In the Precambrian Arabian Shield, granitoid plutonic rocks are widespread and range in age from 800 to 550 Ma old; but the mineral-resource potential associated with these plutonic rocks is restricted mainly to the younger, postorogenic granites. Two granite types of current economic interest are zirconium- niobium-enriched per alkaline granites and tin-tungsten-enriched peraluminous granites. Both types are highly evolved, are enriched in lithium, rubidium, and fluorine, and have distinctive mineralogy, textures, and chemistry. The zirconium-niobium-enriched granites are related to medium- to large-sized plutons and complexes of peralkaline granite, and the tin-tungsten-enriched granites are related to medium-sized plutons of biotite or biotite-muscovite granite.
Existing geochemical and geologic data for many parts of the Arabian Shield were compiled as a basis for evaluating the resource potential of the granites of the Shield. Commodities associated with granites that have potential for economic mineral deposits include tin, tungsten, molybdenum, beryllium, niobium, tantalum, zirconium, uranium, thorium, rare-earth elements, and fluorite. Prospecting methods useful in discriminating those granites having significant economic potential include reconnaissance geologic mapping, petrographic and mineralogic studies, geochemical sampling of rock and wadi sediment, and radiometric surveying.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Peralkaline and peraluminous granites and related mineral deposits of the Arabian Shield, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia