Si are givenin Table 1. Kiruna samples with numbers prefixedby PG comefrom Per Geijer collections, samplePF-HE was donatedby Paul Forsell (Kiruna),andsample HjL-1 is markedwith the name Hj. Lundbohm;all the other samples were collected by us.The materialis deposited at the Swedish Museumof NaturalHistory.
Magnetite Geochemistry

cursasanhedral grains andprisms withoutdendritic The minor and trace elementcompositions of the branching. magnetites presentedin Table i are uncorrectedfor At Kiirunavaara there are two typesof amphibole: the smallamounts of apatitein somesamples. Comone (normal)of a fibrous-prismatic andone of a den- parison of apatite-free andapatite-rich samples from dritic variety.The latter wasdiscovered by Geijer the sameorebodyshowsthat the includedapatite (1910) in a 150- by 10-m-largezonewithin the ore- does notaffectthe listedelements. Examples aresambodywhereit characterized a distinctive ore type ples HjL-1, KUJ-3, and PG-530 (apatite-free)and now removedby mining ("ophitic ore"). The den- PG-235, PG-531, and PG-K5 (apatite-rich)from Ki-

Inspection of polished thin sections at highmagnification reveals that a few Kirunamagnetites contain smallinclusions of TiO2, probablyrutfie, and there (Wo48En4Fs ; Nystr6m,1985).The arrangement of are indications that some grains too small to analyze the pseudomorphs defines a flow texture; comb quantitatively consist of i]menite(anFe-Ti phaseaclayeringlike that at E1Laco hasnot been described. cording to SEM-EDS).Geijer (1910) reportedrare
roxene (Wo44En44Fsl2) showsthat it was similar in composition to the clinopyroxene in the E1Laco ore

dritic amphibole is a pseudomorph after pyroxene, andmicroprobe analysis of relicts of the original py-




FIG. 9. Dendritic pyroxene(including pseudomorphs after pyroxeneor amphibole, referred to as "pyroxene"). A. Comblayering defined by alternating bands of columnar magnetite, dendritic pyroxene, andapatite,Rodados Negros (El Laco,sample ELR-3;sketch of irregularsurface). B. Curvedbranching "pyroxene" in ironore,Carmen (sample CMN-28, thinsection). C. Coarse dendritic "pyroxene" embedded in columnar magnetite, Romeral(sample ROM-66).

83 2


ilmeniteon jointingplanes,crystals of titanitc near the footwall,and a few grainsof allanite,all in the

ore.Verythin,crystallographically oriented (ex-

solved)lamellaeoccurin manymagnetites from E1 Laco.Thelargest ofthem(2 #m thick)isilmenite and

andthe Ti contentof the magnetite alsosuggests that these lamellaeare ilmenite. Minute grainsat their

arough proportion between the amount oflamellae 2


borders look like spinel.Henrlquez and Martin (1978)identified small euhedral crystals of rutfieocTi richmagnetites fromthe ironbelt. The followingconclusions canbe drawnfrom an inspection of Table 1:

casionally associated with magnetite oetahedra ineav- 0.6

ities. Ilmenite was observed asinclusions in relatively 0.


1. The magnetites form two populations with regardto V, Ni, andA1.One groupconsists of the Ban- 0.1 durriassamples (the stratiformiron depositin lime- 0.08 stone),andthe other groupcomprises all the magneBnndurrins tites from apatite iron ores and associated apatite 0.06 veins(Fig. 10). 0.0/, 2. The magnetite in the apatiteiron oresandapatite veinshaslow Cr (<10 ppm)andrelativelyhighV values (about1,000-2,000 ppm;higherin the veins). Ti V Mn A[ Ni Co Mg Zn The Ti content is typically low (about 100-1,000 FIG. 10. Geochemical patterns for maguetite fromapatiteiron ppm, with occasional values up to 5,000 ppm). Com- oresin the Kirunaarea(thinline;average of 13 samples), the Chiof 21 samples), anda stratiform monvalues (in ppm) for the otherelements fall into leanironbelt (dottedline;average irondeposit belonging to thisbelt (Bandurrias; the followingranges: A1= 200 to 1,500, Mg = 500 to volcanic-exhalative line;average of 2 samples), normalized against the average 2,000 (4,000-8,000 for E1Laco),Mn = 200 to 900, thick composition of the E1Laeomagnetite (broken line; 13 samples; Ti Ni = 100to 250, Co = 20 to 140, Zn = 50 to 120, and
i I i i i I i i



