Abstract: Some important and interesting data on the O, C and Sr isotopic compositions of rocks associated with the Bayan Obo Fe-Nb-REE deposit have been reported by Le Bas et al. (1997). However, a number of points relating to the interpretation of these data, and also to the terminology adopted, are worthy of further discussion. The essence of this discussion is that some of the geochemical and isotopic signatures found at Bayan Obo are not exclusively consistent with an igneous origin. A replacement hypothesis involving deep-sourced fluids could also explain the pattern of data, if minor carbonatitic intrusions into a sedimentary sequence are considered.