Tin: A mantle or crustal source?

Author : Charles S. Hutchison and K.R. Chakraborty
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 71 – 79
Volume Number : 11
Year : 1979
DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm11197902

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 11, Dec, 1979, pp. 71 – 79

Tin: A mantle or crustal source?


Department of Geology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 22-11, Malaysia.


Abstract: The recent theories that propose the mantle or the subducted oceanic lithosphere as the immediate source for tin are reviewed and rejected on the grounds of compelling evidence that continental crust is a necessary requirement for economic tin concentration. Continental crust becomes progressively differentiated with respect to tin by polycyclic events involving metamorphism, anatexis, and related processes. As a result the distribution of tin becomes strongly irregular.

Partial melting only of the tin-enriched zones would yield tin-bearing granitic magma; the tin concentration being dependent mainly on the degree of melting, the liquid-solid partition coefficient of tin and the behaviour of tin-containing silicate and oxide phases during melting. The crystallization history of such tin-bearing magma would ultimately determine the possibility of economic tin deposits. Tectonic settings do not play any role in the generation of tin-bearing magma other than controlling the physical conditions of melting.