= 933, V = 1,360, Mn = 486, AI = 944, Ni = 201, Co = 124, Mg =

3. The magnetites of different deposits and ore districts havedistinctchemicalvariationpatterns,illustrated for a few elements in Figures11 and12. For example, all the E1Lacomagnetites including pyroxene-free samples are Mg rich, whereasthe Kiruna magnetites are characterized by low Mg contents; the V/Ni ratiosof the latter are uniformandlow (Fig. 12). However,someelements(especially Ti; Fig. 13) showa largevariation evenwithinthe same orebody (e.g., Rodados Negros;Table 1). 4. Magnetites from apatiteiron oresof a different character in a districtmay form compositional subgroups. For instance, the E1Lacosamples frompyroclasticoresare low in Ti andA1,whereas the opposite is true for pyroxene-rich samples fromore dikes(Table 2). The contents of theseelements showno correlationwith the values for SiandMg (Table1), demonstratingthat they cannotbe derivedfrom pyroxene whichanyway is insoluble in HC1.Analysis of several Si-bearing magnetites with SEM-EDSindicates that Si is incorporated in the magnetitelattice.

5,990, and Zn = 90; all in ppm).The stippled bandshows the compositional rangefor all the Kirunaand iron belt magnetites (exceptBandurrias), excludingthe highestand lowest values whichare plottedaspoiuts outside the band.Note thatthe V and Ni contents of the Baudurrias samples are maximum values.

larityof their magnetites, andotherfeatures in common(shape of the orebodies, presence of orebreccias,mineralogy, type of hostrocks,andalteration)
strongly suggest a similargenesis. The magmatic ori-

ginestablished for E1Lacoby HenHquez andMartin (1978) cantherefore be extended to the otherdeposits. There is definiteevidence that the ore melts
reachedthe surfacenot only at E1 Laco but alsoat Kirunaandin some partsof the iron belt. We suggest that the occurrenceof columnarmagnetitein iron oresis diagnostic of a magmatic originandthat the

magnetite of apatiteiron oresis characterized by verylow Cr andrelativelyhighV values.


The ore with vesiclelike hones at Kiirunavaara (Fig.

6B) is almost indistinguishable from someof the ore

lavas at E1Laco and should therefore also be volcanic.

of tiny octahedra in different deThe existence of similarprimarytextures in the in- Botharecomposed ofcoalescence, resulting in a continuous gradavestigated apatiteiron ores,the overallchemical simi- grees


i i i




[] []


El []

ores& veins

2000 [] A ++

[P oO


o o/



0 E[ Laco

[] Romero[


Ojos deAgua


/% [erro Imdn

E[ Tofo

20 (V= 10

+El Dorado
V Apotite veins

100 200 300 ppm Ni + Co

FIG.l l. Vanadium vs.Ni + Coformagnetites fromapatite ironores in theKiruna area(3 deposits), E1 Laco(7 deposits), andtheChilean ironbelt(8 deposits and2 related apatite veins). NotethattheV andNi contents in thenonapatitic Bandurrias samples aremaximum values. Analyses represented by a number within a circle aretaken from theliterature: 1 -- apatite ironores, northern Sweden; 2 -- apatite ironores, Missouri;3 = stratifiediron ores, northernSweden;4 -- stratifiediron ores, northernFinland;5 -nonapatitic ironores,centralSweden; 6 = Lahn-Dillores(Cogivenas<20 ppm);7 -- hematite ore,E1

Laco (Counreported); 8 -- magnetite ore,Bafq, Iran(Counreported; theoreisofapatite irontype,see F6rster andKnittel,1979);9 -- apatite ironores, Kiruna (median values forP-rich andP-poor ores from
Kiirunavaara andthe Per Geijerores); 10 -- banded iron-formations, Quadril/ttero Ferrffero, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Thebox in thelower leftcorner ofthediagram represents thenormal range in hand specimen

samples of orefrom iron-formations (Davy, 1983; V down to <6 ppm). Analyses 1 to 6 areaverages for magnetite fromFrietsch (1970)andreferences therein, analyses 7 and8 referto oreconcentrates from Loberg andHorndahl (1983),analysis 9 isaverage orefrom Parftk (1975a, table 35),analysis 10 isthe
average ironoxidecomposition fromKessler andMiiller (1988).

