The UG-2 chromitite layer, with its elevated platinum-group element content, is a key marker horizon in the eastern and western limbs of the Bushveld Igneous Complex and the largest platinum-group element chromite-hosted resource of its kind in the world. In contrast, much less is known about its stratigraphic equivalent in the northern limb, the “UG-2 equivalent” (UG-2E) chromitite. Recent studies on chromite mineral chemistry show similarities between the UG-2 and sections of the UG-2E, but also that the UG-2E was partially contaminated by assimilation of local metasedimentary rocks. Here, we provide a detailed characterization of sulfide minerals and platinum-group minerals in a suite of samples from the UG-2E and compare the results with data obtained from a reference suite of samples from the UG-2. Results from petrographic observations, electron probe microanalysis, laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, quantitative evaluation of materials by scanning electron microscopy, and δ34S isotopes show that: (1) sulfide minerals in the UG-2E and UG-2 consist mainly of pentlandite-chalcopyrite-pyrrhotite, but pyrrhotite is significantly more abundant in the UG-2E and almost absent in the UG-2; (2) iron contents in pentlandite from the UG-2E are significantly higher than in the UG-2; (3) platinum-group element contents within sulfide minerals are different between the two chromitites; (4) UG-2E platinum-group minerals are dominated by arsenides and bismuthotellurides, and by alloys and platinum-group element-sulfide minerals in the UG-2; (5) sulfide mineral chemistry and δ34S values indicate some crustal contamination of the UG-2E; and (6) sulfide mineral and secondary silicate mineral textures in both the UG-2E and UG-2 are indicative of minor, millimeter- to centimeter-scale, hydrothermal alteration. From our observations and results, we consider the UG-2E chromitite in the northern limb to be the equivalent to the UG-2 in the eastern and western limbs that has been contaminated by assimilation of Transvaal Supergroup footwall rocks during emplacement. The contamination resulted in UG-2E sulfide mineral elemental contents and platinum-group mineral types and abundances that are distinct from those of the UG-2 in the rest of the Bushveld.

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