Niobium mineralization of sedimentary carbonates, Lewisian Complex, UK

John Parnell*, Ryan Michie, Eleanor Heptinstall, John S. Still

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proterozoic limestone in a north British terrane contains a newly recognised occurrence of Nb-REE minerals. The mineralized Loch Shin Limestone is in the Lewisian Complex of the Northern Highlands of Scotland, intruded by alkaline plutons above a Caledonian (∼0.43 Ga) subduction zone. The mineral assemblage includes columbite, calcium niobate minerals, and niobian rutile and also includes W- and Sn-bearing phases. The interval between limestone deposition and mineralization was over a billion years. Other limestones in the Lewisian Complex that were not affected by alkaline plutons are not mineralized by Nb. The occurrence indicates that there may be exploration potential for Nb in limestones mineralized by hydrothermal activity above subduction zones with alkaline intrusions.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Earth Science: Transactions of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Early online date29 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Mar 2021


  • Caledonian
  • Columbite
  • Lewisian
  • Niobium
  • Northern Highlands
  • Scotland
  • Silurian
  • tantalum

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