tionfromhighlyvesicular to porous to massive ore in the same handspecimen. It isunlikelythatthevesicular ore is hypabyssal, because when vesicles have beenobserved in magnetite dikesin Chile (e.g.,at Amancayjust north of Algarrobo),their number is low and the ore betweenthem lacksporosity. The localtransition fromoctahedra to plates of magnetite at Kiirunavaara is consistent with rapid growth.This issupported by the occurrence of small arrays of parallel,poorlypreserved columnar magnetite in a few

vesicularsamples. In addition,Geijer's (1910) description of Kiirunavaara duringthe early stages of miningprovesthat the vesicularore was situatedin the top of the orebody andsuggests that thebodywas erodedbeforethe overlying volcanic rockswere deposited. Geijer (1910, p. 90) reported that a considerable area near the hangingwall in the claim Professorn (locatedin the southernpart of Kiirunavaara) was composed of oxidized orewith anabundance ofirreg-

83 4




E[ Laco


Ojos de AguQ Cerro Im(Jn

E[ Tofo





E( DorQdo

V Ap(3tite veins




+/x +

Chileaniron belt (including two apatiteveins).



do V/Ni

FIG.12. Magnesium vs.V/Ni formagnetites fromapatite ironores intheKiruna area, El Laco, and the

suggests exposure atthe surface in analular, oftenfiat, andthin cavities.It is obvious that this The oxidation at E1Laeo.Abundant relicts corresponds to our vesieular ore, whichin all likeli- ogywith the conditions revealthe originalcomposition of the hoodrepresents the top of a magnetite flow;the flat- of magnetite depthpassed intounteningof the vesicles canbe explained by flowage. ore,whichwith (stratigraphic)
T^BI 2. Analyses of Magnetite andIron Ore fromE1LacoandKiruna in thisStudy andtheLiterature (in ppm)
El Laco









This study

All samples Pyroclastic ore

Ore lavas

930 100

1,360 940

<13 <3

940 370

6,000 5,560

490 510

200 200

120 130

90 120

17 13

Pyroxene-rich ore dikes Intrusion (SVB)

Wegner (1982)
Ore lavas

3,060 430

1,570 1,710

50 <3

2,060 690

5,550 5,250

580 440

120 290

130 130

77 110

11 7

Ore dikes







Intrusion(SVB) FrutosandOyarz6n (1975) Magnetiteore Frutoset al. (1990) Magnetite ore

Hematite ore







Hematite ore Par'k (1975a) 280 2,100 5 320 270

Hematite ore,sample I Hematite ore,sample II


780 1,100

950 900

400 4,000

1,750 950

900 900

<80 <80

1,300 800

300 400

30 30

50 60

Thisstudy (allsamples) Frietsch (1970) ParSk (1975a)

630 1,500 810

1,200 1,300 1,280

<7 11 <3

290 1,590 300

930 1,900 490

600 700 580

230 220 240

100 120 100

72 100 46

24 <40 33

All thesamples in thisstudy aremagnetite separates; pyroclastic ore= FHL-82,FHL-101,FHL-121;orelavas = EL-2:6,FHL-18,

FHL-67; pyroxene-rich ore dikes= EL-C:24,FHL-106, FHL-113; intrusion = FHL-126; SVB= SanVicente Bajo

Therelatively highCr value forthepyroxene-rich E1Laco oredikes isdueto oneCr-rich sample (cf.Table1);Kiruna data from Frietsch (1970) include many other apatite-iron ores from northern Sweden; thevalues from Par'k (1975a) areaverages fortheKiirunavaaraandPer Geijer ores



alteredmagnetite, first vesicular, then nonvesicular. tence at E1 Laco and occasionally in the iron belt The oxidized flowtopmusthavebeena palcosurface, showsthat they are varietiesof the samegeneral
since the ore in the rest of the Kiirunavaara mountain

