The Jinbaoshan platinum group element-(Cu)-(Ni) deposit in southwest China is a sulfide-poor magmatic platinum-group element deposit that experienced multiple phases of post-magmatic modification. The sulfide assemblages of most magmatic Ni-Cu-platinum-group element deposits in China and elsewhere in the world are dominated by pentlandite-pyrrhotite-chalcopyrite with lesser magnetite and minor platinum-group minerals. However, Jinbaoshan is characterized by (1) hypogene violarite-pyrite 1-millerite-chalcopyrite and (2) supergene violarite-(polydymite)-pyrite 2-chalcopyrite assemblages. The platinum-group minerals are small (0.5–10 μm diameter) and include moncheite Pt(Te,Bi)2, mertieite-I Pd11(Sb,As)4, the atokite Pd3Sn – rustenburgite Pt3Sn solid solution, irarsite IrAsS, and sperrylite PtAs2 hosted mainly by violarite, silicates (primarily serpentine), and millerite. The platinum-group minerals occur in two sulfide assemblages: (1) mertieite-I-dominant (with irarsite, palladium, and Pd-alloy) in the hypogene assemblage and (2) moncheite-dominant (with irarsite, sperrylite, and atokite) in the supergene assemblage. Palladium and intermediate platinum-group elements (Os, Ir, Ru) are concentrated mainly in violarite, polydymite, and pyrite 2. Platinum is seldom hosted by base metal sulfides and occurs mainly as discrete platinum-group minerals, such as moncheite, sperrylite, and merenskyite. Violarite and polydymite in the Jinbaoshan deposit contain more Pb-Ag than pentlandite and pyrrhotite in the Great Dyke and Lac des Iles deposit. The formation of the sulfide assemblages in Jinbaoshan can be interpreted to have occurred in three stages: (1) a magmatic Fe-Ni-Cu sulfide melt crystallized Fe-Ni monosulfide and Cu-rich intermediate solid solutions, which inverted to a primary pyrrhotite-pentlandite-chalcopyrite-magnetite assemblage; (2) an early-secondary hypogene voilarite-millterite-pyrite 1-chalcopyrite assemblage formed by interaction with a lower-temperature magmatic-hydrothermal deuteric fluid; and (3) a late-secondary supergene violarite-polydymite-pyrite 2-chalcopyrite assemblage formed during weathering. Late-magmatic-hydrothermal fluids enriched the mineralization in Pb-Ag-Cd-Zn, which are incompatible in monosulfide solid solution, added Co-Pt into violarite, and expelled Pd to the margins of hypogene violarite and millerite, which caused Pd depletion in the hypogene violarite and the formation of mertieite-I. Supergene violarite inherited Pd and intermediate platinum-group elements from primary pentlandite. Thus, the unusual sulfide assemblages in the Jinbaoshan platinum-group element-(Cu)-(Ni) deposit results from multiple overprinted post-magmatic processes, but they did not significantly change the chalcophile element contents of the mineralization, which is interpreted to have formed at high magma:sulfide ratios (R factors) through interaction of crustally derived sulfide and a hybrid picritic-ferropicritic magma derived from subduction-metasomatized pyroxenitic mantle during impingement of the Emeishan plume on the Paleo-Tethyan oceanic subduction system.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.