Khibiny

Thanks to Ragnar Salmén (Oslo), Johann P.Frisch, Steffen Moeckel for informations and specimens, and Maurice de Graaf, and especially László Horváth for their lists.


Khibiny (a.k.a. Khibina and as Chibiny in German) is a large intrusion on the Kola peninsula in NW Russia. It is situated between Lake Imandra and Lake Umbozero, NE of the town of Apatity on the Kola Peninsula on the White Sea in NW Russia.
The Khibiny-Lovozero pluton is largest in the world (about 2000 km²), it also represents the geological unity with the most mineral species (>500) and is the locality for the largest number of original descriptions (>100). The age of the intrusion is about 350 mio years (Caledonian), it is closely related to the Grampian geosyncline in western Norway and thus connected to the alkaline localities of Scandinavia (see there). The hot spot could be under the NW boundary of Lovozero.
The massif is composed of nepheline syenites, syenites and urtites, to a lesser degree of alkali ultrabasites and carbonatites.


Khibiny itself is a big conical intrusion (1327 km²) - the largest one in the world. About 365 mio years ago it intruded archaic granite gneisses and volcanites. It has a structur of 8 rings or horseshoes around a foyaite-core, that usually open up towards the ease. The outer ring consists of khibinites, an arc of urtites, apatitolites and rischorrites is in between. Khibinites are a variety of nepheline syenites, which are medium- to coarse grained. Due to their nepheline content they weather to a fine gravel. Rischorrites are feldspar analoges of the khibinites, whereas urtites contain 90% nephelin again. Further rock types in Khibiny are ijolites, apatite-nepheline rocks, inequigranular nephelin syenites, and foyalites in the center of the intrusion.
Central depressions are composed of carbonatites and extrusives. In the easternmost part, too, there is a rather big carbonatite stockwork underground (-800 m). In the eastern part there are also alkaline volcanic rocks (trachytes, phonolites), whereas in the north fenitised gneisses with pegmatites are known. Layers, dikes and pipes of these rocks as well as lamprophyres are widely distributed, Xenolites of ultrabasic rocks occur within the nepheline syenite. Alkaline pegmatites are widespread in all of the rock types, there are also aegirinized pegmatites in some areas. The most interesting pegmatites from a collector´s point of view are said to occur in the rischorrites.
The first expedition to this remote areas of the Khibiny (and Lovozero) tundra was conducted in 1887 by W.Ramsay. In 1920 A.E.Fersman first came here (train breakdown at Khibiny station !), who returned several times in the next 3 years. In 1923 the first apatite deposit was discovered at Mt.Rasvumchorr, in 1926 the first ore was shipped, and 1929 the first real mine (Kirovsky mine) was opened. The largest apatite ore body is 12 km long and  up to 215 m thick.
Apatite mining is still done in a huge lens of 3x0,2 km along the mountains Kukisvumchorr, Yukspor, and Rasvumchorr in the south of the massif. There are 6 mines in all (“Eastern“ and „Rudnik Rasvumchorr“ on Mt.Rasvumchorr, „Saamsky“-quarry and two stopes „Kirov“ and „Yukspor“ on Mt.Kukisvumchorr, and 2 open pits in the east- „Koashva“ and „Nyuorkpakhk“. . To no surprise the largest town in the vincinity is called Apatity. Further - abandoned - quarries/mines are distributed throughout the area, which once were mined for other minerals (lovchorrite, eudialyte..) and their elements.
All over the area there are different types of pegmatites. They can be regarded as urtite-, rischorrite-, and foyaite/khibinite-pegmatites. The largest pegmatite is more than 1,5km long and up to 50 m thick (can you imagine that ?), and stretches from Kukisvumchorr-Yukspor over to Rasvumchorr.


