Aspects of the geochemistry of Malaysian cassiterites

Author : W. Fuad Hassan
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 223-248
Volume Number : 19
Year : 1986

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 19, April 1986, pp. 223 – 248

Aspects of the geochemistry of Malaysian cassiterites


Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia


Abstract: Cassiterite samples from various parts of Peninsular Malaysia have been analysed for their minor and trace element contents using U.V. Spectroscopy. The samples, numbering 114, were collected from hydrothermal, pegmatitic and pyrometasomatic deposits and represent the various kinds of Malaysian tin deposits.

Quantitative analyses show that among the minor and trace elements studied, Ta, Nb, Ti, Mn, Fe, W and Zr are constantly present. They show log-normal distribution patterns. Among these elements, Nb, Ta, Mn and Fe show certain variation with different types of tin deposits. In the pegmatitic cassiterites, their overall concentrations are highest in the columbite-tantalite-rich (Semiling) type and lowest in the columbite-tantalite-poor (Chenderiang) type. Among the hydrothermal cassiterites, the greisen type veins shows the highest concentration, followed by the quartz-wolframite vein, quartz-tourmaline vein, quartz-chlorite vein and finally the sulphide-rich vein. The few pyrometasomatic cassiterite samples analysed show very little concentration of these elements.

An examination of their geographical distribution pattern shows that cassiterites rich in Nb, Ta, Mn and Zr are mainly found in the Western Tin Belt while the W-rich cassiterites are found in the Eastern Tin Belt.

The results of qualitative analyses show that besides the seven elements mentioned, Ga, Sc, Bi, Mo, Ag and Sb are also detected in trace amounts. These elements however do not show clear relationships with the various tin deposits.