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Abstract

Concentrations of platinum group elements (PGE) are found in a variety of geologic settings, ranging from high-tem- perature magmatic through hydrothermal (McCallum et al., 1976) to late diagenetic or sedimentary (Kucha, 1982). The only deposits from which substantial quantities of PGE are produced are those associated with mafic or ultramafic rocks. Identified resources within these are summarized in Table 8.1.

The deposits are divisible into those in which the PGE are obtained as a byproduct, as is the case with Noril'sk-Talnakh discussed above, and those in which PGE are the principal product. At the time of writing the Merensky Reef of the Bushveld Complex is the most important producer amongst the second class of deposits. Production is also obtained from the somewhat similar J-M reef of the Stillwater Complex. Both of these are stratiform horizons containing from 0.5% to 3% sulfide. Significant production is now also obtained from the UG-2, which is the most important (from the point of view of grade and total contained PGE) of a number of PGE-enriched chromitites in the layered complexes. The Pla- treef is a sulfide enriched zone at the base of the Bushveld Complex where it transgresses down through quartzites and carbonate-rich country rocks of the Pretoria Series to come to rest on Archean granitic gneisses. It is not currently in production.

Possible other deposits with a similar setting include the mmerahzed layers of the Penikat layered intrusion of northern Finland (Alapieti and Lahtinen, 1986). A stratabound, PGE-enriched zone also occurs in

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