ridge was unoxidized.The occurrence of vesicular The mostconspicuous varietyof columnar magneore alongonly a part of the hanging wall indicates tite at Kiirunavaarais strikinglysimilarin arrangeconsiderable erosion, whichis supported by the exis- ment and size to the magnetitecolumns near flow tence of common Kirunaore typesas angularand topsandin feederdikesat E1Laco (Fig. 8C andA) rounded fragments in theimmediately overlying vol- and to artificiallygrowncolumnar magnetite (Fig. canicrocks(seeillustrations in Partk,1975a). 8B). This similarityis a strongargumentfor rapid It appears that Geijer did not realize the natureof cooling of a melt at Kiirunavaara. The parallelarrays the vesicular ore, because he did not use it as evi- of columnar magnetite resemble morphologically the dence for his original opinion that Kiirunavaara monomineralic layersof "columnar-dendritic" felderuptedaslava(Geijer, 1910). Later onhe foundve- spar described by Petersen(1985) from a contact sicularore at Nukutusvaara, one of the Per Geijer zoneof a lardaliticring complex in the Osloregion, ores(Fig. 3), andreportedthat "A localphase of the Norway. According to Petersenthe layersformed main ore body of this field [Nukutusvaara] is vesicu- under conditionsof supercooling,an explanation lar, with... structure... analogous to thatof anamygda- whichhasalsobeengivenby HenrquezandMartin loid lava rock" (Geijer, 1919, p. 18). However, at (1978) for the crystallization of columnar magnetite that time he had just changed his interpretation of at E1 Laco. the Kirunaores,fromthen on regarding them asinThe magnetite dendrites with branchlike offshoots trusive(sills), dueto the localoccurrence of ore brec- at KirunaandE1Laco(Fig. 7A andC) resemble the "christmas-tree" form of dendritic chromite decia at the hanging-wall contacts. Emplacement of the ore meltsat the surfacein the scribedby Greenbaum(1977) and Leblanc (1980) Kirunaareais supported by a new interpretation of from the Troodosophiolitecomplex,Cyprus.They Geijer's (1910, 1967) "stratifiedore," i.e., the apa- attributedthe dendritictextureto rapid crystallizatite-banded ore with a finelayeringof uniformthick- tion of a magmasupersaturated with respectto chroness illustrated in Figure4C andD. We consider it to mium.Skeletal crystals of other minerals (galena and be a crystaltuff, analogous with the partly consoli- sphalerite) morphologically similarto the branching datedmagnetite-apatite falloutashat E1Laco (Fig. magnetiteplatesare illustratedby Barton (1991). 4A andB). In both areas the materialis composed of The sulfidesformed at lower temperaturesfrom feature magnetiteand apatite of the samedimensions and fluidsrather than from a melt, but an essential habits, including platymagnetite, arranged in a simi- in common with the platy magnetiteis supersaturalar way. These features, taken together,cannotbe tion during crystal growth. Existenceof dendritic generated by later recrystallization or replacement. magnetite plates,per se, doesnot prove crystallizaAccording to Geijer (1967), the stratified ore was tion from a melt, as shownby their occurrence in
found near the footwall in some sectors of the Kiirun-

Pahtohavare, a tuffRe-hosted stratiform Cu-Au de-

avaara orebody, consistent with an earlyeruptionof gascharged with tiny crystals of magnetite and apatite. The intraformational folding and brecciation couldhavebeencaused by the subsequently eruptingore lava,whose movements destroyed the stratificationexceptvery locally.This, in combination with later shearing,probably explainswhy brokenup piecesof apatite-poor ore often are foundembedded in apatite-rich,originallypyroclastic (?) deformed ore in the lowermost part of the body.Whether the Kiirunavaara deposit consists of a single or morethan onelavaflowis understudy. The presence of columnar magnetite in almost all the investigated apatiteiron deposits is remarkable considering the rarityof thistexturalformof magnetite. It hasto the bestof our knowledge only been described fromoneotherdeposit in the world,MagnetitaPedernales (Fig. 2; Grez et al., 1991), whichis also anapatite ironore.The reason whythecolumnar magnetitein the iron belt usuallyoccurs in chaotic ratherthanparallelarrays isnotknown.Their coexis-

positin the Kirunaregion. Nystr6m andHenrlquez (1989) suggested thatthe apatitesegregations with shellsof columnar magnetite found in skeleton ore at Kiirunavaara resulted