Localities here included under „Khibiny“ are f.i. (with the usual spelling problems for russian names):
Mountains:
Aikuaivenchorr, Eveslogchorr, Kukisvumchorr, Manepakhk, Nyuorkpakhk, Poachvumchorr, Partamchorr, Pik Marchenko, Rasvumchorr, Takhtarvumchorr, Tuliok, Yukspor Mines:
Kirow(sky), Koashva, Eastern, Yukspor, Rasvumchorr, Nyuorkpakhk
Other:
Gakhman valley, Vuonnemi river, Station Khibiny, Lake Imandra

Mineral list (bold = type locality)(don´t be confused by some minerals - I included rockforming species from the Semenov-book, too):

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&Suggested reading:

Britvin,S.N., G.U.Ivanyuk, V.N.Yakovenchuk: Mineralogische Exkursionen auf der Halbinsel Kola. Laplandia Minerals Ltd., Apatity, 1994, pp.4-28 (in German)

Britvin,S.N., G.U.Ivanyuk, V.N.Yakovenchuk: Mineralogical excursions on the Kola Peninsula. World of Stones, 5-6 (1995), pp.26-37 (the same in English)

Britvin,S.N., G.U.Ivanyuk, V.N.Yakovenchuk, H.J.Wilke: Seltene Mineralien aus Alkaligesteinen: Das Chibiny-Massiv auf der russischen Kola-Halbinsel. LAPIS 21(1996), 4, pp.13-30 (in german)

Semenov, E.: Minerals and ores of the Khibiny-Lovozero alkaline massif, Kola. Russian Academy of Sciences, Ferman Mineralogical Museum, Moscow 1997 (.A handy book on the complicated geology and the most up-to-date mineral list)

Liferovich RP et al.: Composition and paragenesis of Na-, Nb- and Zr-bearing titanite from Khibina, Russia, and crystal-structure data for synthetic analogues. CANADIAN MINERALOGIST, 43(2005), 795-812

Azarova YV:  Minerals of the eudialyte group and their alteration products as a geochemical indicator of postmagmatic processes during the formation of the lujavrite-malignite complex in the Khibiny massif.GEOCHEMISTRYA INTERNATIONAL, 43(2005), 715-720

Beeskov B et al.: A reassessment of models for hydrocarbon generation in the Khibiny nepheline syenite complex, Kola Peninsula, Russia. LITHOS, 91(2006), 1-18

Ryabchikov ID et al.:Magnetite compositions and oxygen fugacities of the Khibina magmatic system. LITHOS, 91(2006), 35-45

Jaszczak JA et al.: Micro- and nanoscale graphite cones and tubes from Hackman Valley, Kola Peninsula, Russia. CANADINA MINERALOGIST, 44(2006), 379-389

Barkov AY et al.: Sr-Na-REE titanates of the crichtonite group from a fenitized megaxenolith, Khibina alkaline complex, Kola Peninsula, Russia: first occurrence and implications. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MINERALOGY, 18(2006), 493-502

Pekov IV et al.: Fluorcalciobritholite, (Ca,REE)5[(Si,P)O4]3F, a new mineral: description and crystal chemistry. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MINERALOGY, 19(2007), 95-103

New mineral: From Kukisvumchorr, long proismatic hexagonal xx 0.5x10mm, translucent, pale pinkish to brown, white streak, hardness 5.5. W/orthoclase, nepheline, sodalite.biotite, fayalite, gadolinite-(Ce), zircon, monazite-(Ce), zirconolite ("polymignite"), fluorapatite, fluorite, molybdenite, löllingite and graphite

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Yakovenchuk VN et al.:Armbrusterite, K5Na6Mn3+Mn2+14[Si9O22]4(OH)10·4H2O, a new Mn hydrous heterophyllosilicate from the Khibiny alkaline massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia. AMERICAN MINERALOGIST, 92(2007), 416-423.

New mineral:From Kukisvumchorr, intimately associated w/raite. Curbed xx and spherules <2mm, tranaslucent, dark re-brown, vitreous luster, light brown streak, hardness 3.5, perfect cleavage. W/lamprophyllite,
mangan-neptunite, pectolite, vinogradovite, calcite, molybdenite, galena, sphalerite, and fluorite.