The Geordie Lake Cu-Pd deposit is associated with troctolite at the base of the Geordie Lake intrusion, located near the center of the Coldwell Complex (1106.5 + 1.2 Ma). It is the only platinum group element deposit in the Midcontinent Rift associated with alkaline rocks. This study focuses on the long-standing questions regarding genetic relationships among the Geordie Lake gabbros, the Wolfcamp basalt, and the various syenites that make up the east-central portion of the Coldwell Complex. Primitive mantle-normalized trace-element patterns for the Geordie Lake intrusion are nearly flat from Th to Ce and show negative Sr, Eu, and Zr anomalies. Characteristic ratios for the Geordie Lake gabbro and troctolite include Th/Nb (0.12), La/Nb (1.1), La/Lu (150), La/Sm (6.9), Zr/Sm (18), and Gd/Yb (2.8). Trace-element patterns that are useful for determining petrogenesis for gabbros are similar to the Wolfcamp basalt and augite syenite with some key exceptions, notably the middle rare earth element and Zr abundances. Affects due to metasomatism or crustal contamination in Wolfcamp basalt and Geordie Lake gabbros and syenites are negligible. Results of Rayleigh fractionation modeling show (1) the Geordie Lake intrusion and Wolfcamp basalt are very similar but not directly related by crystallization, (2) the gabbros and basalt are not related to the syenites, (3) the lower augite syenite can be related to the upper augite syenite and amphibole quartz syenite by fractionation of a hypothetical crystal cumulate composed of orthoclase (78%), clinopyroxene (15%), olivine (1%), and titanomagnetite (6%). We conclude that the Geordie Lake intrusion, Wolfcamp basalt, and saturated syenites in the Coldwell were derived by separate partial melting events in a common mantle source.
The origin of the sulfide mineralization is enigmatic because it exhibits characteristics of both magmatic and hydrothermal processes. The sulfide assemblage changes from disseminated bornite and chalcopyrite in the basal zone to pyrrhotite plus chalcopyrite in the upper zones. Sulfides occur as coarse blebs interstitial to fresh or partly altered silicates, or as very fine grains intergrown with clusters of biotite and actinolite. Primitive mantle-normalized platinum group element patterns exhibit a W-shape for Pd-Pt-Rh-Ir-Ni, indicating a relative depletion of Pt and Ir. The Cu/Pd ratios in the mineralized zones are within the range of mantle values (1000–10,000), Pd/Pt is 14–19, Pd/Rh is 91 + 37, and Pd/Ir >16,000. The Pd/Pt, Pd/Rh, and Pd/Ir are considerably higher than in the Wolfcamp basalt (<1, 17, and 75, respectively). If the sulfides are magmatic in origin, then either the Geordie Lake magma was, unlike the Wolfcamp basalt magma, depleted in Pt, Rh, and Ir, or these elements were selectively removed from the sulfide assemblage. Alternatively, Pd was enriched by late-stage hydrothermal processes. Additional work is recommended to constrain petrogenesis of the sulfides by detailed base-metal and TABS (Te, As, Bi, Sb, and Sn) element analysis.