fromlocaldifferentiation in a crystallizing ore melt. The segregations can be regardedas volatile-rich pocketsrelative to the surrounding ore, and their shellsrepresentinterfaceswhere volatilesdiffused into the accumulating pockets.The growth rate mightbe relativelyhigh at the interface,leadingto crystallization of columnar magnetite; slower growth awayfromit produced platy dendrites. The transfer of volatiles isanalogous to a localdegassing of theore melt. Crystallization from a melt is supported by the
trachytoidtexture; the distributionand deformation

patternof the dendriticpseudomorphs after pyroxenein the ophiticore (Nystr6m,1985, fig. 7) constitute independent evidenceof flow in a melt. Studies of basaltic systems showthat dendriticpyroxenesgrow at relatively high coolingrates (Lofgren, 1980), indicating that the dendriticpyroxene



in the E1Laco ore is alsoa rapid growthfeature.Its and 13; Table 2). It can alsobe seenin Table 2 that in thisstudy for the Kirunamagnecloseassociation with columnarmagnetitehere (Fig. the dataobtained of 9A) and in the iron belt (Fig. 9C) supports the ge- tites are in good agreementwith the analyses netic interpretationgiven above for the columnar Frietsch (1970) and Parilk (1975a), and that our E1 magnetite. The dendritic pyroxene at E1Lacocannot Laco data are similar to the values reported by be a metamorphic mineralbecause the ore is unaf- Wegner (1982) and Loberg and Horndahl (1983). fectedby metamorphism--neither are the relict py- However, the E1 Laco analysesgiven by Parilk with regardto Cr (much roxeneat Kiirunavaara and the inferred pyroxenein (1975a) differ considerably explanathe iron belt metamorphic phases.The magnetite toohigh),Ni, andCo (bothhigh).A possible resultsis the useof differentanasurrounding them shows no signof recrystallization, tion for his strange andlaboratories for the KirunaandE1 and the regionalmetamorphic gradein the two ore lyticalmethods preprovinces (greenschist and prehnite-pumpellyite fa- Lacomaterial.In addition,the E1Lacoanalyses by FrutosandOyarzfin(1975) are somewhat cies,respectively) is too low for pyroxeneto form. sented Moreover,the Kiruna pyroxenedifferschemically low in V andhigh in Cr. fromthe moreFe rich pyroxenes in metamorphosed The widely varyingTi contentof the magnetites frombothE1LacoandKiruna(Table1; Fig. 13) emiron-formations (cf. Deer et al., 1978). Magnetitecan form in an exhalative-sedimentary environment. It hasbeen reportedfrom the Atlantis II Deep in the Red Searift where it is an uncommon mineralassociated with hematiteandpyroxene (Zier- Ti Kiruno enbergandShanks, 1983). This magnetite is a recrys- ppm 0 E[ too tallizationproductafter goethiteand hematiteand [] Romero[ does notshow dendriticdevelopment. The pyroxene, whichoccurs asaggregates of prismatic crystals or is A[gorrobo intergrown with magnetite, rangesin composition 0jos de Aguo fromlow A1aegirine-augite to hedenbergite. Apatite 4000 /q Cerro Im(Jn hasnot been described. Thus, the mineralogy here V E[ Tofo and that in well-preserved apatiteiron oresbear no X Carmen

resemblance to each other.

The upward gradationfrom apatite iron ore into the quartz-banded hematiticore described by Parilk (1975a, b) from someplacesin the Per Geijer deposits is suggestive of anexhalative-sedimentary process. However,all the examples of quartz-banded ore seen by usin thesedeposits bearthe imprintof deformationaccompanied by oxidationof magnetiteand
introduction of silica, and we consider them to be

Jr E[ Dorado

V Apotite veins

formedby eruptionof very volatile-rich meltsat the surface. There is evenevidence for emplacement by pyroclastic flowat Nukutusvaara, oneof the deposits (Fig. 3).


Primarymagnetite andsecondary hematite fromE1 Lacoplot similarly in Figure 11, indicating that martitizationat low temperature produced no significant changes in the traceelementcomposition of the iron oxide.The chemistryof the magnetitealsoseems to be unmodified by recrystallization, assuggested by a comparison of ores with primary texturesand deformedoresfromKiruna.The magnetites havenovisible inclusions that can influencetheir composition, the only exception beingTi phases. Figure 10 illustrates the overallgeochemical resemblance betweenthe investigated magnetites from apatiteiron ores.The similarity isnotableif the comparison is restricted to E1LacoandKiruna(Figs.11



o [] [] [] [] L,) j
-- I



/-,.0 50

'o V/Ni

FIc. 13. Titaniumvs. V/Ni for magnetites from apatiteiron oresin the Kirunaarea,El Laco,andthe Chileanironbelt (including two apatiteveins).



