This research reviews the geology, petrogenesis, compositional trends and geochronology of the rare-metal pegmatite of southwestern Nigeria. The source of these pegmatites is still presently debated which have been explained as either product of highly fractionated molten material or anatexis of the local crust. However, published works of past authors have been compiled to give a detailed understanding of the formation of the mineral deposits.
The basement complex of southwestern Nigeria comprises of Precambrian rocks of amphibolite, the hornblende gneiss and the granite gneisses which were formed as a result of the opening and closing of the ensialic basin with significant, extensive subduction during the Pan-African orogeny. The pegmatites in this region have shown internal zoning and a high degree of evolution from the border zone to the core zone during the crystallization and solidification of the felsic granite to pegmatite melt.
The rare-metal pegmatites have distinct chemical compositions and mineralogy, containing quartz, biotite, muscovite, microcline, garnet with localized tourmaline, tantalite and columbite. These pegmatites vary significantly by their bulk-rock and mineral chemistry which indicates a more peraluminous attribute and enrichments of lithophile elements of Rb, Cs, Ta and Ba. Previous K/Ar isotopic ages (502.8±13.0 Ma and 514.5±13.2 Ma) suggest that the pegmatites are related to the post-collisional phase of intensive metasomatism. Adopted from previous studies, a five-stage conceptual model of evolution which is widely accepted have been proposed for the origin of the pegmatites.