- © 2012 by the Mineralogical Society of America
Rare-element granitic pegmatites are well recognized for the diversity and concentrations of metal ores that they host. The supply of some of these elements is of concern, and the European Commission recently designated metals such as tantalum and niobium as “critical materials” or “strategic resources.” Field relationships, mineral chemistry, and experimental constraints indicate that these elements are concentrated dominantly by magmatic processes. The granitic melts involved in these processes are very unusual because they contain high concentrations of fluxing compounds, which play a key role at both the primary magmatic and metasomatic stages. In particular, the latter may involve highly fluxed melts rather than aqueous fluids.