phasizes the dangerof usingonly a few samples in Minas Gerais, Brazil: Ti -- 114, V -- 138, Cr = 77, A1 orderto characterize a deposit chemically. The scat- = 1,068, Mg = 40, Mn -- 170, Ni -- 167, Co = 120, tered high valuesof Ti in magnetites from E1Laco andCu = 40 (all in ppm).The ranges of Davy (1983) and the iron belt can be attributed to exsolved ilmenplottedin Figure 11 refer to ores.Anotherapparent itc. The relativelyhighTi in some Kirunasamples is differenceis the higher Cr contentin the sedimenmore difficultto explain,because the mostTi rich of tary ores.Frietsch(1970) obtained an average of 90 them (sample PG-K5) lacksvisibleinclusions. Rutile ppm for the stratifiediron oresin northernSweden and titanitc, both insoluble in HC1, cannot account whichagrees well with the iron-formation valueand for the Ti. Apatiteiron oreswith Ti-rich magnetite is approximately 10 times higher than the apatite
(0.5-2 % TiO2) containing exsolved ilmeniteoccurin iron ore data (Table 1). the Bafq region,Iran (F/firster et al., 1973), which In volcanic rocksthe iron oxideis usuallytitanoshows that a low Ti content cannot be usedasa diag- magnetitewhich is much richer in Cr, A1, and Mn nostic featureof thisore type. thanthe magnetite of our apatiteiron ores(common Thesimilarity in magnetite geochemistry aswellas rock valuesare 0.01-0.2 wt % Cr2Oa,1-3% AlcOa, in primaryore texturesdocumented here for E1Laco and0.5-1% MnO; Haggerty,1976; FrostandLindsand Kiruna constitutes independent evidencefor a ley, 1991). The iron oxidein layeredmaficintrusions similarorigin. Parftk's (1975a) conclusion that the alsodiffersby high Ti, Cr, and V contents, and exKirunaandE1Lacooresaretoo different chemically solved bodies of ilmeniteare typicalof the iron oxide to allow a geneticcomparison cannotbe supported in plutonicrocks.The differences in composition by the datanow available. Insteadof posing a prob- demonstrate that genetic conclusions for iron ores lem,the geochemistry of the oresfavors a close rela- based on chemical comparisons of ore androckmagtionship. netite are meaningless. The Romeralsamples vary more in composition Conclusions thanthose fromE1LacoandKiruna(Table1),butthe This studyof apatite iron oresfrom E1 Laco, the variation is small takinginto account that theycomprisesuch contrasting typesasmassive puremagne- Chilean iron belt, and the Kiruna ore field showsthat tite ore, ore breccias, andpatches of ore in quartz- well-preserveddepositshave several features in apatite-calcite-scapolite rock.The strongly deformed common besides a tabularshape, association with subandrecrystallized hematiticore fromRomeralNorte aerial volcanicrocks, presenceof ore breccia, and isverysimilar chemically to the columnar magnetite other featuressupporting a magmatic origin. The in themainorebody (Table1), arguing against Book- magnetites of the oresare similarto each other in strom's (1977) conclusion that the two orebodies are composition (verypoorin Cr andrelativelyrich in V) of different origins. Dating byMunizaga et al. (1985) and morphology.Columnarmagnetite,which is a of the foliated "Paleozoic" host rock of Romeral rare rapid-growth formaccording to the literature,is Norte yieldeda normaliron belt age (110 _+3 Ma), foundin almostall the investigated deposits. It may supporting the opinion of the geologists at Romeral be accompanied by platymagnetite, locally with denthatthe difference between the orebodies is merely dritic branching, anddendriticpyroxene or pseudodue to deformation (HugoAguirre,pers.commun., morphsafter it. 1983). The volcanic natureof the magnetite lavaflows and We have been unable to find chemical data in the pyroclastic ore on the flanksof the E1Lacovolcano literaturefor magnetite in oreswhichcanbe estab- hasbeenestablished beyond doubt.Oreswith similar lished beyond doubt to be exhalative-sedimentary in textureandstructure alsoexistat Kiirunavaara, e.g., origin.Frietsch(1970) analyzed magnetite and he- highly vesicular ore and stratifiedmagnetite-apatite matitefrom a largenumberof mostlySwedish iron tuff, which show that this deposit is volcanic and ores, many ofthemconsidered to be metamorphosedformedby eruptionof lavaandair-fallmaterial.Minchemical sediments related to basic volcanic rocks eralsindicating hydrothermal activityoverprintthe (the stratified andnonapatitic oresin Fig. 11). The ore in bothprovinces, andin the ironbelt, consistent Bandurrias ore, analyzed by us, is interpretedas a with a volcanic setting. Apatite iron ores with volcanic features are far contact metamorphosed exha]ative-sedimentary depositby Cisternas (1986). fromunique,suggesting thatemplacement at or close The mostimportantchemicaldifferencebetween to the surface is characteristic of thisore type. They thenonapatitic ores classified assedimentary and the havebeenreportedfromE1Laeo,Cerro de Mercado apatite iron ores is the low V contentsin the former in Mexico (extrusive and pyroelasticore; Lyons, (Fig. 11). A low V contentalsoseems to characterize 1988), the Bafqregionin Iran (flows andpyroelastic iron-formations. Kessler andMilllet (1988)reported layersof magnetite; F6rsterandKnittel, 1979), and the following meanvalues for about170 iron oxide MagnetitaPedernales in Chile (fragments of ore lava concentrates from the banded iron-formation in with flattened vesicles indicating flow; Grez et al.,


