1.0 Definition of Kimberlite


Kimberlites are a clan of volatile-rich (dominantly carbon dioxide) potassic ultrabasic rocks. Commonly, they exhibit a distinctive inequigranular texture resulting from the presence of macrocrysts (and in some instances megacrysts) set in a fine grained matrix. The megacryst/macrocryst assemblage consists of rounded anhedral crystals of magnesian ilmenite, Cr-poor titanian pyrope, olivine, Cr-poor clinopyroxene, phlogopite, enstatite and Ti-poor chromite. Olivine is the dominant member of the macrocryst assemblage. The matrix minerals may include: second generation euhedral primary olivine and/or phlogopite, together with perovskite, spinel (titaniferous magnesian aluminous chromite, titanian chromite, members of the magnesian ulvospinel-ulvospinel-magnetite series), diopside (Al- and Ti- poor), monticellite, apatite, calcite, and primary late-stage serpentine (commonly Fe rich). Some kimberlites contain late-stage poikilitic eastonite phlogopites. Nickeliferous sulphides and rutile are common accessory minerals. The replacement of early-formed olivine, phlogopite, monticellite, and apatite by deuteric serpentine and calcite is common. Evolved members of the clan may be devoid of, or poor in, macrocrysts, and composed essentially of calcite, serpentine, and magnetite together with minor phlogopite, apatite and perovskite.

From Mitchell 1986