andFrutos,J., eds.,Stratabound ore deposits in the Andes: Berlin, Springer-Verlag, p. 353-364. F6rster,H., andKnittel,U., 1979, Petrographic observations on a magnetite deposit at Mishdovan, centralIran: ECONOMIC GEOLOGY,v. 74, p. 1485-1489.

1991). To this list now canbe addedlavaflowsand pyroelastic sheets of magnetite recentlydiscovered in the ironbelt (V. Travisany, F. Hendquez,andJ. O. Nystr6m, unpub.data)andat Kiirunavaara, the type localityof the apatiteiron ores.
Acknowledgments We thank U. Hlenius, B. Levi, and B. Lindqvist

(Stockholm), and two Economic Geology reviewers for constructive criticism of the manuscript. Uno Samuelson(Stockholm) did the photographic work and Solveig JevallandInger Arnstr6m (Stockholm) drew the figures.We are grateful for economicsupport from the Swedish Agencyfor Research Co-operation with Developing Countries (SAREC,grant86/199),
the Swedish Board for Industrial and Technical Devel-

F6rster, H., Bachtiar,I., and Borumandi,H., 1973, Petrographische Detailuntersuchungen im Bereich der Eisenerzlagerstilttenvon Bafq/Zentraliran: Deutschen Geologischen Gesellschaft Zeitschrift, v. 124, p. 121-134. Frietsch, R., 1970, Trace elementsin magnetite and hematite mainly from northern Sweden: Sveriges Geologiska Unders6kning, no. C646, 136 p. 1978, On the magmatic originof ironoresof the Kirunatype: ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, v. 73, p. 478-485. --1984, On the magmatic originof ironoresof the Kirunatype --a reply: ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, v. 79, p. 1949-1951. Frost, B.R., and Lindsley,D.H., 1991, Occurrence of iron-titaniumoxides in igneous rocks, in Lindsley, D.H., ed., Oxideminerals: Petrologic andmagnetic significance: Reviews in Mineralogy, v. 25, p. 433-468.

opment(NUTEK, grant92-00224P), the FondoNa- Frutos,J., and Oyarzfn, J., 1975, Tectonicand geochemical evidenceconcerning the genesis of El Laco magnetite lava flow cionalde Desarrollo Cienfificoy Tecno16gico (FONdeposits, Chile: ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, v. 70, p. 988-990. DECYT, grant89-0759), andthe Departamento de Frutos, J.,Oyarzfn,J.,Shiga, Y., andAlfaro,G., 1990,The E1Laco Investigaciones Cienfificas y Tecno16gicas-Universi- magnetitelavaflow deposits, northernChile: An up-to-dateredad de Santiagode Chile (DICYT, grant 05-92view andnew data,in Fontboth,L., Amstutz,G.C., Cardozo,M.,

September 22, 1992;September 29, 1993


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